THE AINSLEY CASE by Bellamy Partridge


Email this review


An Outario County murder case, known to the author's father, is reviewed here in all its small town (Phelps, New York) trimmings. Beautiful, young Zelda Price marries aging widower Martin Alnsley and proves to be an exemplary wife until Curly, who has a bad reputation with women, comes to work as their hired man. Infatuated, she runs away with him but hurries home, to Mr. Partridge, when Curly confesses he has killed her husband. With the town already linking her to the killing, she is ostracized; Mr. Partridge's legal maneuvera keep her out of the district attorney's strategy and prove her innocent and a legal holiness. Then comes rehabilitation with always the fear of Curly's return; she has mental collapse and Dr. Hemingway, a follower of Breuer and Freud, works in a new way; Europe adds to the cure, but at the village's centennial Curly is caught, tried and condemned. In escapes, threatens Zelda and in caught again -- to be hanged -- and Dr. Hemingway is on his my to propose to Zelda. The tricks of this trade are -- the local background, the machinery of trial, and defense, the embryonic psychological approaches -- and the overall presentation of crime -- and social mores -- for a period pastiche. Homegrown but hardy.

Publisher: Random House