William F. Deeck

ELIZABETH CADELL – Shadows on the Water. William Morrow, hardcover, 1958. First published in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton, hardcover, 1958, as Shadow on the Water by Harriet Ainsworth.

   Kate Verney, widow, is sailing to South America to become acquainted with her new grandson and maybe to save him from being christened Theobald. Her roommate on the ship is Lindy Barron, who along with her brother, Rex, is going to Lisbon to live with her father, William Barron, an arrogant, physically attractive businessman with a weakness for females.

   Upon arrival at Lisbon, the group discovers that Barron is missing, presumed dead after the horse he was riding fell off a cliff. Later Barron turns up, saying that someone had stretched a wire across his favorite riding path. Other attempts are made on his life.

   Since Kate’s passport is stolen while she is ashore at Lisbon, she cannot continue her voyage. Which is a good thing, for someone has to keep an eye on the Barron children’s welfare — and William Barron’s, despite his protests.

   Though disappointing to me because it did not have the engaging humor of Cadell’s The Corner Shop, this book is nonetheless a good example of the romantic-suspense novel, featuring a heroine a little longer in the tooth than usual. Cadell’s goal is merely to entertain, and she is for the most part successful.

— Reprinted from MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL, Vol. 6, No. 2, Summer 1990, “Vacation for Murder.”