Ethel Lina White, The Lady Vanishes

Ethel Lina White, The Lady Vanishes

Iris Carr, an English girl holidaying in the pre-war Balkans, becomes friendly with Miss Froy, to all appearances an innocent, middle-aged governess. They return to England on the same train, but Miss Froy suddenly disappears from her compartment. A conveniently available doctor tries to convince Iris that she is suffering from hallucinations and that Miss Froy never existed; but she enlists the help of a somewhat improbable Sir Galahad, and together they fall headlong into a world of secret agents and disguised identities.

Ethel Lina White was a British crime writer, best known for her novel The Wheel Spins (1936), on which the Alfred Hitchcock film, The Lady Vanishes (1938), was based, and Some Must Watch (1933), on which the film The Spiral Staircase (1946) was based.

Born in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales, in 1876, White started writing as a child, contributing essays and poems to children’s papers. Later she began to write short stories, but it was some years before she wrote books.

She left employment in a government job working for the Ministry of Pensions in order to pursue writing. Her writing was to make her one of the best known crime writers in Britain and the USA during the 1930s and ’40s.

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