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!Free E-pub ♷ Wax ⚈ On The Outskirts Of The Small English Town Of Riverpool Stands A Waxwork Museum, Where Several People Have Died Under Mysterious CircumstancesSonia Thompson, A Young Journalist, Is Determined To Get To The Bottom Of The Strange Happenings At The Waxworks So She Resolves To Spend A Night There Alone Surrounded By Gruesome Wax Figures Of Madmen And Murderers In The Evil Chamber Where Someone Has Already Met His Death, Sonia Suddenly Feels Terror Grip Her For Slowly, Ever So Slowly, The Horrible Wax Figures Seem To Be Coming To LifeOne Of The Most Popular Crime Novelists Of The S And S, Ethel Lina White Is Best Known As The Author Of The Books That Inspired The Films The Spiral Staircase And The Lady Vanishes This New Edition Of Wax , A Brilliant Mixture Of Horror And Mystery, Is The First In Decades And Reproduces The Original Jacket ArtNTEMPORARY REVIEWS A Really Notable Achievement In The Macabre Time And Tide White Has Mastered The Difficult Art Of Writing A Mystery Horror Tale New York Times Gave Me The Best Thrill I Have Had For Some Time Moments Of Authentic Gooseflesh Compton Mackenzie Well, Will You Call Me Thompson , and Treat Me Just Like a Man Sonia Thompson, protagonist of Ethel Lina White s crime novel Wax, is an enterprising and self confident young woman, whose dream it is to be a well known journalist one day Only the Riverpool Chronicle, where she starts her career, does not seem such a grand outset since Riverpool is one of those sleepy little towns that offer little in the way of sensation, whose coverage would enable her to live up to her abilities as a newspaper writer The only place that is, even remotely, of interest is the waxworks in a somewhat shady area of the town, because that place, run, or rather, being on its last legs, prodded on by the sentimental Mrs Ames, is notorious for the fact that in the course of the years several deaths have occurred there When Sonia therefore starts writing a number of articles about the waxworks, which is also a trysting place for illicit lovers, not everybody in Riverpool is pleased with the idea, and murder is afoot Wax is the second novel by White that I have read, and like Fear Stalks the Village I have extremely enjoyed it, wondering why this particular crime writer, who, in her day and age, was as well known as Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie, should have passed into oblivion I, for once, consider White much wittier than either of the two other Ladies of Crime, but that s just my opinion, which is based on the perusal of two novels I also like her than I do Anna Katharine Green because White s style is lighter, funnier and less prone to Victorian melodrama.What do those two novels I read so far have in common, however Both give us a very satirical and galling view on small town life with its show of respectability and decency In Wax, for instance, we have the philandering alderman Cuttle, whose dream is to become Mayor of the town, and who is, for all his womanizing, an extremely popular man, when in Fear Stalks the Village we had a bunch of respectable households who were upset by a person sending anonymous letters threatening to drag people s meanest dirty secrets to light White is very good at drawing a clever, and entertaining, picture of that sordid kind of respectability, and her way of dropping lots of ambiguous hints by way of dark foreshadowing and ending every single chapter with a shameless cliff hanger definitely rushes her readers through her novels I, at least, used every free minute to go on reading Wax also features a heroine, who is rather modern for her times, in that she wants to remain in charge of her own life and is willing to take any risk to do so Even when she succumbs to her obligatory love interest, her colleague Wells, she points out to him that as a married woman she will still pursue her career as a journalist, thereby giving the lie to what one of her remote kinsmen s hopes As for her fine future, he was confident that some young man would soon remove her, painlessly and permanently, from the sphere of journalism White also draws a picture of the constraints and disadvantages that many traditional marriage arrangements held for the wife, as when we learn of some of the wives means of escapism, and as when one of the characters says, I may prefer security, she said If I am dependent on myself, it s up to me But a married woman is absolutely dependent on some man who may let her down When she s no longer young, he may desert her for a younger woman Or, unless the new Act becomes law, he may die and leave every penny away from her Or, to put it simply, using the words of the Riverpool doctor s wife Husbands are a big drawback to marriage Nevertheless, Wax is not a book with a message flaunted at its readers in an annoyingly self important way, but a very entertaining, often mercilessly funny crime novel, whose author skilfully manages to tie up all the loose ends, with only and that s why I feel it fair to give it four stars instead of five the ending itself slightly disappointing in that the surprise fell somewhat flat. Gut lesbarer klassischer Krimi, der wie ein alter S W Film vor den Augen des Leser abl uft Dreh und Angelpunkt ist ein Wachsfigurenkabinett, das dem Krimi einen netten Hauch von Horror bernat rlichem verleiht Alles scheint hier in einer geheimnisvollen Wechselbeziehung zum Panoptikum zu stehen Die junge und selbstbewusste Sonia, neu zugezogen