Two Flights Up by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Two Flights Up by Mary Roberts Rinehart

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A boarder comes to live with three women and finds them frighteningly strange

From the outside, it seems like the three women of the Bayne house are frozen in time. There is Mrs. Bayne, an aging widow obsessed with propriety; her sister, Margaret, a spinster whose desperate loneliness is eating her from the inside out; and young Holly, a beautiful creature with a vibrancy that fades a little each day. Her only hope is Furness Brooks, a playboy with an idea that he might like to marry Holly, but each day that he doesn’t propose, she becomes more frightened that she will die an old maid.

Into this steps Howard Warrington, a bond salesman who answers an advertisement to rent the Baynes’ extra room. He finds the house to be full of old secrets and quiet grudges, and he soon grows to hate his life there. But when Margaret attempts to kill herself, he realizes how dark life is for the women Bayne—and how difficult it might be for him to escape.


“[Rinehart’s] literary distinction lies in the combination of love, humor and murder that she wove into her tales. . . . She helped the mystery story grow up.” —New York Times

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