Even though I usually guess who the murderer is in a mystery novel, I couldn’t this time.
It was a real surprise for me. I could never have guessed that Marta was actually Vintner’s wife and Elspeth mother, and she tried to kill Josephine. That was a shock. And I didn’t expect Rafe Swinburne to be Rafe Vintner instead. The man was evil, and Marta, who has been forced to live in an asylum for years, was ready to do anything for her son. Elliott Vintner was a wicked man, who turned Rafe against his mother, when he found out Marta was having an affair with Arthur and was expecting a child. Elliott Vintner sent her to an asylum and took the baby and her son from her, and we can’t forget that he orchestrated Arthur’s murder. And even when he decided to kill himself, he left instruction for her son to get rid of everybody who were part of the shame his mother had brought about. So he killed Elspeth and Aubrey, and Marta also wanted to kill Elizabeth because she thought she took from her the chance to make Elliot suffer.
In the end, Marta escapes, helped by Josephine, and she hints that she wants to take her own life. At the end of the book, the police haven’t found her yet, but both Josephine and Lydia hope she has a change of heart.
Also at the end of the book, there is a heart-to-heart conversation between Archie and Josephine about the past. I’m not sure if Archie and Elizabeth are in love, but they talk about Josephine’s man over who died in the war. While tending to a wounded soldier, he was shot to death in the back. Josephine realizes twenty years later that Archie was the wounded soldier and his guilt had made him keep his distance from her and act aloof. I don’t think they reached an understanding at the end of the conversation, but now that things are in the open, I imagine that something might happen between the two of them in the other books. I think Archie loves Josephine, but I’m not sure Josephine shares his feelings. I’ll have to read the other books to see how this relationships gets on.