in Riverpool, um ihre Karriere als Journalistin zu beginnen, lernt hier einige skurrile Charaktere kennen Doch bald steht das Panoptikum im Zentrum ihres Interesse, in dem es zu viele Todesf lle gab, um von einem Zufall zu sprechen zu k nnen.Ethel Lina White ist mit einigen B chern bekannt geworden, die auch verfilmt wurden, unter anderem THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE und A LADY VANISHES Ihre Heldinnen sind starke, selbstbewusste junge Frauen, die sich den Konventionen ihrer Zeit nicht beugen Auch Sonia muss sich von einer Dame der Gesellschaft den Vorwurf gefallen lassen, sie w rde als Angestellte bei der rtlichen Zeitung einem Mann den Arbeitsplatz wegnehmen, den dieser br uchte, um seine Familie zu ern hren Wenn der Wind ums Haus pfeift und die Abendd mmerung fr h einsetzt, ist die Jahreszeit f r PANOPTIKUM gekommen Leseempfehlung vor allem an Leser, die mehr auf Krimi Stimmung Wert legen als auf abgetrennte K rperteile und Hektoliter Blut. Is Wax a supernatural shocker or a murder mystery or something else entirely Based on some of the other Goodreads reviews I glanced at, your mileage may well vary based on which of those you expect, and which you want So let me say, without any further spoilers than this, that while there are plenty of horror flourishes when describing the Waxwork itself and its haunting figures, there is never really a horror or supernatural element to Wax.As to whether it s a murder mystery or something else I ll leave that to your judgment What I will say is that Wax is a delightfully charming and twisty story from an author better known for the novel that inspired The Lady Vanishes Following the adventures of rookie reporter Sonia Thompson, newly arrived at the town of Riverpool to work for the Chronicle or Crocodile as several characters call it, the book is filled with witty exchanges and lots and lots and lots and lots of subplots and loose threads that never feel like they can possibly all tie up together anywhere near as neatly as they do.And while some people seem frustrated by the lack of an overt supernatural or horror angle, the Waxwork, with its grim history and and atmospheric descriptions provided than enough of a chill up the spine for me. Wax is a 1935 Mystery novel by British author Ethel Lina White, that isn t particularly easy to find If you type Wax into the search thing at the top of the page, I can t remember what that is called, you get all kinds of things all having something to do with wax and nothing to do with the book I just read If you type Wax book, which I did because it was short and to the point, I thought, and you still get all kinds of things, lots of them are books, none of them are by Ethel Lina White, at least not on the first three pages, then I got tired of it and went back and this time typed Wax White book, now I got all sorts of pictures of white wax, things like white wax paper, I wonder what other color wax paper comes in, or essential deliwax paper, something like that, and finally I typed the entire thing, Wax Ethel Lina White, and finally got what I first put down, it is a 1934 mystery novel by Ethel Lina White It also says this Wax hadn t been in print for many years, and was difficult to get hold of in book formNo kidding However, Valancourt Books published a new edition in 2015I ve certainly never seen this, but I ll take their word for it The book is also available to read on Project Gutenberg AustraliaThat part I know is true Wax is a reworking of an earlier short story, Waxworks first published in the December 1930 issue of Pearson s Magazine and recently republished in Otto Penzler s Big Book of Christmas Mysteries 2013 and Silent Nights Christmas Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards 2015. I didn t know any of that, and now I have to go look for a short story called Waxworks as if I didn t have enough to do this month According to the same people who told us all that stuff I already typed, otherwise known as Wikipedia, this is the plot Wax is set in the small, fictional town of Riverpool On the outskirts of the town is a mysterious Waxwork museum with a dark history Young Journalist Sonia Thompson arrives at the town to work at the local newspaper, and is instantly intrigued by the museum She meets the suspicious townspeople and soon predicts there will be another death at the museum Very soon she is proved right, and it is up to Sonia to bust the legends surrounding the Waxworks and to discover who the real killer is.That doesn t exactly seem like the plot to me, they seem to be missing a few things I will agree that the Wax museum is mysterious and has a dark history It is also extremely creepy When the book first began I was wondering why I had never been in a Wax museum, or if there even were any Wax museums any, to thinking that if there was a Wax museum in the next town I wouldn t go near it And if I owned a Wax museum I would attempt to give the Wax a new waxing every once in a while, I don t know if you can wax a wax body, but you can wax a car, so I m going with that And I d redress them once in a while, and move them around But these people the wax ones stay the same forever, creepy So, nobody likes the Waxworks The people in town don t like it, so why they go there so often is beyond me, I could probably find better places to do what they are doing there, but anyway, even the owner is afraid in the Waxwork all alone, especially after dark of course, but sometimes, if your husband lets a lighted candle there, you