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By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

Book cover Captain of the Polestar, and other tales

This is a collection of early Sir Arthur Conan Doyle short stories. It includes stories of mystery, comedy, shipwrecks and fantasy.

Book cover Stark Munro Letters

"The letters of my friend Mr. Stark Munro appear to me to form so connected a whole, and to give so plain an account of some of the troubles which a young man may be called upon to face right away at the outset of his career, that I have handed them over to the gentleman who is about to edit them. There are two of them, the fifth and the ninth, from which some excisions are necessary; but in the main I hope that they may be reproduced as they stand. I am sure that there is no privilege which my friend...

Book cover Study In Scarlet (Version 6)

A Study in Scarlet is a detective mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, introducing his new characters, "consulting detective" Sherlock Holmes and his friend and chronicler, Dr. John Watson, who later became two of the most famous characters in literature. Conan Doyle wrote the story in 1886, and it was published the following year. The book's title derives from a speech given by Holmes to Doctor Watson on the nature of his work, in which he describes the story's murder investigation as his "study in scarlet": "There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it...

By: Stella M. Francis

Book cover Camp-Fire Girls in the Country or The Secret Aunt Hannah Forgot

Teen-ager Hazel Edwards and the other twelve members of the Flamingo Camp-Fire Girls experience some real adventure when they are invited to spend part of their summer as guests of Hazel’s elderly aunt on her large country farm. Mrs. Hannah Hutchins is a widow living alone with a few servants and farming assistants in her home in the midwestern town of Fairberry. The girls set up camp on a section of Aunt Hannah’s farm but, before too long, an incident occurs during the annual Fourth of July celebration in Fairberry...

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: Thomas Preskett Prest (1810-1859)

The Varney Vampyre by Thomas Preskett Prest The Varney Vampyre

This is volume 1 of 3. Originally published as a penny dreadful from 1845 until 1847, when it first appeared in book form, Varney the Vampyre is a forerunner to vampire stories such as Dracula, which it heavily influenced. Flora Bannersworth is attacked in her own room in the middle of the night, and although her attacker is seemingly shot dead, the body is nowhere to be found. The discovery of two small bite marks on Flora’s neck leads Mr Marchdale, an old friend of the family, to the conclusion that she was bitten by a vampire...

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: Unknown

The String of Pearls by Unknown The String of Pearls

The tale of Sweeney Todd has had many incarnations, most famously the stage and movie musical by Stephen Sondheim. But it all started in 1846 with a serialized telling of the story titled “The String of Pearls” in the weekly magazine “The People’s Periodical and Family Library”. Called by some a romance, by others a horror story, it is one of the earliest murder mysteries. In “The String of Pearls”, Sweeney Todd is less sympathetic than in some of his later incarnations – a perfect villain, totally self-seeking with no redeeming qualities...

The Lock and Key Library by Unknown The Lock and Key Library

A collection of classic mystery and detective stories, collected and edited by Julian Hawthorne. Note: the second chapter of Dickens’ The Haunted House is not included in this edition.

By: Various

Short Mystery Story Collection by Various Short Mystery Story Collection

The Short Mystery Story Collection by Various is a real treat for intrigue enthusiasts! This volume features such greats as Ambrose Bierce, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Anton Chekov. Some unexpected names like P G Wodehouse and Kate Chopin also crop up, bending their prodigious talents to the genre. The ten stories contained in this volume range from events as diverse as the mysterious death of a sea-captain in a seedy boarding house, a group of women who deal with a crime committed by a friend,...

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1 by Various The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes was a British TV series from the early 70s that dramatized stories written contemporaneously with the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This anthology contains twelve of the thirteen stories adapted as episodes for the first season. Sadly, one story, "The Missing Witness Sensation" by Ernest Bramah, is not public domain in the U.S., but can be read in the anthology Max Carrados Mysteries.

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 2 by Various The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 2

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes was a British TV series from the early 70s that dramatized stories written contemporaneously with the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This anthology contains stories adapted as episodes for the second season.

By: Vaughan Kester (1869-1911)

The Just And The Unjust by Vaughan Kester The Just And The Unjust

Framed for a murder he did not commit, John North must rely on his friends to help clear him of the charge. But, are they really his friends? Many have dirty little secrets they wish to keep private, even at the expense of John North’s life. Ironically, those keeping quiet include members of the legal profession. Only one drunken man knows the true identity of the killer but he has mysteriously disappeared. Deceit and betrayal flourish in this story, with a tense conclusion. (Introduction by Tom Weiss)

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: Washington Irving (1783-1859)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Set in the small secluded valley of Sleepy Hollow, Irving’s short speculative story follows the rivalry between Ichabod Crane and Brom Van Brunt for Katrina Van Tassel’s hand in marriage. Mostly inhabited by descendants from Dutch settlers, the residents are known for their belief in superstitions and the supernatural, and have many stories to suffice their colorful imaginations. The story begins when the scrawny schoolmaster Ichabod Crane from Connecticut moves to Sleepy Hollow for a teaching job and rotates living with the families of his students...

