Secrets In The Neighborhood

It is a mystery.  The kind of mystery that might take place in any community, especially a closed, tightknit community.  You know the kind.  The kind of happening that starts folks talking amongst themselves.

One of the locals, Mrs. Creasy is missing.  All the neighborhood residents are talking with each other.  Ideas are being tossed around as to what has happened to her.  Almost immediately it was being blamed on the current heat wave from which there seems no relief.  But two neighbors happen not to believe any of the talk being thrown around.

Grace and Tilly, both 10 years old, are watching and listening to the adults around them.  The two girls do not think the heat wave caused Mrs. Creasy’s disappearance.  Just between themselves, they assume she has been murdered!

The Sunday following Mrs. C’s disappearance Grace attends church with her neighbor and sometimes caregiver, Mrs. Morton.  Words spoken that day by the Vicar set Grace to thinking about God.  If God is everywhere, how come He didn’t keep Mrs. Creasy from disappearing?  You will learn quickly that Grace searches out answers this and many other questions that arise.

Grace decides that if God is everywhere, she and Tilly are going to find Mrs. Creasy during their summer vacation.  Tilly asks, “How are we going to do that?”  Gracie replies, “We’re going to look for God.”

Of course, Grace and Tilly are not the only ones wondering what has happened to Mrs. Creasy.  Lots of neighborhood residents have confided in Mrs. C. over the years.  She was one of those ladies who is very friendly and always took time take to chat and listen.  As a result, neighbors are looking at each other with eyes of suspicion and hoping Mrs. Creasy has not revealed any of their secrets.

The two girls fly under the radar because of their young age.  They can ask questions without raising suspicion.  The adults are not giving their inquiries much thought.  The two young detectives begin going door to door in their search for Mrs. C and God.  Their cover story:  They are Brownies working on their merit badges.  Their ploy opens many doors.  These two bright girls begin to get bits and pieces of information unwittingly shared during their investigation.

One neighbor in particular is shunned by the other adults because of an unsolved incident from 10 years earlier.  Of course, he is automatically at the top of list of suspects.  The neighborhood residents have also reminded others of a mysterious house fire several years ago the cause of which has never been addressed completely.

Cannot give away too much.  I do not want you to miss out playing detective.    I kept notes as I read The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and had no clue what happened to Mrs. Creasy.  And what about that mysterious fire?  And the drainpipe?  And the goats and the sheep?

Another neighborhood.  Another mystery.  Ok ladies and gentlemen, buckle your seat belts and hang on!  The Woman in the Window (2018) by A. J. Finn is one fast read.  Filled with short sentences, short paragraphs, and short chapters.  You will be turning the pages at a dizzying speed.


This suspense novel starts out on October 24th with Anna Fox, child psychologist, peeking out her windows at the Millers, neighbors who live across the street from her.  October 25th Anna is on the phone describing the scene to her daughter Olivia.  October 26th a description of her multi-storied, fully restored home. And on October 27th new neighbor are moving into #207 for which they paid $3.45 million.

Anna does not leave her home because she has been diagnosed as agoraphobic and suffers from PTSD.  Her entire is centered around the time at her window or watching old movies.  Think “Rear Window”.  Anything that Anna needs is delivered to her home, including her cases of wine.

Anna is estranged from her husband who has taken a new job and their young daughter.  Daily life for Anna is watching out her window, filling her glass with wine, and more often as not, mixing her meds with her beverage of choice.

During one of her days of watching from the window using the type of camera with a strong zoom lens just as spies in movies often use.  She thinks she has witnessed a murder being committed.  Anna is sure enough that she contacts the police.  Conrad Little, the police detective that comes by to get the info needed from her.  He is a nice, likeable sort of fellow, but does not believe Anna’s story.

When does he not believer her?  Because Anna is not even sure she actually saw anything.  She is having a hard time separating fact from fiction.  Anna has doubts.  Maybe she imagined the whole scene.

Anna does have some contact with the world outside her door.  Besides a few visits from neighbors, Ethan, Jane, and Alistair, who are aware of her spying, she has brief contact with the outside world because her food is delivered regularly along with her cases of wine.

Then there is David.  David is the young man who rents the basement level of her home.  He is very handsome, but does have a questionable past.  He comes and goes as he pleases.

Anna is also a member of an online group, Agora.  Through Agora she keeps in touch with others who have the same issues as she.  Plus, Anna often offers help to others with her background and experience as a child psychologist.

The tale follows Anna’s adventures up through November 15.  By the time you finish that day you will want to take a deep breath and just sit for a time to get your heart rate down.

If you read and liked Gone Girl or Girl on a Train, then The Woman at the Window might just be a perfect choice.  It is a fast read with all kinds of twists and turns.  This thriller almost dares you to put it down!









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