"Pretty much like people first thing in the morning, if you ask me." ("Nice Gorilla," by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins, Malice Domestic I, edited by Elizabeth Peters)
This is a fascinating story that shows a woman picking up the first little clue and drawing a false conclusion. Soon there are more clues to puzzle Mrs. White about her carpenter husband, and she begins to probe her memory for almost forgotten, but now tantalizingly suggestive hints that might help her decipher the present. At the same time, her husband Paul increasingly recognizes that his wife isn't the soft and placid woman he thought he married. The tension builds until plot developments and changing characters' viewpoints shift anxiety into overdrive.
Margaret Tracy's Mrs. White is not a gore fest. In addition to gripping psychological suspense, this book offers some interesting character portraits. It's too bad that, after winning the 1983 Edgar for Best Paperback Original, it's largely forgotten today.
After reading newspaper accounts and listening to their policeman friend, is it any wonder that Mrs. Bunting becomes suspicious when she overhears the reclusive lodger, holed up in his room, reading aloud passages from the Bible that are uncomplimentary to women? He has already forbidden her to enter his room under any circumstances. And then there is his appearance and manner, which are so bizarre. Soon, Mrs. Bunting is lying in bed listening for him to tiptoe out of the house in the middle of the night.