By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins The Moonstone

A young woman who inherits a beautiful diamond known as The Moonstone on her eighteenth birthday becomes the center of this mystery story. The diamond is a gift from an uncle who once served as an army officer in British India. She proudly wears the jewel on her dress at her birthday party that night. The precious stone has a dark and sinister history, which will have a terrible impact on her life and the lives of those around her. You're about to read what's been termed the very first real detective story in the English language...

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White tells the story of two half-sisters, Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe who were embroiled in the sinister plot of Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco to take over their family’s wealth. It’s considered to be one of the first “sensation novels” to be published. Like most novels that fall into this category, the protagonists here are pushed to their limits by the villains before they finally got the justice they deserved. The story begins with Walter Hartright helping a woman dressed in white who turned out to have escaped from a mental asylum...

Book cover The Haunted Hotel, A Mystery of Modern Venice

A kind, good-hearted genteel young woman jilted, a suspicious death or two that only a few think could be murder, strange apparitions appearing in an hotel all combine to create a horrifying conundrum. Who was the culprit and will finding out finally put an end to the mystery?

Armadale by Wilkie Collins Armadale

The novel has a convoluted plot about two distant cousins both named Allan Armadale. The father of one had murdered the father of the other (the two fathers are also named Allan Armadale). The story starts with a deathbed confession by the murderer in the form of a letter to be given to his baby son when he grows up. Many years are skipped over. The son, mistreated at home, runs away from his mother and stepfather, and takes up a wandering life under the assumed name of Ozias Midwinter.”

The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins The Black Robe

The church has lost out on a valuable piece of land through wars and transfers. Father Benwell is determined to reclaim that property by the conversion of the owner, Lewis Romayne. Enter beautiful Stella, who captures the heart of Romayne. Should Stella capture the love and devotion of Romayne, Father Benwell's scheme would fail, and that is something that he can not allow. Complicating things is the fact that both Romayne and Stella are hiding their own terrible secrets.The Black Robe is an 1881 epistolary novel by famed English writer, Wilkie Collins. The book centers around the misadventures of Lewis Romayne, and is also noted for a perceived anti-Catholic bias

No Name by Wilkie Collins No Name

The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. When Andrew Vanstone is killed suddenly in an accident and his wife follows shortly thereafter, it is revealed that they were not married at the time of their daughters' births, making their daughters "Nobody's Children" in the eyes of English law and robbing them of their inheritance. Andrew Vanstone's elder brother Michael gleefully takes possession of his brother's fortune, leaving his nieces to make their own way in the world...

I Say No by Wilkie Collins I Say No

Emily Brown is an orphan girl that almost no one can help but love when they meet her. She is pursued by two worthy men: Mr. Alban Morris, the drawing master at her school; and Rev. Miles Mirabel, a clergyman. However, one of them is lying to her after she discovers that her father's death wasn't natural, as she was led to believe. (Introduction by TriciaG)

The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins The Law and the Lady

Valeria Brinton marries Eustace Woodville despite objections from Woodville's family leading to disquiet for Valeria's own family and friends.Just a few days after the wedding, various incidents lead Valeria to suspect her husband is hiding a dark secret in his past and she discovers that he has been using a false name. He refuses to discuss it leading them to curtail their honeymoon and return to London where Valeria learns that he was on trial for his first wife's murder by arsenic. He was tried in a Scottish court and the verdict was 'Not Proven' rather than 'not guilty' implying his guilt but without enough proof for a jury to convict him...

Basil by Wilkie Collins Basil

Basil, son of a father who values the family pedigree and who would not let him marry below his station, falls in love at first sight with a girl he sees on a bus. He stalks her and discovers she is Margaret Sherwin, only daughter of a linen draper. He stalks her and persuades her father to let him marry her secretly. He agrees on the condition, that, as his daughter is only seventeen, they live apart for the first year. At first the secret works, but then the mysterious Mannion, whose emotions cannot be read in his face, returns from abroad. On the last night of the year Basil follows Margaret and Mannion and discovers them in flagrante delicto. (Wikipedia)

Jezebel's Daughter by Wilkie Collins Jezebel's Daughter

A brilliant chemist and a shrewd businessman — die on the same day. The widow of the chemist, Mrs. Fontaine, is left with the poisons he was researching , while Mrs. Wagner is left with her husband's mental health institution reforms and his plans for hiring women along with men in his firm's offices. Mrs. Wagner believes in treating madmen gently, and requests for the funny little man Jack Straw to be released from the madhouse. At the same time, her nephew David Glenney is sent to the Frankfurt office, where he works with Mr Engelmann and Mr Keller...

