The Grey Room by Eden Phillpotts | Mystery Fiction

(5 customer reviews)

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There’s a mysterious room, the grey room, and it seems that those who sleep in that room die.


The Grey Room by Eden Phillpotts | Mystery Fiction

The grey room is a mysterious room. The detective thinks he is dealing with a normal murder, but they soon discover that there is something more to the the grey room. How ever sleeps there is found dead, but there seems to be no cause for the death.

5 reviews for The Grey Room by Eden Phillpotts | Mystery Fiction

  1. Anonymous

    I downloaded this book because I was about to spend a week hiking in Dartmoor, Devonshire, England. I had spent time in Dorset years ago and read all the Thomas Hardy I could find. When I was preparing for Devon, I wanted to find a writer who did for Devonshire what Hardy did for Dorset (Wessex). I found Eden Phillpotts. He is a somewhat unknown writer…but very prolific in his body of work. This book is part ghost story, part mystery and very much rooted in the Moors. Not rooted as much as, say, “Hound of the Baskerfields”, but still using the setting as part of the plot.

    The Grey Room of the title is just that. A room in a manor house called Chadlands. The time is somewhere between the World Wars. The Grey Room has a problem, or rather the Lord of the manor has a problem (with the Grey Room). It seems that anyone who spends the night in this space, will be found dead at daybreak. The local doctor cannot find any cause whatsoever that would explain their demise.

    That is the core of the narrative. No cause of death.

    The folks gathered in the house on one such occasion, find themselves debating the existence of the spirit world against the more rational “there surely must some scientific explanation”. This round of talking can get a bit tedious but when some of the debaters begin to be the victims, then the search for an explanation is ratcheted up.

    The solution to the mystery? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Sorry.

  2. Anonymous

    The Plot: During a 1920’s house party at the ancestral estate of Sir Walter Lennox, the sordid reputation of the unused Grey Room is a topic of discussion. An ancestor of Sir Walter’s died in the room under mysterious circumstances — although she was in her 80’s so how mysterious is that? Years later a robust young woman meets a similar fate, being found in the morning looking peacefully from bed with dead eyes. To debunk the myth one of the house party connives to sleep in the room, and a repetition of the previous death occurs. Sir Walter’s nephew talks him into hiring a detective to uncover the truth. But before the truth comes to light a number of other deaths occur.

    A Review: I enjoy mysteries with a supernatural twist, so I did enjoy reading this obscure book. The ending was a bit of a let-down, but not unexpectedly. The writing style is pleasant, although there is way too much of dinner conversations that drone on for pages, mostly filled with speculations about the “here-after” and lots of religious clap-trap, since one of the characters is a parson. It’s easy to skip over these parts and just read the meat of the story without missing anything.

  3. Anonymous

    It is definitely a period piece with a setting in an English country house. The cast of characters could have been assembled by Wodehouse, but they aren’t funny and the book isn’t remotely like any Blandings Castle book you may have read. This is an old fashioned mystery which I did keep reading because I wondered how the mystery would be solved. However I found some herky jerky scene shifts annoying. Occasionally the author engaged in lyrical descriptive passages, and it is a shame there isn’t more of this fine writing in the book! There is a missing portions toward the end of the book. The characters are cardboard, there is an awfully lot of confidence in the police, and assumptions just stand there looking stupid. What I found most interesting were the conversations between characters, cardboardy as they were, which told of issues and revealed what people probably were thinking around 1920 in England, especially if they were upper class.

  4. Anonymous

    This book seemed terribly long, though in fact fairly short. Most of it, after setting up the locked room murders, is spent on alternate theories presented without action or interesting human interaction. The solution is clever.

  5. Anonymous

    Eden Phillpotts greatly influenced the writings of Agatha Christie, so if you like her work, you should find Phillpotts’ work interesting. The Grey Room takes place at a manor house on Dartmoor. The beginning paragraphs paint the scene beautifully, but, like most British mysteries, the plot and character development are the be-all and end-all of this novel. Slower and dryer than Christie, but an intriguing story. This edition does not identify the fact that The Grey Room was a serial publication and dates to 1920. It was in The Popular Magazine originally.

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