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Mystery Novels

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By: Louis Tracy (1863-1928)

Book cover Postmaster's Daughter

A charming mystery story set in the early 1900s which is as much about the townspeople, sleuths and other colorful characters as it is about the murder. Filled with comic antics of Scotland Yard fellows, local police, and residents of the town, keeps the murder ever elusive. The "whodunit" is maintained until the very end and the laughter keeps going even after the mystery is solved.

Book cover Stowmarket Mystery, or, a Legacy of Hate

Another case for Reginald Brett, barrister and hobby detective: David Hume-Frazer is in some trouble. He was the prime suspect in the murder case of his cousin, Alan. Though he was never convicted, suspicion clings to him, and he wishes his name to be cleared before he marries his fiancé, Helen Layton. The case is baffling: Alan was murdered with a Japanese knife on his own grounds, in front of the library windows -- in the same place, where four of his ancestors already died "in their boots"...

By: Louis Ulbach (1822-1889)

The Steel Hammer by Louis Ulbach The Steel Hammer

A large inheritance greatly transforms the lives of three people: a good man, who would have inherited at least a part of the fortune if his uncle hadn't passed away before he could alter the will, his cousin, who inherits all but is prevented from enjoying it, and a gambler, who is in desperate need of such a sum of money. The connection of the three ends fatal for at least one of them.

For Fifteen Years by Louis Ulbach For Fifteen Years

For Fifteen Years by Louis Ulbach is the sequel to The Steel Hammer which tells the story of a poor upholsterer, Jean Mortier who is falsely accused of murder and the tragic chain of events that follow. For Fifteen Years begins in the aftermath of the conviction when the destitute wife and daughter of Jean Mortier are taken in by the family of a character witness from the trial, Gaston de Monterey. Circumstances and deceptions lead to distrust and tension among the two families for fifteen years but the daughter of Jean Mortier and the son of Gaston de Monterey have fallen in love...

By: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

The Mysterious Key and What It Opened by Louisa May Alcott The Mysterious Key and What It Opened

In this delightful short story, we discover the secrets of the Trevlyn family. 'The Mysterious Key and What it Opened' is a mystery entwined with romance (Introduction by ashleighjane)

By: Lucia Chamberlain (1882-1978?)

The Other Side of the Door by Lucia Chamberlain The Other Side of the Door

It's 1865 in the city of San Francisco. Pretty, young Ellie Fenwick is walking to the market early one morning to surprise her father with some fresh mushrooms. As she passes a gambling house, she hears a gunshot and two young men emerge. One man falls dead on the pavement and the other is Johnny Montgomery, a handsome young man Ellie recognizes from seeing him previously at a dance. Johnny is holding a smoking pistol in his hand. This incident propels the proper young Ellie into a world of prisons and courtrooms as a murder trial unfolds and the fate of Johnny may rest with her testimony...

By: Marcel Allain (1885-1969)

Fantômas by Marcel Allain Fantômas

Fantômas is the first of 32 novels penned from 1911 to 1913 by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre. The title character is a ruthless thief and killer, a bloodthirsty successor to LeBlanc's Arsène Lupin. The first five novels were made into silent film serials. The character and the movies caught the eye of the French Surrealists who admired the primal violence of Fantômas, as well as his portrayal in the films, which are considered landmarks in French Cinema. In Fantômas, the Marquise de Langrune is savagely murdered and Inspector Juve, who is obsessed with capturing Fantômas, arrives to solve the murder.

Messengers of Evil by Marcel Allain Messengers of Evil

Fantômas was introduced a few years after Arsène Lupin, another well-known thief. But whereas Lupin draws the line at murder, Fantômas has no such qualms and is shown as a sociopath who enjoys killing in a sadistic fashion. He is totally ruthless, gives no mercy, and is loyal to none, not even his own children. He is a master of disguise, always appearing under an assumed identity, often that of a person whom he has murdered. Fantômas makes use of bizarre and improbable techniques in his crimes, such as plague-infested rats, giant snakes, and rooms that fill with sand...

The Exploits of Juve by Marcel Allain The Exploits of Juve

Fantômas was introduced a few years after Arsène Lupin, another well-known thief. But whereas Lupin draws the line at murder, Fantômas has no such qualms and is shown as a sociopath who enjoys killing in a sadistic fashion.He is totally ruthless, gives no mercy, and is loyal to none, not even his own children. He is a master of disguise, always appearing under an assumed identity, often that of a person whom he has murdered. Fantômas makes use of bizarre and improbable techniques in his crimes, such as plague-infested rats, giant snakes, and rooms that fill with sand...

