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Mystery Novels

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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. (Summary by Gesine)

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? (Summary by Lucy Burgoyne)

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. (Summary by Lee Ann Howlett.)

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. (Summary by Wikipedia & John Greenman)

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. (Summary by Wikipedia & John Greenman)

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. (Summary by Stav Nisser)

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? (Summary by Stav Nisser.)

By: Mary Hastings Bradley (d. 1976)

The Fortieth Door by Mary Hastings Bradley The Fortieth Door

An American archaeologist, a masked ball in Cairo, an elusive young woman and the unexplained disappearance of a Frenchman fifteen years earlier all play into this entertaining tale of mystery, intrigue and adventure. (summary written by J. M. Smallheer)

By: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Circular Staircase

Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958) was a prolific American writer of popular mysteries. The Circular Staircase was originally published in 1908 and includes all the elements of the classic whodunit – mysterious events, ghostly apparitions, things that go bump in the night and murder.(Summary by J. M. Smallheer)

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. (summary by Wina Hathaway)

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...

The Street of Seven Stars by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Street of Seven Stars

Published in 1914, this novel tells the story of Harmony Wells, an innocent and beautiful American in Austria to study violin. Harmony has talent and she dreams of a career in music. After her friends run out of money and return to the States, Harmony stays on in hopes of earning enough money to continue her lessons. Along the way, she meets Peter Byrne, an American doctor in Vienna following his dream to study surgery. Peter is already watching over an orphan boy in a local hospital and now he takes it upon himself to protect young Harmony from the unsavory side of life in the big city...

The Confession by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Confession

Mary Roberts Rinehart is claimed to have invented the "Had I but known" mystery genre. When Agnes Blakiston rented the old parsonage at Miss Emily's request she soon came to regret it. Was the house haunted? Did Miss Emily have a secret so terrible she would rather die than reveal it? To find the answers you will need to listen. (Summary by Annise)

Dangerous Days by Mary Roberts Rinehart Dangerous Days

Dangerous Days opens in a still neutral America, though within a year the country will have joined the European alliance against the Central Powers in the first world war. Clayton Spencer, a successful industrialist and owner of a munitions plant, finds himself facing several problems: not only anarchism and German sabotage, but also the prospect of a deteriorating marriage, and of a son who all too often shares his mother's frivolous and essentially self-concerned point of view. How far will America's entry into the war change such views? What will it mean for Spencer, for his family, and for his business?

By: Mary T. Waggaman (1846-1931)

Captain Ted by Mary T. Waggaman Captain Ted

When tragedy hits his family, in the form of a sudden illness to his father, young Teddy Thornton is forced to leave school and find work to help support his family. Without his realization he is thrown into a world of crime and counterfeiting. Will he do the right thing, or will he unwittingly be drawn down the wrong path? And will the mystery of Heron Hall be solved?

By: Maurice Leblanc (1864-1941)

The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar

A contemporary of Arthur Conan Doyle, Maurice Leblanc (1864-1941) was the creator of the character of gentleman thief Arsène Lupin who, in France, has enjoyed a popularity as long-lasting and considerable as Sherlock Holmes in the English-speaking world. This is the delightful first of twenty volumes in the Arsène Lupin series written by Leblanc himself. In an unprecedented act of literary pastiche and cross-over, Sherlock Holmes and Lupin actually meet, briefly in this first volume, and more substantially in the next. But after legal objections from Conan Doyle, the name was changed to “Herlock Sholmes.” (Summary adapted from Wikipedia by a.r.dobbs)

The Hollow Needle: Further Adventures of Arsène Lupin by Maurice Leblanc The Hollow Needle: Further Adventures of Arsène Lupin

Arsène Lupin returns in a wonderful story of disguises, love, and of course treasure. Once again, Lupin crosses paths with the famous Holmlock Shears. But this time Arsène matches wits with Isidore Beautrelet, Sixth-form Schoolboy. Every step that Lupin takes has Beautrelet right on his heels. Has Lupin finally met his match? Will Beautrelet discover the secret of the Hollow Needle? And has the gentleman burglar met another match as well, one who will lead him away from his life of crime forever? (Summary by Alex Patterson)

The Eight Strokes of the Clock by Maurice Leblanc The Eight Strokes of the Clock

The Eight Strokes of the Clock is a collection of eight short stories by Maurice Leblanc. The stories have his most famous creation, Arsène Lupin, gentleman-thief, as main character. The eight stories, even though independent, have a leading thread: Lupin, under the name of Serge Rénine, trying to conquer the heart of a young lady, travels with her, solving eight mysteries on the way.(Summary by Leni)

The Blonde Lady by Maurice Leblanc The Blonde Lady

In “The Blonde Lady, being a record of the duel of wits between Arsène Lupin and the English detective” – original title “Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmes” – the gentleman-burglar once more meets his enemy, the English detective Herlock Sholmes. If in the last story of “Arsène Lupin, gentleman-burglar” Sherlock Holmes arrives too late (the name was at a later date changed to Herlock Sholmes in reply to complaints and threats by Conan Doyle regarding copyrights), in the two stories that compose “The Blonde Lady” these two great intellects are bound in opposite directions...

The Teeth of the Tiger by Maurice Leblanc The Teeth of the Tiger

Maurice Leblanc delivers another Arsene Lupin adventure set in World War I. (Summary by Cathy Barratt)

Book cover 813

As usual, gentleman thief Arsene Lupin finds himself wrongfully accused of murder, and must find the real killer to clear his coloured name. (Summary by Cathy Barratt)

Book cover The Confessions of Arsene Lupin

A collection of nine stories - or confessions - of the celebrated gentleman thief Arsene Lupin (Summary by Cathy Barratt)

Book cover The Crystal Stopper

During a burglary at the home of Deputy Daubrecq a crime is committed, and two accomplices of Arsène Lupin are arrested by the police. One is guilty of the crime, the other innocent, but both will be sentenced to death. Lupin seeks to deliver the victim of a miscarriage of justice, but struggles against Deputy Daubrecq's ruthless blackmailer, who has an incriminating document hidden in a crystal stopper. (Summary by Wikipedia)


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