Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 12 short stories that were originally illustrated by Sidney Paget. These are the first set of short stories that were published and followed the publishing of his first 2 novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four.
"Crime and Punishment" is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal "The Russian Messenger" in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his return from ten years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment is considered the first great novel of his "mature" period of writing. "Crime and Punishment" focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless vermin. He also commits this murder to test his own hypothesis that some people are naturally capable of such things, and even have the right to do them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov justifies his actions by comparing himself with Napoleon Bonaparte, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose. Much of the suspense of the novel is psychological, as the reader agonizes over Raskolnikov's efforts to evade justice for his crime. Much of it is also moral, as the question of whether or not Raskolnikov himself can find redemption as a human being leads to a surprising culmination.
Crime and Punishment is the second of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his return from 5 years of exile in Siberia, and is considered the first great novel of his "mature" period of writing. The novel focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov, in an attempt to defend his actions, argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime while ridding the world of a vermin, and to test a theory of his that some people are naturally superior and have the right to commit crimes if it is in pursuit of a higher purpose. ( Mark Nelson)
Henry James' classic ghost story comprises the written testimony of a young governess, charged with looking after two small children at an isolated country estate, who believes they are being haunted. As the story progresses, the governess' increasingly frenetic narration provokes the question: is she insane, or are the ghosts real?
This collection of independent stories first published between 1905 and 1907 in the magazine Je Sais Tout recounts the tales of Arsène Lupin, the famous gentleman-burglar: the first story marks the introduction of the character to the public, and its success encouraged author Maurice Leblanc to write several others, collected and published as a book in 1907. Arsène Lupin would go on to be the main character in several short stories and novels, written by Leblanc and others, and whose legacy would appear also in comics, movies and video games, becoming the icon of the affable and charming man who, choosing to walk on the wrong side of law, still can be a force for good.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A famous race horse disappears a week before an important race; the trainer is found dead on the desolate moor and the police are completely baffled. Naturally the owner and the police turn to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to help unravel the tangled threads of this mystery. Which he does in his usual imaginative and yet logical way. I think this is one of the best Sherlock stories by Doyle. We are given the clues and yet cannot see them until Sherlock slowly puts them together. Very enjoyable.
Christine Daae was brought up in the Paris Opera house. Her musician father suddenly dies, telling her he will send her an angel of music to look after her. She grows up and discovers that she is hearing a voice, telling her and teaching her to sing. She believes he is the angel of music but he is known in the Opera House simply as The Phantom. Although she is fascinated and drawn towards the phantom, she falls in love with her childhood sweetheart, The Vicomte de Chagny - or Raoul - but the Phantom won't take this lightly...
This work was originally a four-act play written by Maurice Leblanc and Francis de Croisset, later novelized by Leblanc himself, translated by detective fiction writer Edgar Jepson and published in English, in 1909, under the simple title of Arsène Lupin. In the story, the young and snobbish daughter of a millionaire is about to marry the Duke of Charmerace, recently returned from a trip to the South Pole. However, things won't go as smoothly as expected for the spoiled girl and her faithful servant, mainly when Arsène Lupin, the famous gentleman-burglar appears where he is least expected!
A young untested ship captain finds a man named Leggatt clinging to the side of his ship. The Captain makes the unusual decision to hide Leggatt in his quarters. What is he thinking? Conrad will tell us. - The Secret Sharer was first published in the August and September 1910 issues of Harper’s Magazine
An unsatisfied wife kills her weak husband in order to carry on a sordid affair with another man. However, her selfish plans are spoiled when her husband continues to
haunt her. This is often said to be Zola's first great novel.
