The Late Edwina Black

The Late Edwina Black
Edwina Black has not been well. When her devoted maid comes to check on her, she discovers that Mrs. Black is unconscious. Edwina’s husband, Gregory, working in the greenhouse at the time, must run into town to fetch the doctor. Edwina’s assistant, Elizabeth, approaches the bedroom door and asks, “Is there anything I can do?”

Alas, there is nothing more that can be done. Edwina Black is dead.

The funeral is well attended even though Edwina had a dark reputation. At best, she was described as vindictive, bitter, and cruel.

When she was alive, she filled the house with resentment. She forced her husband to work as a teacher, even though he had other aspirations. She would summon Elizabeth by banging a cane against the floorboard with such force that it shook the glass windchime which hung on the first-floor ceiling below.

Even though Edwina is dead and buried, the jingling of the windchime makes Elizabeth jump. She believes it is the spirit of Edwina watching their every move.


Happily, there is good to be found in Edwina’s passing. There is the inheritance, of course, in which all of the household members have a substantial interest.

Moreover, it is now safe for Gregory and Elizabeth to publicly declare their affection for each other. Gregory proposes but as the two are leaving for sunny Italy, they are stopped by a visit from Scotland Yard.

Edwina Black was murdered. Arsenic poisoning.

Jingle, jingle.

Although Gregory and Elizabeth lovingly defend and support each other under interrogation, it becomes clear that they are the main suspects.

The maid is the one who tipped off the authorities. Edwina herself had recently confessed to the maid that she knew about the affair; she believed it was just a matter of time before one of them tried to kill her.

On another occasion, Edwina had warned Elizabeth to avoid trusting Gregory. He did not come from money and would do anything to maintain his lifestyle.

As for the poison itself, it had to be administered the morning of her death – most likely in the milk Edwina drank every morning. The maid usually brought it up to her, but on that day, Elizabeth volunteered to bring the milk to Edwina’s bedside.

Both had motive, and both had opportunity.

Under the strain of the investigation their suspicions begin to grow and their trust in one another begins to deteriorate. Instead of standing by each other, the two start to reveal clues to the Inspector implicating the other.

Jingle, jingle, jingle.

Complete with a surprise twist at the end, this mystery/thriller stars Geraldine Fitzgerald as Elizabeth and David Farrar as Gregory. It is a cautionary tale that relies on the strength of the imagination and how it plays a role in suspicion.

As the Inspector so aptly put it, “The ground has to be fertile before you can plant a seed.”

And in The Late Edwina Black, the seeds of suspense are well sowed.

** This film was screened at my own expense.

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