I’m so full of anxiety for Laura Fairlie! Marian has had her suspicions for quite some time, but now after overhearing a secret conversation between Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde by sneaking over onto a nearby balcony, they have been confirmed. Count Fosco, who comes across as full of decorum, consideration and concern for the ladies, has now planted the idea into Percival’s mind that the only way out of his mounting debt would be through the death of his wife.
Earlier in the piece, the Baronet had tried to force Laura to sign a document but Laura had the presence of mind however to ask if she could read it first. Her husband fobbed her off saying it was unnecessary and she wouldn’t understand it. Marian backed her up however, and there was a scene, but Count Fosco interceded and the matter was deferred.
Laura has also been secretly meeting with Anne Catherick, who knows of a secret that will destroy the Baronet. Anne leaves a message buried under the sand where Laura takes her walks, but Sir Percival has found it. Convinced that Laura now knows his secret he has tried to bully her to a confession, handling her very roughly, dismissing her long-time personal maid and locking her in her room. Count Fosco, again with the outward appearance of concern for Laura’s welfare appeals to Percival’s better nature to release Laura. But when she is freed, Laura only locks herself in her room, admitting only her half sister Marian.
Unfortunately, after Marian’s dangerous eavesdropping (in the rain) on the balcony, she has now become deathly ill. Count Fosco is very concerned about his ‘worthy adversary’ and whilst helping the doctor during his visits he has had access to Marian’s diary. Marian’s most recent entry mentions that she needs to get Laura out of Blackwater and back to Limmeridge House under the pretext of visiting her uncle. A letter had been dispatched to Mr Fairlie but he pretty much dismissed it as he didn’t want an angry Sir Percival Glyde on his doorstep upsetting his equalibrian. He won’t get out of it so easy though, as Count Fosco has just come knocking and has stated that he can guarantee that the Baronet will not disturb him in the slightest……..
One thing I love about reading are the various references to other novels or characters, and the more I read the more I pick up on them. Sir Percival Glyde has a horse called Isaac of York - now if I had not just read Ivanhoe that would have meant nothing to me.
As for The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo the mystery of Harriet Vanger’s disappearance is slowly being unraveled and the finger is beginning to point to the Vanger family itself. Lisbeth Salander has found more murders that have a biblical pretext to them, and it seems Harriet was aware of this by the coded message that Mikael had found. Mikael’s own daughter seems to be following in Harriet’s footsteps by becoming involved in an obscure religious sect, will she be the next victim? I like the laid back way this is written and the way the mystery is being peeled away layer by layer.
With The Book of the Dead I’m wondering if the unpublished Holmes novel The Attwater Firewitch will hold a clue that will relate to the murder of Carrington. Holmes is on the trail of a witch who curses a victim, and then the victim falls prey to a murderous bird. Two people have been attacked, and Mad Meg the local weirdo is claiming to be the witch. Holmes accepts Meg as the culprit and makes out that he is returning to
with Watson. He is however going to return to Attwater by a round about route hoping that the real villain will make a mistake ….. what this clue can be to the real life murder I have no idea but why would so much of this 'unpublished narrative' be included otherwise? The plot thickens....... London