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By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Book cover Riceyman Steps

Arnold Bennet's masterly novel is a gritty tale about a bookseller whose life and love of a woman are afflicted by miserliness. It is set in London's characterful Clerkenwell district shortly after the First World War. - Summary by Anthony Ogus

By: Walter De la Mare (1873-1956)

Book cover Crossings: A Fairy Play

Under the terms of a will, the Wildersham children have to relocate from the family house in the city to "Crossings" in the country, and to spend the first fortnight alone fending for themselves in the house. The children encounter interesting country neighbors, including ghosts and fairies. Or are they dreaming? Walter De La Mare was a poet, and we have a number of his poems available at. This is his only play: "Crossings was produced for the first time in 1919, at the Wick School, Hove, to celebrate the coming of Peace...

By: Richard Marsh (1857-1915)

Book cover Judith Lee - Pages From Her Life

Judith Lee is a young woman with an unusual gift, she can read lips at a distance as well as she can hear the person next to her. Her skill leads her into a number of adventures. Written by Richard Marsh and published in the Strand Magazine in 1911, Marsh creates a strong independent female detective.

By: Grace Livingston Hill (1865-1947)

Book cover Story of a Whim

A group of girls send gifts and letters to one whom they think to be a young woman like them. "Christie" is really a poor young bachelor tending his orange grove in sunny Florida. Through his correspondence with Hazel he becomes a Christian, and falls in love with her. What will happen when she takes a trip south to meet her dear pen-pal? - Summary by LikeManyWaters

By: Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961)

Book cover Five Continental Op Stories

Before Sam Spade chased the black bird in The Maltese Falcon and Nick and Nora Charles stirred their first martinis in The Thin Man, the Continental Op walked early twentieth century San Francisco’s mean streets for the Continental Detective Agency. Dashiell Hammett used his own experiences as a Pinkerton operative to lend realistic detail to this creation. These first five stories were published in Black Mask magazine in 1923. - Summary by Winston Tharp

By: Grace Livingston Hill (1865-1947)

Book cover Big Blue Soldier

Back from the Great War, a penniless and disillusioned young soldier finds himself in the home of Miss Marilla Chadwick, a sweet old lady who is expecting her nephew for dinner. Mary Amber, Miss Marilla's neighbor, is also there. He hates girls. She hates men. What will be the result? He will fight girl in the concrete! - Summary by LikeManyWaters

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Book cover How To Tell A Story, and Other Essays (Version 2)

The complete collection of works using this title. Other versions, including the Project Gutenberg version, have been radically shortened. Mark Twain published several collections of his short stories and essays. This collection, like the others, dramatically demonstrates the eclectic nature of his work and the depth of his humanistic thinking. Each essay stands alone. Listeners will find many instances where modern times come to mind.

By: Jack London (1876-1916)

Book cover Abysmal Brute

Young Pat Glendon is twenty-two years old, weighs two-hundred and twenty pounds, has never drunk alcohol nor tasted tobacco and knows little of city life. He’s all muscle, moves with cat-like grace and possesses great stamina and strength acquired from living natural in the wilds of northern California with his father. Young Pat is a natural at prize-fighting. In addition to his brawn he has speed and a natural instinct for the sport. His father, a former heavyweight prize-fighter himself, has trained Young Pat and believes it is time for the boy to take on the heavyweight world...

By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915)

Book cover Lady's Mile

If you drive through the Lady's Mile, the most fashionable district in London, you will see people whose most distinguished ambition was to be known in that circle. A novelist, a painter, and some aristocrats, willing to prove themselves to the world. But what happens behind closed doors? Is the Lady's Mile as respectable as it seems? - Summary by Stav Nisser.

By: Annie Denton Cridge (1825-1875)

Book cover Man's Rights; or, How Would You Like It?: Comprising Dreams

"Man's Rights; or, How Would You Like It?: Comprising Dreams" is the first known feminist utopian novel written by a woman. The text features nine dreams experienced by a first-person female narrator. In the first seven dreams, she visits the planet Mars, finding a society where traditional sex roles and stereotypes are reversed. The narrator witnesses the oppression of the men on Mars and their struggle for equality. In the last two dreams, the narrator visits a future United States ruled by a woman president.

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

Book cover Men Like Gods

In the summer of 1921, a disenchanted journalist escapes the rat race for a drive in the country. But Mr. Barnstaple's trip exceeds his expectations when he and other motorists are swept 3,000 years into the future. The inadvertent time travelers arrive in a world that corresponds exactly to Barnstaple's ideals: a utopian state, free of crime, poverty, war, disease, and bigotry. Unfettered by the constraints of government and organized religion, the citizens lead rich, meaningful lives, passed in pursuit of their creative fancies...

