Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Mansion of Mystery Being a Certain Case of Importance, Taken from the Note-book of Adam Adams, Investigator and Detective, by Chester K Steele

Margaret Langmore found her father stretched lifeless in an armchair. He was either choked or smothered to death, or poisoned. Margaret was so horrified she ran from the room screaming wildly. Her shrieks brought the servant to the spot, and a minute later two of the neighbors, Mrs. Bardon and her son Alfred, came over from next door. Alfred Bardon is a physician, and, thinking there might still be a spark of life in Mr. Langmore, did all he possibly could to resuscitate the gentleman. The servant girl ran upstairs to find some drugs for him and in the upper hallway stumbled over the dead body of Mrs. Langmore. She had died in the same manner as her husband.

Read it here

The Diamond Cross Mystery Being a Somewhat Different Detective Story by Chester K. Steele

The fog from outside seemed to have penetrated into the jewelry shop. It swirled about the gleaming showcases, reflected from the cut glass, danced away from the silver cups, broke into points of light from the times of forks, became broad splotches on the blades of knives, and, perchance, made its way through the cracks into the safe, where it bathed the diamonds, the rubies, the sapphires, the aqua marines, the pearls, the jades, and the bloodstones in a white mist. The bloodstones—

Strange that James Darcy should have thought of them as he looked at the rain outside, heard its drip, drip, drip on the windows, and saw the fog and swirls of mist inside and without the store. Strange and—

First, as he gazed at the prostrate body—the horrid red blotch like a gay ribbon in the white hair—he thought the small, insistent sound which seemed to fill the room was the beating of her heart. Then, as he listened, his ears attuned with fear, he knew it was the ticking of the watch in the hand of the dead woman.

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Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective by Frank Pinkerton

Dyke Darrel investigates an audacious train robbery that included the murder of a friend, and embarks on a man-hunt. High Victorian serial melodrama at its best!

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The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart

A Gothic mystery unfolds when a spinster arrives at the mansion she's rented for the summer. Plans for a restful vacation are soon interrupted by niece and nephew, ghosts and spirits, murder and mayhem.

The Adventure of the Dying Detective by Arthur Conan Doyle

He's dying, Dr. Watson, said she. "For three days he has been sinking, and I doubt if he will last the day. He would not let me get a doctor. This morning when I saw his bones sticking out of his face and his great bright eyes looking at me I could stand no more of it. 'With your leave or without it, Mr. Holmes, I am going for a doctor this very hour,' said I. 'Let it be Watson, then,' said he. I wouldn't waste an hour in coming to him, sir, or you may not see him alive."

A Double-barrelled Detective Story by Mark Twain

Mark Twain is at his irreverent best with this hilarious parody of the 19th-century mystery - two seemingly unrelated narratives are spliced together, the author interjects himself as a character, and Twain even provides literary criticism of himself midway in the text. A Double-Barreled Detective Story is a delightful spoof of the mystery genre, then in its infancy, introducing the reader to Sherlock Holmes, as he has never been seen before or since. Far from his usual elegant London haunts, the great detective is caught up in a melodramatic murder mystery of love, betrayal, and vengeance in a rough California mining town - and dealing with characters named Ferguson, Wells-Fargo, Ham Sandwich, and Fetlock Jones.