Red Pepper Burns (Grace S. Richmond, 1910)

R.P. Burns, M.D., is a surgeon evidently of some note who drives a fast, sporty car. He adopts a boy from one of his deceased patients, he falls in love with a woman, she travels south for the winter and he breaks his arm in a car accident, then he marries the woman.

Red Pepper Burns was a weirdly disjointed little tale. It’s as if Grace Richmond wrote the book, realized it was only 150 pages, then inserted several more chapters vaguely related to the narrative to pad it out to novel length. The adopted boy, who I expected would become central to the romance plot, all but disappears straight after his introduction, and for the life of me I can’t figure what purpose the character served.

When I picked it up, I was looking for a light and charming read like Round the Corner in Gay Street. Red Pepper Burns was light enough, but it confused me more than it charmed.

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