"In the whole history of man there is no chapter more instructive for the heart and mind than the annals of his errors. On the occasion of every great crime a proportionally great force was in motion. If by the pale light of ordinary emotions the play of the desiring faculty is concealed, in the situation of strong passion it becomes the more striking, the more colossal, the more audible, and the acute investigator of humanity, who knows how much may be properly set down to the account of the mechanism of the ordinary freedom of the will, and how far it is allowable to reason by analogy, will be able from this source to gather much fresh experience for his psychology, and to render it applicable to moral life." (Introductory Paragraph)
Christian Wolf is a man not endowed with any special features, host of the inn the Sun, in need of money, and unhappily in love. The want of money leads him to minor crimes, and the disproportionally severe punishments spark in him an overpowering thirst for revenge, spiraling him ever deeper into trouble. This short story is at the same time a work of fiction, relating the story of an individual through his criminal career, and a work of enlightenment, showing how external circumstances can slowly transform a good man into a criminal.
Lizzie Greystock, a fortune-hunter who ensnares the sickly, dissipated Sir Florian Eustace, is soon left a very wealthy widow and mother. While clever and beautiful, Lizzie has several character flaws; the greatest of these is an almost pathological delight in lying, even when it cannot benefit her. Before he dies, the disillusioned Sir Florian discovers all this, but does not think to change the generous terms of his will.
The diamonds of the book's title are a necklace, a Eustace family heirloom that Sir Florian gave to Lizzie to wear. Lizzie attempts to hold onto them, much to the irritation of the longtime family lawyer, Mr Camperdown. The Eustaces find themselves in an awkward position. On the one hand, the diamonds are a valuable heirloom to which Lizzie may not have a legal claim, but on the other, they do not want to antagonize the mother of the heir to the family estate (Lizzie having only a life interest).
Meanwhile, after a respectable period of mourning, Lizzie searches for another husband, and "the plot thickens".
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.
Godwin described the book as "a series of adventures of flight and pursuit; the fugitive in perpetual apprehension of being overwhelmed with the worst calamities", so that Caleb Williams can be classified as an early thriller or mystery novel.
Hornung, E. W.
"I'd tasted blood, and it was all over with me. Why should I work when I could steal? Why settle down to some humdrum uncongenial billet, when excitement, romance, danger and a decent living were all going begging together?"- A. J. Raffles, The Ides of March.The Amateur Cracksman is the first collection of stories about A. J. Raffles, gentleman, cricketer, and thief. After stopping his old school friend, Bunny Manders, from a desperate attempt at suicide, Raffles introduces the unsuspecting Bunny to a new way of earning a living, burglary. Though frequently horrified by Raffles's actions, the conscience-stricken Bunny stands by him through all their adventures, firm to his promise, "When you want me, I'm your man!"
Roger Mifflin is the somewhat eccentric proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop, a second-hand bookstore in Brooklyn that is "haunted by the ghosts of all great literature." Beginning with the arrival of a young advertising man and the mysterious disappearance of a certain volume from the shelves of the bookshop, a lively and often humorous tale of intrigue unfolds, generously sprinkled with liberal doses of Roger's unique philosophy on literature and book selling.
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn
A "Bluebeard" story in which a young woman marries a man whom she discovers has killed his previous wives and is trying to kill her as well.
Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan
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.
"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. (PLUS more TBD)
Rinehart, Mary Roberts
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. Rinehart, who presumably had been reading, or reading about, the then popular Sigmund Freud, plays on what today is called "repressed memory," as she takes Dick into his past, and into the dangers that, unknown to him, lurk there. Is she correct about the behavior of memory? Who knows? After all, this is not a clinical treatise, but a work of fiction, one of the thrillers that made her such a popular writer of the earlier twentieth century.
G. A. Henty
When a nursemaid mixes up her baby boy and the baby of the family she works for, the family decides to keep both. Years later, the nursemaid returns, intent on using the boys to get money. When the boy she chooses first refuses to help and instead runs away, his adopted family is willing to do everything they can to rescue him. But will it be enough when war threatens in the Sudan--the runaway's destination?
Hornung, E. W.