By: Margaret Ann Hubbard

Sister Simon's Murder Case by Margaret Ann Hubbard Sister Simon's Murder Case

Set in the picturesque wilds of a Midwestern resort town at the height of the tourist season, Sister Simon’s Murder case begins with the murder of a terrified elderly lady, Dannie Grear. But what was she so afraid of? And who is the killer who keeps attacking anyone he thinks may know too much?The opinionated local police ran into one obstacle after another in their attempts to find the elusive killer. But the menace was effectively removed by the independent investigation of Sister Simon, a very proper nun who had learned from her policeman father never to take anything for granted in a murder case and how to fire a gun with deadly accuracy.

Murder Takes the Veil by Margaret Ann Hubbard Murder Takes the Veil

Set in the Louisiana bayou country, here is a drama rich with suspense...the story of lovely Trillium Pierce powerless at the mercy of a murderer who believes that he has no power over himself - that his determination to kill is written in the stars. The frightened girl is helpless, as her friends at Aurelian College are victimized by the menace who stalks the swampland in a nun's habit.Margaret Ann Hubbard was a writer of various genres: historical novels, Catholic children's books, and several crime mysteries written during the 1950's and 1960's.

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: Margaret Penrose

The Motor Girls on a Tour by Margaret Penrose The Motor Girls on a Tour

This is the second book in the series of the Motor Girls. Join Cora and her friends in this mystery and adventure of The Motor Girls. Also the search for a missing table and promise book belonging to a cripple girl called Wren. Why is Clip so mysterious? What is she up to? Is Sid Wilcox up to his old tricks with his chum Rob Roland?

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.

By: Marie Corelli (1855-1924)

Ziska by Marie Corelli Ziska

The story revolves around the mysterious Princess Ziska, who captivates a set of European tourists who are spending time in exotic Egypt. The story is a mystery involving reincarnation, romance & a touch of mild horror. (introduction by ilianthe)

By: Mark Twain

The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

It was published in 1893–1894 by Century Magazine in seven installments, and is a detective story with some racial themes. The plot of this novel is a detective story, in which a series of identities — the judge’s murderer, Tom, Chambers — must be sorted out. This structure highlights the problem of identity and one’s ability to determine one’s own identity. Broader issues of identity are the central ideas of this novel. One of Twain’s major goals in this book was to exploit the true nature of Racism at that period...

A Double Barreled Detective Story by Mark Twain A Double Barreled Detective Story

A Double Barrelled Detective Story is a novel by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), in which Sherlock Holmes finds himself in the American west.At a mining camp in California, Fetlock Jones, a nephew of Sherlock Holmes, kills his master, a silver-miner, by blowing up his cabin. Since this occurs when Holmes happens to be visiting, he brings his skills to bear upon the case and arrives at logically worked conclusions that are proved to be abysmally wrong by an amateur detective with an extremely keen sense of smell, which he employs in solving the case. This could be seen as yet another piece where Twain tries to prove that life does not quite follow logic.

The Stolen White Elephant by Mark Twain The Stolen White Elephant

"The Stolen White Elephant" was written by Mark Twain and published in 1882. In it, an Indian elephant, en route from India to Britain as a gift to the Queen, disappears in New Jersey. The local police department goes into high gear to solve the mystery but it all comes to a tragic end. Twain's satirical look at the police and newspaper worlds of the 1880's illustrates some of the more outrageous proclivities of each.

Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain Tom Sawyer, Detective

Tom Sawyer, Detective is an 1896 novel by Mark Twain. It is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894). Tom Sawyer attempts to solve a mysterious murder in this burlesque of the immensely popular detective novels of the time. Tom and Huck find themselves with Uncle Silas and his family again (see “Huck Finn”), and much of the drama ends up focusing on Uncle Silas. Like the two preceding novels, the story is told using the first-person narrative voice of Huck Finn.

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: Mary E. Hanshew (1852-1927) and Thomas W. Hanshew (1857-1914)

The Riddle of the Frozen Flame by Mary E. Hanshew (1852-1927) and Thomas W. Hanshew (1857-1914) The Riddle of the Frozen Flame

Another full-length mystery story featuring Hamilton Cleek, whom we met first in Cleek: The Man of the Forty Faces. This time, Cleek investigates the sinister disappearance of people and the mysterious appearance of flames at night in the desolate Fens, and his friend Superintendent Narkom of Scotland Yard tries to solve some tricky cases of bank robberies in London.While not quite up to the standard we have come to expect from previous Cleek adventures, it is still quite a jolly romp, and Cleek's cockney sidekick Dollops is always good fun.

