While the Patient Slept

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Overview

On a blustery February day Sarah Keate arrives at a gloomy mansion to nurse old Adolph Federie, bedbound after a stroke. Meeting the patient sets off an alarm inside her, but fleeing the house is impossible.The redoubtable red-haired nurse is stuck there with a strange coterie and a black cat named Genevieve. Originally published in 1930, a year after her debut mystery novel The Patient in Room 18, While the Patient Slept strengthened Mignon G. Eberhart's hold on fame.
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Overview

On a blustery February day Sarah Keate arrives at a gloomy mansion to nurse old Adolph Federie, bedbound after a stroke. Meeting the patient sets off an alarm inside her, but fleeing the house is impossible.The redoubtable red-haired nurse is stuck there with a strange coterie and a black cat named Genevieve. Originally published in 1930, a year after her debut mystery novel The Patient in Room 18, While the Patient Slept strengthened Mignon G. Eberhart's hold on fame.
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Editorial Reviews

Gale Research
Eberhart also won the Scotland Yard prize for this novel, "deservedly," according to Will Cuppy of Books. In this novel, Keate is working as a private nurse at Federie house when her patient is murdered, and she and O'Leary must track down the killer. A reviewer forBookman said, "This book places detective fiction on a higher level than ever before and is heartily recommended to fans." Like The Patient in Room 18, described by the New York Times as a "good, creepy yarn," While the Patient Slept builds what would become the trademark Eberhart atmosphere.
Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Though female sleuths are the rage today, Eberhart broke new ground with the introduction of Nurse Sarah Keate in The Patient in Room 18 in 1929. A year later, as Agatha Christie's Miss Jane Marple made her debut, Eberhart published While the Patient Slept, and she and Nurse Keate were catapulted to fame. Sarah, "an old maid" with a "lively and inquiring mind," has a knack for murder and mayhem. Hired to care for the comatose patriarch of the reclusive Federie clan, she is immediately struck by the gloom and doom of the old manse and its mysterious occupants. The first murder occurs within feet of a dozing Sarah, and a second leaves "the respectable and respected spinster" shaken. Enter police detective Lance O'Leary, the perfect foil for Sarah's acerbic wit and derring-do. Though the language is often dated and readers will catch on before Sarah, Eberhart's timing and gothic atmosphere are second to none. As the suspense steadily builds, Federie House's darkness and decay seep from the pages until the satisfying denouement. Though Sarah may not be as quick as today's pistol-packing feminists, her return is a welcome addition to the distinguished ranks of other silver-streaked gumshoes.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though female sleuths are the rage today, Eberhart broke new ground with the introduction of Nurse Sarah Keate in The Patient in Room 18 in 1929. A year later, as Agatha Christie's Miss Jane Marple made her debut, Eberhart published While the Patient Slept, and she and Nurse Keate were catapulted to fame. Sarah, ``an old maid'' with a ``lively and inquiring mind,'' has a knack for murder and mayhem. Hired to care for the comatose patriarch of the reclusive Federie clan, she is immediately struck by the gloom and doom of the old manse and its mysterious occupants. The first murder occurs within feet of a dozing Sarah, and a second leaves ``the respectable and respected spinster'' shaken. Enter police detective Lance O'Leary, the perfect foil for Sarah's acerbic wit and derring-do. Though the language is often dated and readers will catch on before Sarah, Eberhart's timing and gothic atmosphere are second to none. As the suspense steadily builds, Federie House's darkness and decay seep from the pages until the satisfying denouement. Though Sarah may not be as quick as today's pistol-packing feminists, her return is a welcome addition to the distinguished ranks of other silver-streaked gumshoes. (Apr.)
Bookman

"This book places detective fiction on a higher level than ever before."—Bookman

New York Times

"This is Mrs. Eberhart's second mystery story, and it is even better than her first."—New York Times

Outlook

"Eerie it is, as eerie can be, and a good yarn to boot."—Outlook

Saturday Review of Literature

"It has all the ingredients of a first rate thriller. Federie House, with its sombre ruggedness on an almost deserted road, with its mysterious turrets, its darkened draperies, its heavily carpeted floors, and its sinister occupants, is an almost perfect setting for a mystery story."—Saturday Review of Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780884117599
  • Publisher: Amereon, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/28/1976
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 313

Meet the Author

In a career spanning more than a half century Mignon G. Eberhart has acquired a legion of readers for such well-crafted, atmospheric mysteries as The White Cockatoo, From This Dark Stairway, The Chiffon Scarf, and Woman on the Roof.

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