Rachel Minchin stands in the dock, accused of murdering the dissolute husband she was preparing to leave. The trial is sensational, and public opinion vehemently and almost universally against her. When the jury astonishes and outrages the world with a vedict of Not Guilty, Rachel quickly finds herself in need of protection. It comes in the form of a surprising offer of marriage from a mysterious stranger who has sat through every day of her trial. The marriage to this intriguing stranger, Mr. Steel, is by mutual agreement to be a platonic one, the only condition of which is that neither is ever to question the other about the past. The two travel to Steel’s remote country estate, where Rachel accidentally discovers that her second husband’s past was somehow intertwined with her first husband’s history – but how, exactly, and why he determined to marry her, Steel will not say. As her doubts about her husband increase, local busybodies threaten to unearth Rachel’s own past. And that is the least of the secrets that comes to light as this entertaining mystery unfolds.
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.
Valeria sets out to save their happiness by proving her husband innocent of the crime. In her quest, she comes across the disabled character Miserrimus Dexter, a fascinating but mentally unstable genius, and his devoted female cousin, Ariel. Dexter will prove crucial to uncovering the disturbing truth behind the mysterious death.
Louisa May Alcott
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
Chesterton, G. K.
Three trees, known as the Peacock trees, are blamed by the peasants for the fever that has killed many. Squire Vane scoffs at this legend as superstition. To prove them wrong, once and for all, he takes a bet to spend the night in the trees. In the morning he has vanished. Is he dead, and if so who has killed him? The poet? The lawyer? The woodsman? The trees?
The Ghost Breaker is a drama and haunted house horror complete with heroes, villains, and a Princess. The Ghost Breaker was originally a screenplay and would later be made a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
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.
In The Four Pools Mystery the tyrannical plantation owner is deemed responsible for his own murder because of his mistreatment of the former slaves who continued in his employment after the war.
Jean Webster (pseudonym for Alice Jane Chandler Webster) was born July 24, 1876 and died June 11, 1916. She was an American writer and author of many books including Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy. (Wiki)
R. Austin Freeman
A young doctor, former student of the legal and medical expert Dr. John Thorndyke, finds himself almost accidentally drawn into a case in which a man has vanished. Perhaps he has died; perhaps not;but the issue is very important because the will that he has left behind is curiously -- annoyingly curiously -- worded. Fortunately, Dr. Thorndyke's rationality combined with his forensic skills, bring the case to a conclusion, while the young doctor meets the love of his life in the Egyptian rooms of the British Museum. (Nicholas Cifford)
Green, Anna Katharine
Anna Katharine Green (November 11, 1846 – April 11, 1935) was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories (no doubt assisted by her lawyer father).
Cavanagh becomes involved in the adventurous search for a precious relic in the mysterious East.
Williamson, Alice Muriel
Trying to get away from an engagement he had got himself into more or less against his will, Stephen Knight travels to Algiers to visit his old friend Nevill. On the Journey there he meets the charming and beautiful Victoria. She is on her way to Algiers to search for her sister, who had disappeared years ago after marrying an Arab nobleman. With the support of his friend, Stephen Knight decides to help the girl - but when she also disappears, the adventure begins...
Two former school friends, now both military men, meet again and discover both are trying to lose themselves to public gaze. Dick West has inherited the family estate, but is out of favor. "The Red Window" was used during periods of civil unrest to warn cavaliers of danger. Now, West awaits a message in the red window from his cousin, to say his grandfather has relented and forgiven him - but a handkerchief around the old man's neck complicates matters.
