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The Case of Summerfield   By: (1822-1876)

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In W. H. Rhodes’ captivating novel, readers are transported to the fictional town of Summerfield, a place where secrets hide in every shadow. With an expertly crafted combination of mystery, suspense, and psychological exploration, Rhodes uncovers a gripping tale that kept me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish.

The story follows a talented and enigmatic detective named Robert Winter, who is drawn into an unsettling case in the seemingly idyllic town of Summerfield. As Winter delves into the investigation surrounding the sudden disappearance of a young woman, he quickly realizes that there is more to this case than meets the eye. Rhodes skillfully weaves together a complex web of twists and turns, ensuring that the reader remains on the edge of their seat throughout the narrative.

What truly sets Rhodes’ storytelling apart is his ability to create deeply layered characters that bring the story to life. Winter, in particular, is a detective whose internal struggles make him incredibly relatable. The author masterfully portrays the complexities and contradictions within Winter, provoking the reader to reflect on their own perspectives and biases.

The atmosphere in The Case of Summerfield is meticulously crafted, immersing readers into the eerie and unsettling setting of the town. Rhodes’ descriptions effectively evoke a sense of unease, capturing the brooding underbelly of Summerfield, which hides beneath its charming exterior. The author’s attention to detail and atmospheric writing style effortlessly transports readers into the heart of the story, making them feel as though they are walking the streets of Summerfield alongside Winter.

As the plot unfolds, Rhodes introduces an array of compelling supporting characters who each contribute to the layers of suspense and intrigue. From the secretive townsfolk to the morally ambiguous suspects, each character is distinct and memorable, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.

Rhodes expertly builds tension with every carefully plotted twist and turn, never allowing the reader to relax for a moment. The unexpected revelations and shocking discoveries serve as a constant reminder that things are not as they seem in Summerfield. I found myself constantly guessing at the truth, engrossed in the mystery, and eagerly anticipating the next twist in the plot.

Overall, The Case of Summerfield is a brilliantly crafted mystery that will captivate fans of the genre. Rhodes’ writing is sharp, his characters are complex and intriguing, and the plot is expertly executed. This novel is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a cleverly woven tale of suspense and a thought-provoking exploration of human nature. I eagerly await future works from this talented author.

First Page:


By William Henry Rhodes

With an Introduction by Geraldine Bonner


The greatest master of the short story our country has known found his inspiration and produced his best work in California. It is now nearly forty years since "The Luck of Roaring Camp" appeared, and a line of successors, more or less worthy, have been following along the trail blazed by Bret Harte. They have given us matter of many kinds, realistic, romantic, tragic, humorous, weird. In this mass of material much that was good has been lost. The columns of newspapers swallowed some; weeklies, that lived for a brief day, carried others to the grave with them. Now and then chance or design interposed, and some fragment of value was not allowed to perish. It is matter for congratulation that the story in this volume was one of those saved from oblivion.

In 1871 a San Francisco paper published a tale entitled The Case of Summerfield. The author concealed himself under the name of "Caxton," a pseudonym unknown at the time. The story made an immediate impression, and the remote little world by the Golden Gate was shaken into startled and enquiring astonishment. Wherever people met, The Case of Summerfield was on men's tongues. Was Caxton's contention possible? Was it true that, by the use of potassium, water could be set on fire, and that any one possessing this baneful secret could destroy the world? The plausibility with which the idea was presented, the bare directness of the style, added to its convincing power... Continue reading book >>

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