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Book reviews - The Party At No 5

The Party At No 5

Author: Shelley Smith
An unwanted guest… Mrs. Rampage lives alone in a large house full of her precious belongings. With her daughter living the other side of the world, she is persuaded by friends that she ought to take a companion into her home. Begrudgingly she accepts a well-mannered lady, Mrs. Roach, to keep her company, who has a view to assist her where necessary. With few possessions of her own, Mrs. Roach is in desperate need of a place to stay, but she soon has her own ideas about how things should be run under Mrs. Rampage’s roof. With Mrs. Rampage protective of her multiple antiques and family heirlooms, the pair’s initially amicable relationship soon turns sour... Before long, both are miserable, but feeling desperate, and with nowhere to go, Mrs. Roach makes it her duty to stay... The senility of Mrs. Rampage is soon questioned and the lives of both her and Mrs. Roach become entangled in catastrophic circumstances. The Party at No.5 subtly shocks and effortlessly transcends from humour to horror.

Praise for The Party at No.5

“...This is one of Miss Smith’s most telling tales, maneuvered with a sort of inexorable malice while altering its mood from light amusement to horror and then to a fiercely poignant finale. A very good piece of work indeed.” — New York Herald Tribune “Often subtle and interesting … earns high marks as an understated study in intimate domestic evil.” — Anthony Boucher, New York Times “[This] inverted mystery is a novel of dreadful credibility, brilliantly written and exercising an uncanny power of dividing the reader’s sympathies.” — San Francisco Chronicle

Praise for Shelley Smith

'Brilliant' – The Observer 'Stylish Thriller' - The Daily Herald ‘Beautifully Written' – The Spectator 'Miss Shelley Smith is among the most distinguished of those writers who have abandoned the detective story for the crime novel. . . The story maintains its tension to the end . . . What she has set out to do is done superlatively well.' -Times Literary Supplement Nancy Bodington was born in 1912. Under the pen name of Shelley Smith,she wrote 15 crime and detective novels between 1942 and 1978. Smith is best known for The Ballard of the Running Man and its 1963 film adaption starring Laurence Harvey and Lee Remick.

US publication: 1954
Detective: n/a
Genre: n/a