MIRIAM BORGENICHT – Fall from Grace. St. Martin’s, hardcover, 1984. No paperback edition.

   A twenty-six year old nurse marries a sixty-seven year old doctor and two months later he’s dead, a suicide, leaving a note that seems to imply that the marriage was a mistake.

   What does the world think? Naturally, that she’s to blame. But the world was wrong. Nan Dunlop has married Dr. William Gardner for love, and their marriage was happy. So, after his death, she sets out to find the “mistake” that had driven him to his death.

   Probing into his past, she finds his younger sister, an alcoholic whose dull husband made it big with a defense contract. She finds two nurses who had fallen for the glamorous doctor 21 years before. She finds a research project begun with great enthusiasm and abandoned for no apparent reason.

   Her husband’s lawyer, suspicious of her motives, follows the course of this delving into the past. So does Dr. Collins, who is supportive. After two attempts are made on her life, she realizes that there is something of greater moment than an old love affair to be found. Slowly the suspense builds, as Nan uncovers the solution to this engrossing puzzle.

— Reprinted from The Poisoned Pen, Vol. 6, No. 4,
Fall 1986.

         Biographical Notes:

   Miriam Borgenicht (1915-1992) was the author of 17 crime novels written between 1949 and 1991. Her obituary in the New York Times states that “She completed her last, yet unpublished, by dictating the conclusion to a daughter from her hospital bed.” She was also an occasional contributor to The New Yorker magazine.

   On the main Mystery*File website, Marvin Lachman had this to say about her work: “Miriam Borgenicht was one of those writers who never seem to write the same book twice. These writers typically don’t have series characters since having a continuing protagonist usually leads to a certain predictability. Andrew Garve was another whose books followed little pattern, though, as I have written elsewhere, Garve was probably his own series character. Borgenicht was a sophisticated writer who created many different strong female protagonists….”