have no choice but to go there in the middle of the night AS the Town Hall clock struck two, the porter of the Riverpool Waxwork Gallery stirred uneasily in bed What s the matter, Ames asked his wife sleepily Nothing, was the reply Only, I remember taking a candle with me into the Horrors, and I can t rightly say as I took it out again Instantly there was an upheaval under the quilt, followed by an eruption of blankets Then an elephantine hump, silhouetted on the reflected light of the wall, told Ames that his wife was sitting up in bed That Gallery s our bread, she declared Besides, think of my poor figures trapped in a fire You get up, Ames, and make sure the candle s out Oh, I doubted it I remember Lay down again But Mrs Ames had surged out of bed and was slipping into her shoes Having achieved his object, her husband drew the blanket over his head Salving his conscience by repeating, I doubted it, he went to sleep again.Nice guy So Mrs Ames goes out into the night to her dark, creepy, waxworks She entered the Gallery, and then stood on the threshold aware of a change This was not the familiar place she knew so well.It seemed to be full of people Seen in the light from the street lamp, which streamed in through the high window, their faces were those of men and women of character and intelligence They stood in groups as though in conversation, or sat apart in solitary reverie.But they neither spoke nor movedSo she arrives in the Waxworks, she goes into the office and finds that her husband did indeed leave a candle burning, blows it out of course, and finds herself now in the dark with her children But, as she threw her torch over them, a pinprick of light gleamed in each glassy eye, imparting a fiction of life They seemed to be looking at her with intent and furtive speculation, as though she were the object of a private and peculiarly personal inventory.Suddenly she remembered that she was among a company of poisoners.Although she was furious with herself for her weakness, her nerve crashed It was in vain that she reminded herself that these were, in reality, her very own Waxworks She treated them as her children It was true that they were a neglected family, for she was an amiable sloven but, occasionally, she brushed their clothes and hair, or cleaned their faces with a lick of spit.Now, however, as she hurried down the Gallery, she felt that they had grown alien and aloof They seemed to regard her with unfriendly eyes, as though she had interrupted some secret and exciting mystery.They resented her presence At this hour, the gallery belonged to Them.Mrs Ames lost no time in taking their hint She shuffled through the door, locked it behind her, and ran down the street in flapping shoes Less than five minutes later, she woke up her husband, to relate her experience I was never so scared in my life They weren t like the Waxworks I knew All the time I was there, they were watching me, just as if it was their place, and I d no right thereGo on, laugh You ve been safe and warm in bed, after trying to burn the gallery downBut you listen to me, Ames I tell you, those figures were up to some business of their own And I felt in my bones that it was no good business either See, I ll soon be hoping I never get anywhere near a Wax museum Sonia Thompson is near it though She has just arrived in town to work at the Riverpool Chronicle The reason she is going to work at the Riverpool Chronicle is because she is a reporter At least she will be when she begins working at the Chronicle But right now she is at the Waxworks, I guess because someone has to be This is Sonia s first night in town and things like this we must remember When, afterwards, she looked back on her first night at Riverpool, it always appeared intangible as the dust of a dream, so that she could not be sure of her memory Every place seemed to be dark, and buildings rocked There was confusion of senses, and optical illusion, in which men were transformed into waxworks and waxworks into men.We re told that Sonia knows nothing of its history, but still feels the pull that draws her inside the Gallery She may not know its history, but we do The place had a sinister reputation Built in 1833, it had been unlucky almost from its beginning The speculative builder who erected it had hanged himself in the Hall of Horrors During the Hungry Forties a tramp had been found inside dead from starvation In the Naughty Nineties a painted woman of the town had been murdered in the alcove, wherein was staged appropriately the final tableau in the career of Vice.Only recently, there had been a fresh link in the chain of tragedies A stranger a commercial traveller had sought a free lodging in the Gallery, and had paid his bill, according to precedent The porter discovered him in the morning, lying in Virtue s bed and the worthy patriarch had a corpse for a bedfellow.The post mortem disclosed cirrhosis of the liver A letter, vowing ferocious vengeance, and signed, Your loving husband, indicated an unfaithful wife The combined effect of rage and drink had been a fit.Ok, now we have Sonia walking about the nearly empty Waxworks when she comes across Mrs Ames, who gives her a short tour of the museum This is another one of those things we should rememberIs this the oldest figure in the collection she asked, as she paused before a pathetic waxwork, with a blurred pallid face, and a robe of moth eaten black velveteen One of them, replied Mrs Ames sadly Mary of Scotland But she s worn the worst She she s got to go