The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins The Dead Secret

"Everything in life has a price. May be, telling a Secret has the highest. However, not telling may be worse. What will Sarah choose? will she tell the Secret which destroyed her life?"

Book cover Queen of Hearts

The elderly Brothers Owen, Morgan and Griffith live a quiet, retired life in the countryside, which is turned upside-down by Griffith's ward, the young Jessie Yelverton. Originally, her visit to them was to last only six weeks, but for a very certain reason, the gentlemen must find a way to prolong her visit and get Jessie to stay for ten more days. To make her stay, they promise to tell her an entertaining and exciting story each night...

Book cover Miss or Mrs.?

Natalie Graybrooke is in love with her cousin Launcelot Linzie, but engaged to Mr. Turlington, an older man who covets her fortune and whom she detests. Turlington is the executor of Natalie's father's estate. When Natalie secretly marries her cousin, Turlington arranges to have Natalie's father murdered, to gain control of his fortune.

By: William Beckford (1760-1844)

The History of the Caliph Vathek by William Beckford The History of the Caliph Vathek

This is one of the earliest Gothic novels. The Caliph Vathek is one of the wealthiest and most powerful men who ever lived. But this is not enough for him. He seeks also forbidden knowledge, and doesn't care who he has to hurt to get it. Aided by his depraved mother Carathis, Vathek proceeds to damn himself, and those around him. (Introduction by MorganScorpion)

By: William Clark Russell (1844-1911)

Book cover Mystery of the 'Ocean Star' - A Collection of Maritime Sketches

This is a collection of short stories of mystery and romance, set at sea, in the times of the great sea voyages.

By: William Godwin (1756-1836)

Caleb Williams or Things As They Are by William Godwin Caleb Williams or Things As They Are

The novel describes the downfall of Ferdinando Falkland, a British squire, and his attempts to ruin and destroy the life of Caleb Williams, a poor but ambitious young man that Falkland hires as his personal secretary. Caleb accidentally discovers a terrible secret in his master’s past. Though Caleb promises to be bound to silence, Falkland, irrationally attached (in Godwin’s view) to ideas of social status and inborn virtue, cannot bear that his servant should possibly have power over him, and sets out to use various means–unfair trials, imprisonment, pursuit, to make sure that the information of which Caleb is the bearer will never be revealed...

By: William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)

Book cover Carnacki, The Ghost Finder

Thomas Carnacki was a detective of the supernatural, created for a series of short stories by Wiliam Hope Hodgson. Hodsgon, also a noted photographer and bodybuilder, might have created more stories for this intrepid sleuth of the occult, but he unfortunately died at the youthful age of 40 in World War I. (Introduction by Samanem)

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: William Le Queux (1864-1927)

The Czar's Spy by William Le Queux The Czar's Spy

William Le Queux was a British novelist and prolific writer of mysteries. Indeed, mystery surrounds the author himself as to whether he was a spy or rather just a self-promoter. Regardless of which is true, Le Queux brings us a story of intrigue and espionage that travels across Europe in the true spirit of a good mystery. There are shootings, burglaries, romances, escapes from prisons, and intricate conspiracies that may surprise and leave you scratching your head as you try to solve this “whodunit”. In the best tradition of a good mystery however, you may need to wait for the final chapters to discover the truth.

Hushed Up! A Mystery of London by William Le Queux Hushed Up! A Mystery of London

A young man, Owen Biddulph, is drawn to a beautiful young woman with a mysterious past... a past that seems to have returned to cause her disappearance! Is she his new found love or his nemesis? And who is this mysterious clergyman that warns him to avoid this young woman, at risk of his very life! What possible harm could this sweet young woman inflict? Written by one of the Masters of Mystery, William Le Queux. (Introduction by Tom Weiss)

The Seven Secrets by William Le Queux The Seven Secrets

A true “whodunit” with as many twists and turns as an English country road. Old man Courtenay is found murdered in his bed. Dr. Ralph Boyd is summoned to Courtenay Manor to examine the slain man and discovers a clue that might solve the case. But, he decides to keep the clue private for personal reasons. In the meantime, Scotland Yard has no clues as the culprits or the motive. Dr. Boyd, because of his new found clue, is sure he knows who is the murderer. Or, is it a murderess? His intimate acquaintance, Ambler Jevons, is also investigating the crime but Dr...