Bishop Pendle is the Church of England bishop in a small fictitious English cathedral town. Several years into his work, he receives a visit from a disreputable-looking visitor. The bishop is much upset. What transpired between them that has so upset the good churchman? And then there is the murder. Fergus Hume was one of the most prolific and most popular of 19th century novelists. "Mr. Hume won a reputation second to none for plot of the stirring, ingenious, misleading, and finally surprising kind, and for working out his plot in vigorous and picturesque English. In "The Bishop's Secret," while there is no falling off in plot and style, there is a welcome and marvelous broadening out as to the cast of characters, representing an unusually wide range of typical men and women. These are not laboriously described by the author, but are made to reveal themselves in action and speech in a way that has, for the reader, all the charm of personal intercourse with living people...."(Book Preface and david wales)
A lawyer is leaving his office on the top floor of an office building. He sees the shadows of two men fighting through the clouded glass of an office door followed by a shot from the office across the hall. He goes to investigate. He finds no sign of either victim or assailant despite the fact that no one could have passed him in the hallway without being seen. A murder has been committed, that of the banker. Who is the murderer? A business associate, the banker’s beautiful ward, or a mysterious woman who had been in the office earlier? And what part, if any, was played by the amnesia victim pulled from the river; a man who insists that his earliest memory is of falling through a hole in the earth?
A beautiful French actress with concealed origins and a clandestine involvement with a group of anarchists is brutally murdered in London. Circumstances lead Scotland Yard to several suspects, including her wealthy American fiancé, a couple of the anarchists, and even a respected “Yard” detective. The search for the killer sets off an absorbing mystery with an interesting cast of characters and plot twists. Gordon Holmes is a pen-name of Louis Tracy (1863-1928), a British journalist and prolific writer of fiction.(Lee Smalley)
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 Keller sun, Fritz, has fallen in love with Minna Fontaine, but the prospect of marriage is not being approved of by his father because Madame Fontaine is said to be in debt after her husband's death.
Private detective Jerry Boyne is hot on the heels of a bank teller who has just embezzled nearly a million dollars in a suitcase. Cornered in his seventh-story apartment, the thief seems to vanish into thin air. Boyne continues the chase, aided by Barbara Wallace, a young women with observational and deductive powers that put Sherlock Holmes to shame.
Ill feelings exist between the Meadowcroft sons and John Jago, the foreman of the Meadowcroft estate. Then, John Jago disappears, and a body is found in a kiln. The Meadowcroft brothers stand accused of the crime, but are they guilty? The Dead Alive is a novel written by Wilkie Collins based on the true-life Boorn Brothers murder conviction case of 1819. Jesse and Stephen Boorn were sentenced to death for the murder of their brother-in-law, but were they wrongly convicted?
Louis Joseph Vance
In the beginning of his career, Michael Lanyard alias The Lone Wolf, the most talented thief of his day, made the acquaintance of the beautiful Princess Sofia, but he also made an enemy of her husband, Prince Victor. Years later, Lanyard's daughter gets into the crossfire...
Red Masquerade is the third book in the Lone Wolf Series.
Enid Belfame: 42 years old, 22 of them as a married woman; eminently respectable; founder of The Friday Club; small town dignitary; a paragon of virtue. But does she have what it takes to commit murder? And will the young and handsome Dwight Rush benefit if she does?
J. S. Fletcher
Leonard Middlebrook, a young attorney with, among other things, a bibliographical interest, accepts an invitation to lonely Ravensdene Court on the Northumbrian coast. There, Francis Raven, the owner, recently retired to the family property after an Indian career, finds himself in possession of an enormous number of old books and other items, and needs help in evaluating them. The attorney, though a man of quiet life -- even dull, as he puts it -- finds himself suddenly at the center of a darkening mystery that stretches from the British Isles to the Far East, and eventually threatens not only him but also the young and spirited Miss Raven, Francis’s niece. ( Nicholas Clifford)
This is a fast-paced mystery, set in New York City, has two or three really interesting ("round") characters, a solid plot, no cheap plot-twists, two full-fledged sub/urban battles and some real surprises.
Winifred Bartlett, a beautiful and poor orphan, suddenly finds herself homeless and out of a job. Prince Charming (nee Rex Carshaw) comes on to her by accident and begins to take an interest. As strange, apparently unconnected disasters continue to batter poor Winnie, Rex and two police detectives (the most interesting characters in the book) probe the causes and forces threatening the dear girl's well-being and, ultimately, her very life and liberty. It turns out that it is Winifred's close resemblance to her mother, who died long ago in Vermont, that threatens certain powerful interests in contemporary (1913) New York.
