THE MYSTERY OF MARIE LAFARGE by Edith Saunders

THE MYSTERY OF MARIE LAFARGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A delicate reconstruction of a criminal cause celebre, the trial of Marie Lafarge for the poisoning of her husband and the theft of a diamond necklace- from her closest friend, which at the time- the 19th century- aroused a fever of partisan sympathies and today still sustains its curious fascination. For Marie LaFarge, with her mannered romantic charm and cultivation, with her calm and candid protestations of innocence and the aura of sanctity which shrouded her last years, was for many an unlikely suspect in a case which was based on circumstantial evidence. Passionately inclined, Marie- at 23- was still unwed; her best friend, another Marie, of superior birth and considerable dowry, had married a Vicomte, and the loss of her diamond necklace had gone unprosecuted although Marie had not been unsuspected in its disappearance; and finally the marriage to LaFarge, a widower, an ironmaster, crude and insolvent, was arranged by her relatives and rushed through- in spite of Marie's distaste for the man and the shock to her sensibilities of his ""insistent vulgarity"". LaFarge's sudden illness and Marie's purchases of arsenic- for the rats; the suspicion of his family which progressed to the point of open accusation; his death- and the trial which never broke her composure or her appearance of innocence, all this makes up a period portrait of appealing inscrutability for the fanciers of Joseph Shearing, Lillian de la Torre Bueno, etc.

Pub Date: June 4th, 1952
Publisher: Morrow