But we keep putting it off She gulped as though she were discussing the fate of some pet animal, while Sonia sighed in sympathy Poor doomed Mary, she murmured She reminds me of my favourite doll I wouldn t go to sleep without her They burned her because they said she was germy, and gave me a new one which I slaughtered on the spot But Mother always knows bestI do feel for you about poor Mary I expect she s real to you We also get an idea of some of the townspeople from Mrs AmesIn fact, some of the Waxworks remind me of them, and I get quite mixed Henry the Eighth is the spit of Alderman Cuttle He s got the big shop, like Selfridge, and he s going to be our next mayor He s a terror for the ladies I could fall for him myself And Elizabeth s got the same red hair and sharp face as Miss Yates She s Alderman Cuttle s secretary, but she means to be the second Mrs Cuttle Is the Alderman s wife dead asked Sonia Not yet What s Mrs Cuttle like Like a sack of potatoes, except she hasn t got their eyes She ll need them She was only a nurse, but she pulled the Alderman through a bad illness, and he married her And now she stops the way I wouldn t be in her shoes for all her fine house But, back to the evil reputation of the GalleryDo you get many visitors she asked Now and again, was the vague reply The fact is, miss, the Gallery s got a a bad name They say you can t stay here all night and live to tell the tale That s intriguing Sonia felt a flicker of reviving interest Some one ought to test that theory Someone did Last month And they found him, next morning, dead as frozen mutton He threw a fit and passed out Oh, tough luck Coincidence, I suppose Curious It might be an idea for a newspaper Perhaps I ll try it out and write it up, myself See, it s saying things like that, and then doing things like that, that can get you killed There s a good reason this book is titledWax , for anyone who dies, whether it is murder, fits, or any other reason a person may be found dead, they are all linked to this museum Considering how many people go around saying they would never go there, an awful lot of people go there The same people I mean Once Sonia finally drags herself away from the Waxworks to the hotel where she is staying, she goes to the private bar and sinks down on the first deep leather chair she sees, and here it is that we first meet Alderman Cuttle, here he is With the alderman s entrance, fresh life flowed into the stagnant bar There was no doubt that the man possessed that indefinite quality known as personality His remarks were ordinary, but his geniality was unforced He seemed to revel in noise, much in the spirit of a boy with a firework.His popularity, too, was amazing The women clustered round him like bees on a sunflower but the men, also, plainly regarded him as a good sport It was obvious that he had both sympathy and tact Although he regarded the limelight as his special property he could efface himself Sonia noticed that he, alone, listened to Dr Nile s longwinded story about an anonymous patient without a trace of boredom.I know a guy that could be their alderman, it sounds just like him I can barely stand him When she mentions she had been to the museum, the landlady tells her that is in a low part of the town and she would never go there, Sir Julian, another man hanging out in the bar, also says he would never go there The doctor was there once, when he had to go see if the guy who died there was really dead He was See, no one goes to the Gallery Ok, without telling you any about who died, and how they died, and where they died, and why they died, and who killed who, I m going to end here and let you find out for yourselves, I will leave you with a few of my favorite linesPeople have been found dead here I wouldn t pass a night here for a hundred pounds Perhaps I will If I do, I ll tell you all about it in the Chronicle You won t Dead men tell no tales No, please don t misunderstand me The truth is, I hate girls I teach them all day and all night, too, sometimes When I m extra done, I bring them home with me I can t forget them Sonia s resentment melted at the flat note in Miss Munro s voice Teaching must be revolting if you haven t a vocation, she said Nobody has Teachers are the victims of Fate We are expiating the sins of our fathers and forefathers unto the third and fourth generation I was a little beast when I was at school I used to try and outstare the teachers when they were nervous or sensitiveNow, they stare at me Considering her big frame she was often below par Dr Nile declared that it was the result of living in an unventilated atmosphere.She knew that his theory was wrong Nothing was healthier than a stove heated studio with all the windows closed The only foes to health were draughts and clothes.There was no sign of Mrs Ames, and the Gallery seemed entirely deserted But as Sonia lingered to gaze around, to her surprise she saw in the distance the back of another woman who wore a grey spuirrel coat.She was on her knees, and her head was bowed, as though she were praying to a wax effigy clad in plum satin.It was Mary of England.I suppose I could say because I enjoyed it so much and can think of so many things to say, but I won t If I were not left puzzled by one thing that happened because if we were told why or how I missed it, if it were not for that I d give it five stars, but it s only four unless the answer comes to me soon On to the next book, happy reading Oh, if you type Wax by White this is one thing you get Wax introduces