By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915)

Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Lady Audley's Secret

Inspired by a true life story, Lady Audley's Secret is the story of a woman's overwhelming ambition and passion for social success. When the first book came out in 1862, Victorian readers were shocked and outraged by its portrayal of aspects like bigamy, insanity, yearning for social status and the will to commit murder to achieve one's goals. The novel belongs to a genre that became very popular during that era. Known as “sensation novels” they can probably be equated to today's pulp fiction...

Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Aurora Floyd

Aurora Floyd, the daughter of a rich banker and an actress, could not have had a better start: back from a finishing school in Paris, she is beautiful, clever and rich. Two men instantly fall in love with her. But when they discover that she have done something very wrong in her past, who will stand by her side? With a set of unforgettable characters, the author delivers to us what she calls "a domestic drama". This book asks some major questions: is it good to love someone even if they lied? Even if they were amoral and behaved very badly? Is it good to forgive everything? Those questions are timeless, and so is this book.

Fenton's Quest by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Fenton's Quest

This story revolves around Gilbert Fenton, a very talented middle class businessman from London, who falls in love with a beautiful country woman far below his station. He decides to marry her anyway. But is she all that she seems?

Book cover Wyllard's Weird

A novel written in three volumes. In the golden age of steam, the London train wends its way across the Tamar into the strange and mystic land that is Cornwall, having left most of its length at Plymouth. A weary doctor gazes at the countryside, when the train grinds to a halt and his professional attention is demanded. A young woman. An apparent suicide. Who was she? What brought her to Cornwall? What drove her to kill herself? Or did she?

By: Mary Hastings Bradley (d. 1976)

The Fortieth Door by Mary Hastings Bradley The Fortieth Door

Romance, sinister strangers, plenty of skulduggery, mysterious beauties cloaked in veils, dungeons and crypts, dreadfully wrapped mummies and evil doings will all envelope you in this book. If you're looking for a truly satisfying read, The Fortieth Door by Mary Hastings Bradley is definitely your pick! Born in 19th century Chicago, Mary Hastings Bradley studied English literature at Smith and after her graduation, she found herself at loose ends. When a cousin invited her to join her on a trip to Egypt, Mary gladly agreed...

By: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Circular Staircase

A wealthy, middle-aged spinster arrives at the mansion she's rented for the summer while her own town house is being renovated. The mansion is the home of a millionaire local banker, who has left for California with his wife and stepdaughter. But all is not peace and relaxation in the vast villa. Before long, the spinster's house help is frightened out of her wits by various strange noises. What follows is a spooky tale of mysterious disappearances, murder, apparitions and weird goings on. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart is her first published novel and was wildly popular when it first came out in 1907...

The Case of Jennie Brice by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Case of Jennie Brice

The flood brings in not only the muddy waters but a series of suspicious clues that convinced Mrs. Pitman, a boarding house keeper, that a murder has been committed at her boarding house. Jennifer Ladley aka Jennie Brice is missing and with the help of Mr. Holcombe, a quirky gentleman with a passion for mysteries, they embark on a quest for the truth behind the disappearance of Jennie Brice.

The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Breaking Point

Mary Roberts Rinehart -- "America's Agatha Christie," as she used to be called -- set this story in a New York suburban town, shortly after the end of the first world war. Dick Livingstone is a young, successful doctor, who in the course of events becomes engaged to Elizabeth Wheeler. But there is a mystery about his past, and he thinks himself honor-bound to unravel it before giving himself to her in marriage. In particular, a shock of undetermined origin has wiped out his memory prior to roughly the last decade...

The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Bat

The novelization of the play of the same name that had an initial run of 867 shows on Broadway and has been performed all over the world and been made into three movies over a span from 1926 to 1959. An intricate mystery, with a wide cast of characters. (Summary by Alan Winterrowd)

The Window at the White Cat by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Window at the White Cat

When a clumsy, well-meaning lawyer gets involved with a pair of delightful old maids and a beautiful girl, he must acquire some of the skills of his friends the detective and the newspaperman to solve the puzzle of The White Cat. That’s the name of a back-street political club serving beers, political favors and, occasionally, murder. (Introduction by Robert Keiper)

Book cover The Man in Lower Ten

Someone had to take the bank notes to Pittsburgh and take a statement from John Gilmore confirming that they were indeed forged. It was McKnight's turn to go, but he was bagging off because he wanted to spend the weekend visiting Alison West in Richmond. And so his law partner, Lawrence Blakeley, is left with no choice but to make the trip himself. All goes well at first, but on the train home, Blakeley wakes to find that the notes, along with his clothes, are missing from his sleeping berth. It was an eventful night. In addition to the theft, there's been a murder in the berth across, and when the weapon is found under Blakeley's pillow, he becomes one of the prime suspects.


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