The Tightrope Walker

Author: Dorothy Gilman

At the age of twenty-two, Amelia Jones finds herself coming out of a bad point in her life, uncertain and wavering. Determined to move on, however, she purchases an old junk shop and busies herself with running the business. One evening, as she is playing an old hand organ she found in the shop, Amelia discovers a note hidden inside–a note that will change not only her future but her very self in ways she could never have imagined.

The Tightrope Walker is just the sort of old mystery story that I love. Certainly, there is a great deal of plot development around the mystery itself–in this case an old murder that is brilliantly related to the protagonist’s own childhood and personal life experiences. But the story is at least as much about the changes in the characters, and it shows a delightful panorama of personal growth in both the main character and in the people she comes in contact with. I also love the thread of continuity the author brings by tying in The Maze in the Heart of the Castle from Amelia’s childhood through the rest of the plot. The Tightrope Walker is definitely on my recommended list.

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