The Vanishing of Carolyn Wells: Investigations into a Forgotten Mystery Author

Vibrance. Feb. 2024. 8:59 hrs. ISBN 9781624619991. $19.95. BIOG
Editor, writer, and independent audiobook publisher Barry (Rare Books Uncovered) pens an intriguing biography of Carolyn Wells (1862–1942), a mystery author who has largely been forgotten but was incredibly prolific and influential from the 1890s through the 1940s. Wells wrote nearly 80 mystery novels and 100 other works, including poetry, screenplays, and more; she was well known for her country house and locked-room mysteries, but she also wrote children’s books, young adult novels, stories, magazine installments, and more. Critics even compared her to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, yet most details about her life and legacy have been lost. Barry set out to write the first biography of one of the “lost ladies” of detective fiction and, in the process, wrote a bit of a mystery herself. She inserts herself into the narrative, taking listeners along for the ride in her search through public libraries, college archives, antique bookstores, and even eBay, chasing down all leads in her quest for more information about this lost literary icon. Handsomely narrated by Laura Jennings, who captures the intrigue and momentum of Barry’s story, this biography sounds like a cozy mystery.
VERDICT Mystery lovers will thoroughly enjoy this captivating account.
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