An unusually large cast of bad guys - each with a different motive for getting rid of Winifred - includes a US Senator, and unsuccessful book binding supervisor, an influential NY society belle, and gun-slinging Western gangster "Mick the Wolf.” The mystery becomes increasingly complex with every new assault on the girl's well-being, and the efforts of the NY police and the ever-faithful Rex.
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. But, what is the connection with the mysterious Spanish Woman, who lives in a grand house and supposedly has friends in 'high places'? Who else was in the gambling house at that time of the morning before it had opened? What about the whispered conversations between Ellie's father, Mr. Fenwick, and his friend, Mr. Bingley, a prominent attorney prosecuting the case? Things are not always what they may seem...
Fleming, May Agnes
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?
Agatha Redmond, a popular soprano, is kidnapped in New York City by thugs unknown, shortly after she learns of a hefty inheritance from a friend of her mother's. Coming to her rescue is a wealthy young businessman named James Hambleton, late of Lynn, MA, and this is just the first two chapters.
Olva Dune is a Cambridge undergraduate who commits a murder and at that moment feels the presence of God. In a tour de force Walpole novelizes the Francis Thompson poem The Hound of Heaven, about a fearful soul pursued by an insistently loving God. (One could enrich the reading of the novel by first reading the poem (“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;… Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue…. Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,/ Save Me, save only Me?”). The psychologist Carl Jung, in a letter to the author, called the 1911 novel “a psychological masterpiece.” Hergesheimer on this novel: “So excellent is the versatility of Hugh Walpole that this writer of dignified and realistic and always beautiful pictures of life has among his books one with all the tension and strange plot of a Poe masterpiece… What happened is so filled with suspense that, very real and human though it is, the plot comes to have all the unexpectedness of the cleverest detective story…. Suspense--color of life--love--fear--triumph--they all mingle in an atmosphere as effective as the Cornish sea.”
New Yorker Robert Pagebrook travels to Virginia to visit relatives. The Civil War has ended and family ties are in order to be re-established. All goes well; the family relationships are as they should be, perhaps even better than expected. Unique character studies develop as Pagebrook finds himself in a financial predicament, becoming indebted and with no resources available, as his bank back home has dissolved. It is up to Robert Pagebrook to find a way to prove to his kin that he is still a Man of Honor. (Roger Melin)
Davis, Richard Harding
Austin Ford, the London correspondent of the New York Republic, is spending some idle time in the American Embassy chatting with the Second Secretary, when suddenly a note is brought in. This note is an appeal for help, found in the gutter in a dark alley. The writer claims to be a young girl, who is kept against her will locked up in a lunatic asylum by her uncle. Although the Second Secretary tries to convince him that there is nothing to it, the journalist is determined to follow the lead...
Florence Finch Kelly
New Mexico's hot, dry winds are taking their toll: cattle suffer long treks to get food and water. But it is not just a hard time for them. Lucy Bancroft has sought a milder climate so she can recover from typhoid fever. She and her father stop to see Curt Conrad, a rancher, on their way to their new home. The two men discuss politics (some of it crooked) at the state level. they also talk about an easterner, a man named Delafield, who years earlier cheated Conrad's father out of his considerable wealth. Curt has vowed to seek revenge on Delafield if he can ever find the crook. thus begins a harrowing tale of determined search and blossoming love in the hot, dry climate of New Mexico.
This 2nd volume of the Marie Antoinette Romances continues the intrigues of "Balsamo, The Magician" and adds to them the schemes of philosophers and the stirrings of revolution. Balsamo (based on the real Count Alessandro di Cagliostro) carries on his occult tactics to weaponize the state secrets that he gained in the previous volume. A serious romance and illness takes root in the court of King Louis XV, convincing one of the leading philosophic minds of the era, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that “the breath of heaven will blast an age and a monarchy.”