Book cover Bealby; A Holiday

Bealby is the comical story of the escapade of a thirteen-year-old boy when he rebels against his placement as a steward's-room boy in the great house of an estate named Shonts and flees—not, however, before thoroughly upsetting a weekend party where the nouveau riche couple renting Shonts is entertaining the Lord Chancellor. - Summary by Wikipedia

By: F. Anstey (1856-1934)

Book cover Statement of Stella Maberly

From childhood Stella Maberly has been violently wilful and jealous, yet certain of her own superiority. She can be loving and friendly, but soon loses friends, when in the grip of her “demons” she acts with disdain and subtle cruelty, and then revels in the misery of her loneliness. Her paranoia results in tragedy for her best friend Evelyn, and Stella comes to believe that Evelyn is possessed by an evil spirit. In this statement Stella reflects on the events leading to her present situation...

By: Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823)

Book cover Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne

Ann Radcliffe is the founder of the gothic novel. This novel is no exception. The wicked baron murdered the good earl's father twelve years before the novel began. Only twelve years later, free from his mother's wishes, can the earl seek revenge. Meanwhile, Mary, the earl's beautiful sister is falling in love with a peasant. Yet her brother was abducted by the baron and he wants to marry her. She may have to wed him in order to secure his return. We see Mary's conflict along with a description of her brother's captivity...

By: H. C. Bailey (1878-1961)

Book cover Call Mr. Fortune

Call Mr. Fortune is a collection of short stories which introduce Reginald Fortune. Reggie, like his father, is a physician. The son applies his diagnostic skills to crime-solving. As he is not a civil servant, he is free to represent the government, the accused, or the injured.

By: Pansy (1841-1930)

Book cover Cunning Workmen

Miss Cora Parkhurst is an irresponsible and flighty Sunday school teacher for a group of young ladies. She has simply no time to prepare the lessons, nor any knowledge of what it means to be a sincere Christian. Mr. Robert Hammond is an earnest, dedicated Sunday school teacher for a group of young men. Mr. Hammond invites Miss Parkhurst to the weekly teachers' meeting to spur her on, only to discover how much spiritual help and encouragement she needs! Meanwhile, Miss Parkhurst's fiance, Mr. George Tracy, is ambivalent towards any religious activities that interfere with his and Cora's relationship, and despises Mr. Hammond.

By: William Elliot Griffis (1843-1928)

Book cover Japanese Fairy World: Stories from the Wonder-Lore of Japan

William Elliot Griffis born in Philadelphia in 1843, was an educator, author and Congregational minister. In 1870 he was invited to go to Japan in order to modernize the school system and became the Superintendent of Education in the Province of Echizen. Whilst there he became interested in the folk lore, legends and stories of the East and began to collect tales from the story tellers that he met with and the literature that he found there. The thirty four wonderful stories in this collection are some of the ones that he found and fortunately decided to share with us...

By: Gustavus Rosenberg Alden (1832-1924)

Book cover Sevenfold Trouble

This story is an honest record of what we, who are all writers, and all very intimate friends, have seen and heard as we looked on at the lives of certain people in whom we are deeply interested. We used to talk about these people when we sat together after the day's work was done."They don't understand one another," said one of the ministers, "else there wouldn't be much trouble.""I think the little girl means better than she is supposed to," said Grace."And I know the two boys are not half so mean as they are made out to be," declared Paranete...

By: Carolyn Wells (1862-1942)

Book cover Curved Blades

In this suspensful whodunit a mean-spirited and wealthy dowager is found murdered in her boudoir supposedly killed once by poison and also by a blow to the head. Most bizarre is the fact that she is found sitting in front of her mirror lavishly dressed wearing a fortune in pearls and gems. Her niece, her social secretary, her cousin managing her finances, a mysterious count and a maid acting rather suspiciously are the suspects. The police are getting nowhere so famous criminologist Fleming Stone is called in. However is it possible he is so taken with the primary suspect that she could prevent him from solving the mystery??? - Summary by Celine Major

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Book cover Loot Of Cities

Published in 1917, this is a collection of a novella and seven short stories by one of the cleverest authors of the early twentieth century. ‘In Queen's Quorum , a survey of crime fiction, Ellery Queen listed Bennett's The Loot of Cities among the 100 most important works in the genre. This collection of stories recounts the adventures of a millionaire who commits crimes to achieve his idealistic ends. Although it was "one of his least known works," it was nevertheless "of unusual interest, both as an example of Arnold Bennett's early work and as an early example of dilettante detectivism".’ - Summary by David Wales

By: Frank Gelett Burgess (1886-1951)

Book cover Master of Mysteries

Subtitled, "Being an account of the problems solved by Astro, seer of secrets, and his love affair with Valeska Wynne, his assistant." Classic detective stories, with an atypical solver of them. Note, the book itself is published with no author name, which explains the introduction. Don't understand what I mean? Listen and find out! - Summary by TriciaG

By: Martha Finley (1828-1909)

Book cover Mildred and Elsie

Mildred returns home from visiting her mother's relatives. She continues to grow in wisdom and beauty and receives many proposals of marriage. She is an ever-increasing blessing to her family and community. In-laws are added to the family, and they enjoy a visit from Horace Dinsmore and his daughter Elsie. - Summary by Amy

By: Various

Book cover Black Cat Vol. 01 No. 01 October 1895

The Black Cat was a monthly literary magazine, publishing original short stories, often about uncanny or fantastical topics. Many writers were largely unknown, but some famous authors also wrote original material for this magazine. This is the very first issue, offering the following 7 stories: "In gold time", by Roberta Littlehale: in wild-west days, when two rivals love the same woman, tragedy ensues "The unturned trump", by Barnes MacGreggor, pseudonym of H. D. Umbstaetter : to while away the...

