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Mystery Novels

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By: Marie Belloc Lowndes (1868-1947)

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes The Lodger

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes was inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders. An older couple, the Buntings, are forced to take in lodgers to make ends meet. They are on the verge of starvation when a mysterious man, Mr. Sleuth, appears at their door and asks for lodging, paying in advance. However, when the murders of young women in London attributed to a man known only as “The Avenger” continue, the Buntings, particularly Mrs. Bunting, grow fearful that their lodger may be the murderer.

Book cover The Chink in the Armour
Book cover What Timmy Did

By: Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933)

The Agony Column by Earl Derr Biggers The Agony Column

English romantic adventure starring a young American in London and inspired by the personal ads (agony columns) in the London papers. In this treacherous tale of murder and intrigue young American Geoffrey West tracks a killer from the posh dining room of the Carlton Hotel to the opium dens of London’s Limehouse district in search of the truth and the heart of his true love only to find the culprit all too close to home. Earl Derr Biggers is better known as the author of numerous Charlie Chan novels. The Agony Column was released as a movie under the name Second Floor Mystery in 1930. While this movie was in production, its two stars, Loretta Young and Grant Withers, eloped.

By: Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933)

Book cover Seven Keys to Baldpate

Dime-store novelist William Magee has gone to Baldpate Inn to do a little soul-searching in an attempt to write a serious work. Thinking he will be alone and uninterrupted, Magee arrives at the inn in the dead of winter. But he discovers that there are six other keys to Baldpate Inn, and the holders of those keys enliven his stay with bribery, shootings and plenty of mystery.

By: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

In the Fog by Richard Harding Davis In the Fog

The story is set in London, at an elite gentleman’s club called "The Grill," where an American gentleman arrests the attention of four other men by relating how one night he got lost in a thick London fog. He stumbled upon a house where a double murder was just committed. The victims of the murder were a young nobleman and a Russian princess. He escaped from the house and reported the killings to Scotland Yard. But they were unable to find the location of the dwelling. All very strange, as three of the other gentlemen all offer more information and perspectives on various details of the incident as they endeavor to solve the mystery. (Introduction by Bob Gonzalez)

Book cover Outside the Prison

On Christmas Eve, journalist Bronson is sent to wait outside of Moyamensing Prison to report on the release of a certain infamous prisoner. His case had gotten a lot of attention, so the paper wants a man on the spot. However, what Bronson hears and sees outside the prison that night is not quite what he was expecting.

By: Harrington Strong (1883-1958)

The Brand of Silence – A Detective Story by Harrington Strong The Brand of Silence – A Detective Story

Harrington Strong was a pseudonym used by author Johnston McCulley, creator of the character Zorro and many others. The Brand of Silence – A Detective Story finds Sidney Prale returning to New York after ten years during which he sought his fortune. But he finds New York a very changed place, and even more distressing, he finds that his old friends are now turning their backs on him, his old haunts no longer welcome him, and there seems to be a conspiracy against him.Why can’t he receive service...

By: George Alfred Henty (1832-1902)

Book cover Colonel Thorndyke's Secret

Intrigue, murder, highwaymen... A British soldier serving in India has stolen a diamond bracelet from a Hindu idol. The bracelet comes into the possession of Colonel Thorndyke, who is subsequently sent home to England, where he dies of wounds received and bequeaths the bracelet to his relatives, having told his brother about it, but not its location. Meanwhile, the theft has caused a stir in India, and the Hindu faithful regard it as their religious duty to reclaim the jewel at any cost. Also published under the title: "The Brahmin's Treasure".

By: Ernest William Hornung

Raffles, Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman by Ernest William Hornung Raffles, Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman

Raffles, Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman (also published as The Black Mask) is the second collection of stories in the Raffles series. After the dark turn of events at the end of The Gift of the Emperor, Bunny’s done his time and, his life not being quite what it was before, now finds himself longing for the companionship of his Raffles.

