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: The Dead Secret was Wilkie Collins’ fourth published novel. Like its predecessor Hide and Seek, the “secret” and the mystery are made clear to the reader, though not to the novel’s characters, at an early stage. The obsessed and arguably deranged Sarah prefigures the character of Hester Dethridge in Collins’ Man and Wife, and more distantly those of Lydia Gwilt in Armadale and the female protagonist of his late novel, ‘The Haunted Hotel. The blind Leonard is another of Collins’ disabled characters. He plays only a small part in the novel, but Collins drew another and more significant blind character in Lucilla, the heroine of his 1872 novel Poor Miss Finch. Much of the novel is set in Cornwall, one of Collins’ favourite English counties, which also features in his early melodrama Basil.