By: A. E. W. Mason (1865-1948)

Book cover Affair at the Semiramis Hotel

Inspector Hanaud is a member of the French Sûreté. He is said to have been the model for Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, as well as the opposite of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The Affair At The Semiramis Hotel , a novella, is the second Hanaud mystery. Did the robbery/murder really happen or was it the mescal-induced hallucination of the witness? The first novel is At The Villa Rose . The third is The House Of The Arrow . In 1910, Mason undertook to create a fictional detective as different as possible from Sherlock Holmes, who had recently been resuscitated after his supposed death by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1903...

By: Ella Scrymsour (1888-1962)

Book cover Perfect World

Almost certainly the merging of two separate magazine novellas, where Scrymsour attempted to weave together the plots. In this fantasy/ science fiction novel, the two young gentlemen protagonists are transported from a company town dominated by their family coalmine into an underground cave system where an oligarchic exiled race of dwarf Israelites has lived for 3000 years and grown horns. More space and time travel follow bringing our heroes to Jupiter, where romance follows. - Summary by Lynne Thompson

By: A. E. W. Mason (1865-1948)

Book cover House Of The Arrow

A young English girl is accused in Dijon of murdering her French aunt. Hanaud to the rescue! Inspector Hanaud is a member of the French Sûreté. He is said to have been the model for Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, as well as the opposite of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. In 1910, Mason undertook to create a fictional detective as different as possible from Sherlock Holmes, who had recently been resuscitated after his supposed death by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1903. Inspector Gabriel Hanaud was...

By: Various

Book cover Black Cat Vol. 01 No. 02 November 1895

The Black Cat was a monthly literary magazine, publishing original short stories, often about uncanny or fantastical topics. Many writers were largely unknown, but some famous authors also wrote original material for this magazine. In this second issue are included the following 8 stories: "A Calaveras hold-up", by Roberta Littlehale: can love make a man mend his ways or are some relationships doomed from the start ? "From a trolley post", by Margaret Dodge: a boring bus-stop wait is interrupted...

By: Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961)

Book cover Tenth Clew and Other Continental Op Stories

Biographer Nathan Ward has called “The Tenth Clew” Dashiell Hammett’s “first real jewel of a story.” In it, Hammett’s nameless Continental Detective Agency operative survives being knocked unconscious and dumped in San Francisco Bay. This kind of action was what his Black Mask magazine editors and readers were asking for, and Hammett somewhat grudgingly obliged them with continuing stories of the Continental Op.

By: Various

Book cover Black Cat Vol. 01 No. 03 December 1895

The Black Cat was a monthly literary magazine, publishing original short stories, often about uncanny or fantastical topics. Many writers were largely unknown, but some famous authors also wrote original material for this magazine. The following 6 stories are included in this third issue: "The great star ruby", by Barnes MacGreggor, pseud. of H. D. Umbstaetter : a man tells the thrilling story of the theft of a very valuable ruby "The interrupted banquet", by René Bache : at this strange dinner party, a young man is told some shocking news by the other guests "The archangel", by James Q...

By: Louis Tracy (1863-1928)

Book cover "Mind The Paint" Girl

"The "Mind The Paint" Girl, by Louis Tracy, is a delightful novelization of Sir Arthur Pinero's sparkling comedy now having a successful New York run.... Mr. Tracy has caught the very spirit of the drama and has told its story with much of the same vivre that has packed the theatre and made it impossible to get seats except several weeks in advance. It is the story of the meteoric rise of a lovely young musical comedy actress whose song "Mind the Paint" put London at her feet and the opportunity of placing several British coronets on her head." Note that we also have the play itself available here at. - Summary by Bookseller Magazine of 1912

By: Ring Lardner (1885-1933)

Book cover How To Write Short Stories, with examples

Here are 10 humorous short stories by Ring Lardner , an American sports columnist and short-story writer best known for his satirical writings on sports, marriage, and the theatre. His contemporaries Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, and F. Scott Fitzgerald all professed strong admiration for his writing.

By: Various

Book cover Black Cat Vol. 01 No. 04 January 1896

The Black Cat was a monthly literary magazine, publishing original short stories, often about uncanny or fantastical topics. Many writers were largely unknown, but some famous authors also wrote original material for this magazine. This is the fourth issue, containing the following 7 stories: "In Solomon's Caverns", by Charles Edward Barns: lost in a huge cavern, a man struggles to survive and find his way back to civilization "An angel of Tenderfoot Hill", by Frederick Bradford: can two years of...


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