The Stretton Street Affair by William Le Queux The Stretton Street Affair

Hugh Gabriel has recently been repatriated from the war and has rejoined his old firm as an electrical engineer. On the way to visit his uncle one night, he is asked by a servant if he would be willing to meet with his wealthy master who is in some distress. Hugh becomes witness to, and directly involved with, a dastardly murder. Or has he? Who is this mysterious millionaire Oswald De Gex he has been asked to meet with? Is Doctor Moroni an honest physician or a diabolical monster? And what about...

The Great White Queen by William Le Queux The Great White Queen

How to describe this book? In a word – savage. For those regular Le Queux mystery listeners, this book is a step in a different direction by the author. The book starts out like most Le Queux. Our hero, Richard Scarsmere, befriends an individual (Omar) at an English boarding school who turns out to be an African prince from a kingdom called Mo. Omar receives a visit from one of his mother’s trusted advisers. His mother, the Great White Queen, seeks him to return home immediately. Omar convinces Scarsmere to return to Africa with him since there is little opportunity awaiting him in London. What follows is a tale of deceit, treachery, barbarity, and mystery.

The Four Faces by William Le Queux The Four Faces

Michael Berrington is a bachelor leading a quiet life in London. Overhearing a conversation at his club one day, he becomes interested in a discussion regarding a man named Gastrell. Gastrell is somewhat of a mystery to the club members in spite of his renting a house from one of them. Berrington’s interest in Gastrell intensifies as his fiancé, Dulcie Challoner, befriends a wealthy widow, Mrs. Connie Stapleton who evidently has some type of relationship with Gastrell. As the plot progresses,...

The Sign of Silence by William Le Queux The Sign of Silence

Edward Royle is the head of a well-known chemical manufacturer in England, which he has inherited. He is engaged to the daughter of his father’s former partner, Phrida Shand, who lives with her mother. One night he is asked by his friend, Sir Digby Kemsley – a very famous railroad engineer, to come to his flat to discuss something although Kemsley is quite mysterious on the telephone. Royle visits, then returns home only to be summoned again by Kemsley, this time imploring him to return at once...

By: William le Queux (1864-1927)

Book cover As We Forgive Them

From the Preface - In these modern times of breathless hurry and great combines, when birth counts for nothing; when fortunes are made in a day and credit Is lost in an hour, men’s secrets are sometimes very strange ones. It is one of these which I have here revealed; one that will, I anticipate, both startle and puzzle the reader. The mystery is, in fact, one taken from the daily life about us, the truth concerning it having hitherto been regarded as strictly confidential by the persons herein mentioned, although I am now permitted by them to make the remarkable circumstances public.

Book cover Whither Thou Goest

The Earl of Saxham was vastly annoyed when his son, Guy, fell in love with a “penniless nobody,” and announced that he would marry her against all opposition. He determined to separate the lovers; to which end he persuaded an influential friend in the Foreign Office to secure an appointment for Guy in the Embassy at Madrid. He little knew that he was sending his son into the centre of a hotbed of anarchism, that Guy’s footsteps were to be dogged by a vindictive and revengeful woman, that his life was to hold many a thrilling moment and not a few narrow escapes.

By: William MacLeod Raine (1871-1954)

Book cover Tangled Trails

The aptly titled "Tangled Trails, A Western Detective Story" takes the listener through a web of curious incidents revolving around the murder of a prominent man in Denver. Kirby Lane was quite obviously the guilty party in the murder of his uncle. Lane, among others, had had a falling out with his uncle, the victim James Cunningham. But there were some who believed his nephew to be innocent of the hideous crime. Lane feared the guilty party to be a female bronco rider whom he had befriended, as her presence at the scene of the crime was quite evident, albeit only to him...

By: Wyndham Martyn (1875-1963)

Book cover Anthony Trent, Master Criminal

In 1918, Anthony Trent, a well-educated young man in his late twenties, lives an unsatisfactory life in a New York boarding house. He writes successful crime fiction stories, but this doesn't pay enough for him to do the things he wants. Things change when he starts to put his knowledge of crime to a practical use... It gets him into serious trouble before long. (This work was first published in the USA in 1918, and falls under the Rule of the Shorter Term). The sequel to this book, The Secret of the Silver Car, is also available on Librivox.


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