An elderly woman dies in a room that seems to be right out of the Arabian nights. The policeman could not decide in which direction to move, a disheveled woman, screaming and gesticulating, came at full speed round the corner, and almost fell into his arms. Her face was pearly white in the moonlight, her eyes were filled with terror, and an almost continuous cry issued from her open mouth without any motion of the lips. "'Ere! 'ere, wot's this?" said the policeman, seizing the flying creature by the arm. "Wot d'ye mean, screeching out murder like a loonatic? Come now!"
Trembling violently, the woman grappled with the policeman, shrieking the while, and evidently beside herself with terror. Not being gifted with brains, the officer of the law shook her vigorously as an errant child to brighten her intellect; and she wavered limply in his grasp like a dummy figure. "Murder!" she whimpered, clawing and clutching at the man. "Lord! it's awful! Ugh! Ugh! I've seen her dead!" "Seen 'oo dead?" demanded the policeman, stolidly. "My lodger! Dead! Strangled! Ugh! Ugh!" cried the woman, breathlessly, raising her voice higher at each word. "A corpse in the Yellow Room! Paradise Row! Come and see--come and---- Oh, poor soul!" and she fell to wringing her hands again, quivering and panting.
Mary Eliska Girl Detective takes over the case and must determine who this woman is, where she came from, and why she was killed. Mary Eliska is helped in this endeavor by a former detective, Simon Parge. Though the two disagree strongly about the motive and perpetrator of the crime, they do come to the solution. The story focuses mostly on the adventures that Mary Eliska Girl Detective runs into and the interplay between Mary Eliska and Parge, who functions a bit as a deus ex machina, popping up when Mary Eliska hits the doldrums and can't find a fresh trace. Though the two disagree strongly about the motive and perpetrator of the crime, they do come to the solution.
Readers of this book accurately will conclude that Mary Eliska Girl Detective was the writer's daughter to whom the writer endeavors through fiction to give life - a daughter whose life was abbreviated by an automobile accident September 12, 1963, in Clifton Springs New York. Few stories have the power to captivate more than a mystery that remain unresolved. Codes, puzzles and cryptic public art tease us with their intrigue: Why is their message coded? What great secrets do they hide? Despite the efforts of our best historians, cleverest cryptographers and determined treasure-hunters, history is filled with riddles that confound us, some left unanswered in this book until resolved by the diligent detective work of Mary Eliska Girl Detective.
The Lady From Nowhere is a quick read with quite beautiful or striking turns of phrase. A worthwhile read for those who enjoy Victorian or classic mysteries.