England, 1948: Semi-retired spy Leo Page and country doctor James Sommers team up to solve a decades-old mystery.
When James learns that an uncle he hasn’t heard from in ages has left him something in his will, he figures that the least he can do is head down to Cornwall for a weekend to honor the old man’s parting wishes. He finds the family home filled with half-remembered guests and unwanted memories, but more troubling is that his uncle has tasked his heirs with uncovering the truth behind a woman’s disappearance twenty years earlier.
Leo doesn’t like any of it. He’s just returned from one of his less pleasant missions and maybe he’s slightly paranoid about James’s safety, but he’s of the opinion that rich people aren’t to be trusted where wills are concerned. So he does what any sensible spy would do and infiltrates the house party.
Together they unravel a mystery that exposes long-standing family secrets and threatens to involve James more than either of them would like.
I thoroughly enjoyed Hither Page, the first book in the series, but I liked this one even more. Dilapidated old manor houses full of family secrets are such a quintessential element of Golden Age mysteries.
Obviously, I’m not going to give anything away, but I was pleasantly surprised by the denouement, which I did not see coming at all.
In addition to our two protagonists, Sebastian has assembled a delightful cast of supporting characters, most of whom are harboring secrets—apologies for the repetition—most of which are revealed by the end of the book.
James and Leo have cobbled together the flimsiest of pretenses to explain Leo’s presence, but being together provides the men with an opportunity to evaluate their relationship and what they mean to each other. It’s a rather poignant contrast to the gritty search for any clues that would explain what happened to the woman who vanished from the home twenty years earlier.
I would absolutely recommend The Missing Page. Readers would benefit from starting with Hither Page in order to gain an appreciation for the protagonists’ backstories and the origins of their relationships, but if one chooses to ignore my advice, this book functions well enough as a standalone. If you are looking for a mystery written in the style of the great Golden Age classics, then look no further. This has been a mess of a year thus far (and it’s only January!) and this book was a soothing balm—the perfect distraction by one of my favorite writers!
I received a digital ARC of this book.