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  • The Murder Room

The Secret of Elizabeth

Vera Caspary

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Crime & mystery

'Vera Caspary is an expert at suspense and suspicion' New York Times

Kate and Allan Royce are driving home from a party in Westport, Connecticut one night when they see a girl in a beautiful but muddied dress wandering in the road and stop to pick her up. She is suffering from amnesia, so they name her Elizabeth X and take her into their home while the police try to establish her identity.

They are left in peace, until first a couple claim her as their daughter and then a psychiatrist arrives to say that she has escaped from his clinic. What does seem certain is that she is the child of wealthy parents.

But who really is Elizabeth X, and what has happened to her?

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Vera Caspary

Vera Caspary (1899-1987)
Vera Caspary, the acclaimed American writer of novels, plays, short stories and screenplays, was born in Chicago in 1899. Her writing talent shone from a young age and, following the death of her father, her work became the primary source of income for Caspary and her mother. A young woman when the Great Depression hit America, Caspary soon developed a keen interest in Socialist causes, and joined the Communist Party under a pseudonym. Although she soon left the party after becoming disillusioned, Caspary's leftist leanings would later come back to haunt her when she was greylisted from Hollywood in the 1950s for Communist sympathies. Caspary spent this period of self-described 'purgatory' alternately in Europe and America with her husband, Igee Goldsmith, in order to find work. After Igee's death in 1964, Caspary returned permanently to New York, where she wrote a further eight titles. Vera Caspary died in 1987 and is survived by a literary legacy of strong independent female characters.

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