Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Leavenworth Case - by Anna Katharine Green

Free Kindle Classic US & UK
The Leavenworth Case
by Anna Katharine Green
I love “discovering” a “new” writer . . . . who last published about a hundred years ago!  Anna Katharine Green wrote many mystery novels; her first was “The Leavenworth Case” published in 1878.  (US Edition)  (UK Edition)  The Amazon reviewers rave about the quality of her plots and her writing – two things you are lucky to find well done in any decade.

Here our hero, who is a junior partner in a law firm, is confronted with the news of a client’s murder.  The client’s secretary has come to the firm to get assistance for the surviving nieces and has found the senior partner, Mr. Veeley, is away.
As Mr. Veeley was their uncle's best friend, they naturally sent me for him; but he being absent I am at a loss what to do or where to go."

"I am a stranger to the ladies," was my hesitating reply, "but if I can be of any assistance to them, my respect for their uncle is such——"

The expression of the secretary's eye stopped me. Without seeming to wander from my face, its pupil had suddenly dilated till it appeared to embrace my whole person with its scope.

"I don't know," he finally remarked, a slight frown, testifying to the fact that he was not altogether pleased with the turn affairs were taking. "Perhaps it would be best. The ladies must not be left alone——"
Whoa, that is strange for any day or age . . .

Let’s look a bit further:
"Are the ladies very much overcome?"

He took at least a half-dozen steps before replying. "

It would be unnatural if they were not." And whether it was the expression of his face at the time, or the nature of the reply itself, I felt that in speaking of these ladies to this uninteresting, self-possessed secretary of the late Mr. Leavenworth, I was somehow treading upon dangerous ground. As I had heard they were very accomplished women, I was not altogether pleased at this discovery. It was, therefore, with a certain consciousness of relief I saw a Fifth Avenue stage approach.

"We will defer our conversation," said I. "Here's the stage."
Nicely done!  This is a weird one and promises to be very enjoyable.!  I like my mysteries mysterious.  That is not so easy in the formulaic serial killer thriller world of today.

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