us to the town of Riverpool along with rookie journalist Sonia, who is fascinated by the seedy waxworks museum Odd things are afoot in Riverpool and we know from the opening pages that things are inexorably drawing to a nail biting nighttime confrontation in the waxworks Hall Of Horrors This successfully concludes my quest to read every Ethel Lina White book available online hint Project Gutenberg Australia has the best collection Once again, the only thing I don t like about her novels is their titles These are completely unpretentious thrillers and they are really rewarding She dashes off original and lifelike characters in just a few sentences with seemingly no effort Many authors tend to sort of recycle characters across their novels and you simply don t see White doing this But the main thing you notice is that she really knows how to build and sustain suspense This was a fun, thrilling read, most similar to her other community under threat ensemble mystery, Fear Stalks The Village Some Must Warch, The Wheel Spins and A Step in the Dark are driven by a central heroine who must survive an appalling situation by using her wits and winning the trust of others. This was my first Ethel Lina White murder mystery book, and it most certainly will not be my last White is a fabulous storyteller, balancing laugh out loud funny bone chilling fright with perfection, as our poor newbie heroine attempts to solve a series of murders immediately after starting her new job on a small town paper Running through an elaborate cast of mysterious characters, including an even mysterious and spooky old wax museum, WAX has got it all If you love the great old RKO B movie mysteries of the 30 s and 40 s then by all means find this book. Technically this is of a 2.5 stars, because while it is beautifully written with excellent descriptions and characterisation I was lead to believe that it had a supernatural element which it does not Therefore while it is a charming old murder mystery style novel and certainly well written enough to keep me reading, I was disappointed and not that keen on the plot as it was I m passing it over to my dad, who likes those kind of books, to see if he enjoys it. 3.7 for me Wax is a novel first published in 1935, one that is heavy on atmosphere from the first page on The story begins when, at two a.m Mr Ames, who along with his wife serves as a caretaker for the old waxworks museum just outside of the small town of Riverpool, wakes up and remembers that he may have left a candle burning in the Horrors When his wife goes to investigate, she gets a creepy vibe from the wax figures, a company of poisoners whom she felt resented her presence, since At this hour, the gallery belonged to Them Her fear drives her home in a hurry, where she tells Mr Ames that those figures were up to some business of their own And I felt in my bones that it was no good business either Seriously what a cool opening We soon discover that the Waxwork Gallery was built in 1833, and had been almost unlucky almost from its beginning A number of strange deaths had plagued the gallery through the 19th century and then on into the 20th It s also a creepy place opening the door of the Waxwork Gallery reveals a dimly lit space with panelled walls draped with black velvet, coated in dust Some of the figures have seen better days for example, Mary of Scotland is wearing moth eaten black velvet and is described by Mrs Ames as being germy and in need of replacement When young Sonia Thompson comes to town to take a job at the local newspaper, the Gallery is the first place she visits, and thinks she sees two people come to life Mrs Ames tells her that she herself saw no one, so Sonia puts it down to an illusion But, as Sonia begins to acquaint herself with the people of Riverpool, she is warned away from the wax museum than once sage advice, as it turns out, since a body is soon discovered there But it s not just the Waxworks that give Sonia the willies she soon finds herself wading knee deep into closely held secrets that no one, absolutely no one, wants revealed and people who will go to great lengths to keep these hidden Sonia, though, is a reporter and she wants to discover exactly what is going on in this small town She decides that there is only one way to get to the truth, and that is to spend a night on her own inside the Gallery With a good mystery and lots of dark, creepy atmosphere, this is definitely a fun read What sets this book apart from a number of other works of the time is the The Gallery, which is the focal point of this book, and is in its own way connected to pretty much everything that goes on in the town It is not as taut as I generally like my mystery novels to be, and it took a while to get to used to the author s sort of rambling style On the flip side, what I discovered is that although it seems like there is a wee bit o the babble going on here, there are important clues to be uncovered throughout the story, so there were places that I went back to in order to pick up what I d missed I have to say that I was hooked immediately, and that the novel turned out to be a great ride with a quite an ending Serious vintage crime readers will definitely enjoy this one, as will readers looking for something just a bit off the beaten path I will be revisiting Ethel Lina White later this year, as I plan to read her Some Must Watch aka The Spiral Staircase as well as her The Man Who Loved Lions The Man Who Was Not There , both of which became films in the 1940s.