More by Mary Roberts Rinehart

According to Wikipedia: "Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie.[1] She is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing.... Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special articles. Many of her books and plays, such as The Bat (1920) were adapted for movies, such as The Bat (1926), The Bat Whispers (1930), and The Bat (1959). While many of her books were best-sellers, critics were most appreciative of her murder mysteries. Rinehart, in The Circular Staircase (1908), is credited with inventing the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing. The Circular Staircase is a novel in which "a middle-aged spinster is persuaded by her niece and nephew to rent a country house for the summer. The house they choose belonged to a bank defaulter who had hidden stolen securities in the walls. The gentle, peace-loving trio is plunged into a series of crimes solved with the help of the aunt. This novel is credited with being the first in the "Had-I-But-Known" school."[3] The Had-I-But-Known mystery novel is one where the principal character (frequently female) does less than sensible things in connection with a crime which have the effect of prolonging the action of the novel. Ogden Nash parodied the school in his poem Don't Guess Let Me Tell You: "Sometimes the Had I But Known then what I know now I could have saved at least three lives by revealing to the Inspector the conversation I heard through that fortuitous hole in the floor." The phrase "The butler did it", which has become a cliché, came from Rinehart's novel The Door, in which the butler actually did do it, although that exact phrase does not actually appear in the work."
"If I should lie in a manger all night," she said, standing with her feet well apart and looking up at him, "would I become a boy?" The Bishop tugged at his beard. "A boy, little maid Would you give up your blue eyes and your soft skin to be a roystering lad?" "My father wishes for a son," she had replied and the cloud that was over the Castle shadowed the Bishop's eyes. "It would not be well," he replied, "to tamper with the works of the Almighty. Pray rather for this miracle, that your father's heart be turned toward you and toward the lady, your mother." -from The Truce of God Mary Roberts Rinehart's popular fiction-about nurses who solve crimes and adventurous spinsters-made her one of the most popular novelists and short-story writers of the early 20th century, a feminist, comic Raymond Chandler. The Truce of God, written during the era of her more serious writing, is a medieval Christmas fairy tale about Lord Charles the Fair and his young daughter, Clotilde, who longs for something more than her gender is typically allowed in these dark times. Grimly charming, The Truce of God-here in a replica of the beautiful 1920 edition-is an excellent example of the engaging storytelling that first captivated Rinehart's readers. American author MARY ROBERTS RINEHART (1876-1958) wrote some of the earliest classics of pulp fiction, including The Man in Lower Ten (1906) and The Circular Staircase (1907). Among her many novels of comedy, mystery, and romance are The Case of Jennie Brice (1914), The Red Lamp (1925), and The Swimming Pool (1952).
According to Wikipedia: "Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie.[1] She is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing.... Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special articles. Many of her books and plays, such as The Bat (1920) were adapted for movies, such as The Bat (1926), The Bat Whispers (1930), and The Bat (1959). While many of her books were best-sellers, critics were most appreciative of her murder mysteries. Rinehart, in The Circular Staircase (1908), is credited with inventing the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing. The Circular Staircase is a novel in which "a middle-aged spinster is persuaded by her niece and nephew to rent a country house for the summer. The house they choose belonged to a bank defaulter who had hidden stolen securities in the walls. The gentle, peace-loving trio is plunged into a series of crimes solved with the help of the aunt. This novel is credited with being the first in the "Had-I-But-Known" school."[3] The Had-I-But-Known mystery novel is one where the principal character (frequently female) does less than sensible things in connection with a crime which have the effect of prolonging the action of the novel. Ogden Nash parodied the school in his poem Don't Guess Let Me Tell You: "Sometimes the Had I But Known then what I know now I could have saved at least three lives by revealing to the Inspector the conversation I heard through that fortuitous hole in the floor." The phrase "The butler did it", which has become a cliché, came from Rinehart's novel The Door, in which the butler actually did do it, although that exact phrase does not actually appear in the work."
According to Wikipedia: "Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie.[1] She is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing.... Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special articles. Many of her books and plays, such as The Bat (1920) were adapted for movies, such as The Bat (1926), The Bat Whispers (1930), and The Bat (1959). While many of her books were best-sellers, critics were most appreciative of her murder mysteries. Rinehart, in The Circular Staircase (1908), is credited with inventing the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing. The Circular Staircase is a novel in which "a middle-aged spinster is persuaded by her niece and nephew to rent a country house for the summer. The house they choose belonged to a bank defaulter who had hidden stolen securities in the walls. The gentle, peace-loving trio is plunged into a series of crimes solved with the help of the aunt. This novel is credited with being the first in the "Had-I-But-Known" school."[3] The Had-I-But-Known mystery novel is one where the principal character (frequently female) does less than sensible things in connection with a crime which have the effect of prolonging the action of the novel. Ogden Nash parodied the school in his poem Don't Guess Let Me Tell You: "Sometimes the Had I But Known then what I know now I could have saved at least three lives by revealing to the Inspector the conversation I heard through that fortuitous hole in the floor." The phrase "The butler did it", which has become a cliché, came from Rinehart's novel The Door, in which the butler actually did do it, although that exact phrase does not actually appear in the work."
The first novel by Mary Roberts Rinehart, America’s queen of crime

This is the story of how a middle-aged spinster lost her mind, deserted her domestic gods in the city, took a furnished house for the summer out of town, and found herself involved in one of those mysterious crimes that keep our newspapers and detective agencies happy and prosperous.

So says Rachel Innes, the spinster in question and one of the most remarkable heroines in American crime fiction. With the irresistible encouragement of her niece Gertrude and nephew Halsey, whom she raised after her brother’s death, Rachel ignores her better judgment and rents Sunnyside, a sprawling Elizabethan mansion owned by a bank president, for the summer.

The first night passes peacefully. In the morning, the entire staff quits. Late the third night, a sinister figure lurks outside the patio window and Rachel hears a heavy crash on the circular staircase at the east end of the house. The fourth night brings a dead body.

From there, things only get worse. The dead man turns out to be Arnold Armstrong, ne’er-do-well son of the owner of Sunnyside. Aunt Rachel has never seen him before, but Gertrude and Halsey knew him all too well. When the investigating detective directs his attention to her niece and nephew, Aunt Rachel decides to solve the murder herself—and walks straight into a web of deceit and treachery so intricate she might never find her way out.

This ebook features a new introduction by Otto Penzler and has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
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