The Listening Eye by Patricia Wentworth

The Listening Eye cover

The Listening Eye by Patricia Wentworth is a Miss Silver mystery and it was first published in 1957.

Miss Paulina Paine is 57 years old and she has been stone deaf ever since a bomb fell very close to her during the war. Paulina taught herself lip-reading very successfully and she hopes it isn’t obvious to people that she is deaf.

However, one of her lodgers is an artist and he has painted her portrait which is being exhibited in a gallery. The artist has titled the portrait The Listener and Paulina has to admit to herself that he has captured an expression on her face that she recognises.

Whilst at the exhibition Paulina lip reads a man who is standing quite far away from her, he thinks that his conversation will be private, never suspecting that a lip-reader was ‘eavesdropping’ on him.

Paulina is aghast at what he has said and quickly leaves the gallery, but when a gallery worker mentions to the man that Paulina is a marvellous lip-reader it puts Paulina’s life at risk. She has inadvertently obtained dangerous information.

As it happens Paulina has a loose connection with Miss Silver and she goes to ask her advice on what she has ‘overheard’. So begins Miss Silver’s involvement in the investigation.

As ever I don’t want to say too much about this one as I don’t want to spoil it for any possible readers, but it’s a good mystery and Miss Silver sorts it all out, whilst knitting a pale blue shawl, multi tasking with class.

Book Beginning on Friday

I decided to participate in Book Beginning on Friday which is being hosted by Rose City Reader, join in here, if you feel like it.

My book beginning is from Poison in the Pen by Patricia Wentworth and was first published in 1955.

Miss Silver looked across the tea-tray a good deal in the manner of the affectionate aunt who entertains a deserving nephew, but the young man who leaned forward to take the cup of tea which she had just poured out for him was not really related to her in any way. He was in fact Detective Inspector Frank Abbot of Scotland Yard, enjoying a Sunday afternoon off duty and very much at his ease.

Well it’s not exactly what you would call an exciting beginning but it’s a vintage crime book and what with that and the book title, it tells me that I’m going to be involved in a cosy mystery, most likely including anonymous letters and murder.

Don’t ask me why vintage crime books and murder equal cosy comfort reading – they just do and hopefully I’ll be inhabiting a village in 1950s Britain whilst I’m reading this one.