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Mystery Novels

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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 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.

By: LibriVox volunteers

The Yellow Sheet – the NaNoWriMo project 2007 by LibriVox volunteers The Yellow Sheet – the NaNoWriMo project 2007

An atomic bomb explodes in the mountains of Montana. But was there really a bomb? And was it really in Montana, or in Tokyo? Are Liz and Elizabeth the same woman, is she married with children, is her husband a spy?

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: 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: 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: Mary E. Hanshew (1852-1927)

The Riddle of the Purple Emperor by Mary E. Hanshew The Riddle of the Purple Emperor

Orphan Lady Margaret Cheyne returns home on her eighteenth birthday to live with her embittered maiden aunt and to take up her inheritance of the family jewels. The Cheyne jewels include a pendant featuring the Purple Emperor, a priceless jewel looted from a temple during the Indian Mutiny. During her time at school in Paris, Lady Margaret has met and fallen in love with Sir Edgar Brenton, the son of an old flame of her aunt and a neighbour in the village of Hampton, where Cleek’s adored Ailsa Lorne has also taken up residence...

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.

Golden Web by Edward Phillips Oppenheim Golden Web

Stirling Deane has sold the Little Anna Gold Mine which he discovered in South Africa. The sale has made him a rich man and the head of the company to which he sold the mine. A former acquaintance from his days in South Africa has shown up and claims that he has the original deed to the mine and that he is in fact the owner of the mine. Shortly after a meeting with Deane, the man is found murdered and the deed he claims to have had is missing. Another man which Deane hired to negotiate the return of the deed to Deane is accused of the murder, tried, and sentenced to death. What has become of the lost deed?

Book cover Havoc

Havoc occurs when European countries are discussing covert alliances. The story revolves around the creation of a secret alliance between Germany, Russia, and Austria. The English hope to split Russia away by holding the Czar to his previous public commitments, but they need proof of what was done to create the pressure. All the pressures that lead to WWI are there, but the intrigues and secret treaties create an interesting background to the twists and turns of the plot.

Jacob's Ladder by Edward Phillips Oppenheim Jacob's Ladder
Jacob's Ladder by Edward Phillips Oppenheim Jacob's Ladder
Book cover Devil's Paw

A beautiful, intelligent young woman – is she a traitorous spy or a patriot? An aristocratic soldier permanently injured during the war – is he a patriot or is there more to him than meets the eye? A clandestine meeting on a beach – espionage or peace movement?

Book cover Vanished Messenger

A conference of European nations is being held in the Hague. England has not been invited to attend. Some think war is about to break out. Mr. John P. Dunster, an American, is traveling to the Hague with an important document that may prevent the outbreak of war when he mysteriously disappears after a train wreck in England. Richard Hamel is asked by the British government to attempt to solve the mystery of Dunster’s disappearance and prevent the outbreak of war in Europe.

By: Émile Gaboriau (1832-1873)

Monsieur Lecoq Part 2: The Honor of the Name by Émile Gaboriau Monsieur Lecoq Part 2: The Honor of the Name

Monsieur Lecoq is a captivating mystery, historical and love story: Around 11 o'clock, on the evening of Shrove Sunday 18.., close to the old Barrière d'Italie, frightful cries, coming from Mother Chupin's drinking-shop, are heard by a party of detectives led by Inspector Gévrol. The squad runs up to it. A triple murder has just been committed. The murderer is caught on the premises. Despite Gévrol's opinion that four scoundrels encountered each other in this vile den, that they began to quarrel, that one of them had a revolver and killed the others, Lecoq, a young police agent, suspects a great mystery...

By: Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)

Book cover Timothy Crump's Ward

A poor family is surprised with an infant on their doorstep on New Year’s Eve with a note and monetary support requesting them to raise the child. Eight years later, the child is stolen and the family is put into more trouble trying to find her. This is a story of how love and good morals are reward with a fairy tale “happily ever after” ending.

By: Earle Ashley Walcott (1859-1931)

Blindfolded by Earle Ashley Walcott Blindfolded

Giles Dudley is called upon by his cousin Henry Wilton to assist him in San Francisco, but the reason for the summons is not at all clear. Dudley answers the summons, only to find himself immediately wrapped in the middle of mystery and intrigue, the roots and ends of which he is utterly unaware. He has been given to care for a mysterious young boy whom he hasn't even seen. His cousin has mysteriously disappeared. Dudley's role in the mystery has him convinced that as he goes about trying to assist his cousin with whatever it was he wanted to accomplish, he does so completely blindfolded.

By: Mrs Charles Bryce (1839-1920)

The Ashiel Mystery - A Detective Story by Mrs Charles Bryce The Ashiel Mystery - A Detective Story

Just as the adopted Juliet Byrne finds out the truth about her family, her father is murdered. Luckily the brilliant chocolate-munching Detective Gimblet takes up the case to solve the 'Ashiel Mystery'

By: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu

Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu Uncle Silas

Uncle Silas is a Victorian Gothic mystery/thriller novel by the Anglo-Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu. It is notable as one of the earliest examples of the locked room mystery subgenre. It is not a novel of the supernatural (despite a few creepily ambiguous touches), but does show a strong interest in the occult and in the ideas of Swedenborg.

By: William J. Burns (1861-1932)

The Crevice by William J. Burns The Crevice

The sudden death of wealthy and prominent financier, Pennington Lawton from an apparent heart attack, followed by the shocking revelation of his impending bankruptcy, leaves his sole heir and only daughter, Anita, distraught and nearly penniless. Nonetheless, she is determined to unravel the mystery surrounding her father’s death and the loss of his great fortune. To this end she engages the famous detective, Henry Blaine who is determined to unravel the tangled web of deception and restore both her father’s reputation and Anita’s inheritance...

By: May Agnes Fleming (1840-1880)

The Midnight Queen by May Agnes Fleming The Midnight Queen

May Agnes Fleming is renowned as Canada's first best-selling novelist. She wrote 42 novels, many of which have only been published posthumely.The Midnight Queen is set in London, in the year of the plague 1665. Sir Norman Kingsley visits the soothsayer "La Masque" who shows him the vision of a beautiful young lady. Falling madly in love with her, he is astonished to find her only a short time later and saves her from being buried alive. He takes her home to care for her, but while he fetches a doctor, she disappears. Sir Kingsley and his friend Ormistan embark on an adventure to solve the mystery of the young lady - will they ever find her again?

By: Herbert George Jenkins (1876-1923)

Book cover Malcolm Sage, detective

A collection of short stories that chronicles the first year of the Malcolm Sage Detective Bureau.

John Dene of Toronto; a Comedy of Whitehall by Herbert George Jenkins John Dene of Toronto; a Comedy of Whitehall

John Dene comes to England with a great invention, and the intention of gingering-up the Admiralty. His directness and unconventional methods bewilder and embarrass the officials at Whitehall, where, according to him, most of the jobs are held by those "whose great-grandfathers had a pleasant way of saying how-do-you-do to a prince." Suddenly John Dene disappears, and the whole civilised world is amazed at an offer of £20,000 for news of him. Scotland Yard is disorganised by tons of letters and thousands of callers...


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