The Shadow of the Rope by Ernest William Hornung The Shadow of the Rope

Rachel Minchin stands in the dock, accused of murdering the dissolute husband she was preparing to leave. The trial is sensational, and public opinion vehemently and almost universally against her. When the jury astonishes and outrages the world with a vedict of Not Guilty, Rachel quickly finds herself in need of protection. It comes in the form of a surprising offer of marriage from a mysterious stranger who has sat through every day of her trial. The marriage to this intriguing stranger, Mr. Steel, is by mutual agreement to be a platonic one, the only condition of which is that neither is ever to question the other about the past...

By: Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907)

The Stillwater Tragedy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich The Stillwater Tragedy

Thomas Bailey Aldrich was an American poet, novelist and editor. Of his many books of poetry and fiction, he may be best known for his semi-autobiographical novel, The Story of a Bad Boy and his collection of short stories, Majorie Daw and Other People. The Stillwater Tragedy which was published in 1880 is set in a small New England manufacturing town whose tranquility is disturbed first by the murder of one of its prominent citizens followed soon thereafter by a general strike of all the trades-unions. As the story develops, Richard Shackford, the murdered man’s nephew, finds himself inextricably caught up in both these events.

By: Richard Marsh

The Beetle by Richard Marsh The Beetle

A story about a mysterious oriental figure who pursues a British politician to London, where he wreaks havoc with his powers of hypnosis and shape-shifting, Marsh’s novel is of a piece with other sensational turn-of-the-century fictions such as Stoker’s Dracula, George du Maurier’s Trilby, and Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu novels. Like Dracula and many of the sensation novels pioneered by Wilkie Collins and others in the 1860s, The Beetle is narrated from the perspectives of multiple characters,...

By: Charles Miner Thompson (1864-1941)

The Calico Cat by Charles Miner Thompson The Calico Cat

The consequences of letting your irritation get the better of you are humorously portrayed in this story of a self-important man who fires a shotgun at an annoying cat on his fence.. and hits a man skulking in the bushes. What did the cat do to enrage him? Why was the man in the bushes? And how can the whole matter be covered up and done away with before the neighbors start gossiping?

By: Octavus Roy Cohen (1891-1959)

Midnight by Octavus Roy Cohen Midnight

The crime seemed to have lost itself in the sleety cold of the December midnight upon which it was committed. The trails were not blind–there were simply no trails. The circumstances baffled explanation–a lone woman entering an empty taxicab; a run to a distant point in the city; the discovery of the woman’s disappearance, and in her stead the sight of the dead body of a prominent society man–that, and the further blind information that the suit-case which the woman had carried was the property of the man whose body was huddled horribly in the taxicab.

By: Carolyn Wells (1862-1942)

Book cover Patty's Friends
Book cover Gold Bag

The case involves a millionaire murdered in his study, suspicious servants, a beautiful niece, a private secretary and a will. enamored. A Holmes like detective is brought in to solve the mystery.

By: Thomas W. Hanshew (1857-1914)

Cleek: The Man of the Forty Faces by Thomas W. Hanshew Cleek: The Man of the Forty Faces

Meet Hamilton Cleek – man of mystery, and master of disguise and derring-do. Cleek’s exploits are, to say the least, highly improbable, but the book is enormous fun. The goodies are good and the baddies are very bad indeed, but beware – things are not always what they seem. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy a rattling good yarn! Cleek is the central figure in dozens of short stories that began to appear in 1910 and were subsequently collected in a series of books.

Book cover Cleek, the Master Detective

By: Wadsworth Camp (1879-1936)

The Abandoned Room by Wadsworth Camp The Abandoned Room

An enthralling locked room mystery, The Abandoned Room focuses on the mysterious circumstances under which Silas Blackburn has been murdered at The Cedars, an eerie and isolated country estate. The most obvious suspect to the murder is Bobby Blackburn, the victim’s grandson who seems to have the best motive for the murder, although he has no recollection of the fateful night. Furthermore, Camp integrates a vibrant array of characters, detailed description, supernatural occurrences, and a generous supply of suspense, which in turn build up the novel’s allure...

By: Victor Appleton

Book cover The Moving Picture Boys on the Coast Or, Showing Up the Perils of the Deep

By: Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897)

The Open Door and The Portrait: Stories of the Seen and the Unseen by Margaret Oliphant The Open Door and The Portrait: Stories of the Seen and the Unseen

Two stories with mysterious occurrences by Margaret O. Oliphant, originally published in 1881.

