Phantom of the 13th Floor
Marilyn Ross | Popular Library | 1975 | 252 Pages
Young actress Joan Crane stars in a revival of a Broadway play originally written for her grandmother, Molly Miller, whose mysterious falling death from the penthouse at the Brant Hotel has haunted her from childhood. Overcoming her own fears of the place, Joan accepts an invitation to a party at the hotel, but instead finds a shadowy encounter with a mesmerist, who predicts her own violent death from the penthouse balcony.
Joan begins to suffer blackouts, and old stage acquaintances of Molly Miller are being killed, driving Joan’s fear that the ghostly hand of her grandmother is directing her to seek vengeance against those responsible for Molly’s death. Joan calls upon a small circle of friends—her fiancé, her dedicated cab driver and a friendly neighborhood restaurant owner—to help solve the mystery.
Phantom of the 13th Floor establishes an appealing supernatural atmosphere from Joan’s first encounter on a floor that doesn’t exist in the Brant Hotel, and maintains an entertaining rhythm throughout—tea and toast for breakfast, a performance of “Molly and Me” at the theatre, followed by a taxi ride to the next stop in the investigation—as she uncovers the true circumstances of her grandmother’s death.