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On a blustery February day Sarah Keate arrives at a gloomy mansion to nurse old Adolph Federie, bedbound after a stroke. Meeting the patient sets off an alarm inside her, but fleeing the house is impossible. The redoubtable red-haired nurse is stuck there with a strange coterie and a black cat named Genevieve. Originally published in 1930, a year after her debut mystery novel The Patient in Room 18, While the Patient Slept strengthened Mignon G. Eberhart's hold on fame.