By: Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894)

Book cover The Garret and the Garden Or, Low Life High Up

By: Johnston McCulley (1883-1958)

The Black Star by Johnston McCulley The Black Star

The Black Star was a master criminal who took great care to never be identifiable, always wore a mask so nobody knew what he looked like, rarely spoke to keep his voice from being recognized, and the only mark left at the scenes of the crimes which he and his gang committed were small black stars which were tacked as a sign of their presence, and an occasional sarcastic note to signify his presence and responsibility. Even those who worked for him knew nothing of him, all of which were making his crimes virtually unsolvable...

By: Rex Stout

Book cover Under the Andes

Under the Andes was written by Rex Stout years before his creation of the immensely popular Nero Wolfe series of novels, and while perhaps his future writing style is still blossoming, certainly his knack for weaving a fantastic tale of mystery and adventure will have most readers anxious for the next phase of adventure at every turn. The story finds two brothers and a pretty female companion on a journey which eventually takes them to a series of underground caves under the Andes of South America, where they encounter a lost tribe of Incas who have apparently survived hundreds of years oblivious of the outside world...

By: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1814-1873)

Wylder's Hand by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu Wylder's Hand

The marriage of Mark Wylder and Dorkas Brenden is supposed to end a history of arguments between the two families. However, both people involved do not seem to like the idea. Before the wedding, Mark disappears. But to where? And how will the people around him react to his disappearance?

The Evil Guest by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu The Evil Guest

Le Fanu’s inimitable style continues with The Evil Guest, a murder mystery fraught with dark imagery and mysterious characters. An unwanted guest visiting a dreary and isolated home is murdered; the thriller leads the reader down countless ‘dead’ ends before revealing the identity of the guilty party. (Introduction by Cathy Barratt)

The Room in the Dragon Volant by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu The Room in the Dragon Volant

J. Sheridan LeFanu's Gothic mystery novel is narrated by Richard Beckett, a young Englishman abroad in Napoleonic-era France. He falls instantly in love with a mysterious and imperiled Countess, whom he glimpses momentarily behind her black veil. In order to be near her, he takes a room in the Dragon Volant (the Flying Dragon), a haunted inn that has been the site of mysterious disappearances.

By: Edward Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946)

The Avenger by Edward Phillips Oppenheim The Avenger

Herbert Wrayson, a bachelor returns to his flat one night to find a young lady rifling his desk. He questions her and finds she thought she was in the apartment of his neighbor, Morris Barnes, who lives above him. While he is on the telephone, she quietly slips out of his flat and heads to Barnes’ abode. A few hours later, she is once again at his door – this time looking scared and faint. She asks Wrayson to escort her downstairs as the hallway is unlit. As they emerge, a hansom sits at the doorway with Morris Barnes in it...

The Pawns Count by Edward Phillips Oppenheim The Pawns Count

"I am for England and England only," John Lutchester, the Englishman, asserted."I am for Japan and Japan only," Nikasti, the Jap, insisted."I am for Germany first and America afterwards," Oscar Fischer, the German-American pronounced."I am for America first, America only, America always," Pamela Van Tale, the American girl, declared.They were all right except the German-American.It is during World War I. A chemist, Sandy Graham, has discovered a new powerful explosive, but he let's it slip in a London restaurant that he has made the discovery...

An Amiable Charlatan by Edward Phillips Oppenheim An Amiable Charlatan

An Englishman is enjoying his dinner at Stephano's, at which he is a regular diner. A man enters quickly, sits at his table, starts eating his food, and hands him a packet underneath the table! So begins Paul Walmsley's acquaintance - and adventures - with American adventurer Joseph H. Parker and his lovely daughter, Eve. (Intro by TriciaG)Note that there is an alternate reading of section 8. Both are excellent renditions, so enjoy either or both of them.

Book cover Great Secret

English gentleman Hardross Courage has a good life. He has all the money he needs, enjoys sports and hunting, manages the family estate, and in general leads a satisfying life. On a trip to London to participate in a cricket match, Hardross is confronted by a man who forces his way into his hotel room imploring him to hide him. His reason - “They want to kill me”. So begins a tale that is likely to change Hardross' idyllic life forever to one of mystery and espionage.


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