In the title tale of this collection by Mary Roberts Rinehart, after a long, chaotic life, Tish Carberry retires to her apartment, hoping for a bit of peace and quiet. But why, her friends wonder, does it sound like someone’s practicing riflery in her living room? No one would be surprised if Tish had converted her parlor into a shooting gallery, but her friends suspect something far more sinister: She may be playing golf. Tish took an interest in the game last summer when she met a befuddled young man whose beloved was too preoccupied with the sport to even glance in his direction. Soon afterward, a mysterious old woman appeared to challenge the girl—and since then, Tish has never been quite the same.
Here are five of Rinehart’s famous Tish stories—rollicking tales of madcap humor starring one of the most fascinating older women in literary history.
Mr. Melladew is a reader in a printing-office in which a weekly newspaper is printed. Mrs. Melladew, with the assistance of one small servant, manages the home. They had two daughters, twins, eighteen years of age, named respectively Mary and Elizabeth. These girls were very beautiful, and were so much alike that they were frequently mistaken for one another. Mrs. Melladew has told me that when they were very young she was compelled to make some distinguishing mark in their dress to avoid confusion in her recognition of them, such as differently coloured socks or pieces of ribbon. The home of the Melladews was a happy one, and the sisters loved each other sincerely. They were both in outdoor employment, in the establishments of a general linendraper and a fashionable dressmaker. Mary was in the employment of the linendraper--Limbird's, in Regent Street. It is a firm of wide repute, and employs a great number of hands, some of whom sleep in the house. This was the case with Mary Melladew, who went to her work on Monday morning and did not return home until Saturday night. Elizabeth, or Lizzie as she was always called, was employed by Madame Michel, in Baker Street. She went to her work at half-past eight every morning and returned home at half-past seven every night.
The printing-office in which Mr. Melladew is engaged employs two readers, a night reader and a day reader. Mr. Melladew is the day reader, his hours being from nine in the morning till seven in the evening. But on Saturdays he has a much longer spell; he is due in the office at eight in the morning, and he remains until two or three hours past midnight--a stretch of eighteen or nineteen hours. By that time all the work for the Sunday edition of the weekly newspaper is done, and the outside pages are being worked off on the steam presses.
Now, upon the Saturday morning on which, so far as I am concerned, the enthralling interest of my story commences, certain important events had occurred in my career and in that of Mr. Melladew. Exactly one month previous to that day, the firm in which I had been employed for a great many years had given me a month's notice to leave. My dismissal was not caused by any lapse of duty on my part; it was simply that business had been for some time in a bad state, and that my employers found it necessary to reduce their staff. Among those who received notice to quit, I, unfortunately, was included. Therefore, when I rose on Saturday morning I was in the dismal position of a man out of work, my time having expired on the day before. This was of serious importance to me. With Mr. Melladew the case was different. In what unexpectedly occurred to him there was bright sunshine, to be succeeded by black darkness.
Rosalind Denny, the American-born widow of the under secretary for Foreign Affairs, is still grieving for her husband. Eighteen months ago, Gilbert Denny threw away a happy marriage and a promising political career by ending his life. But Rosalind doesn’t believe that Gilbert’s drowning was a suicide.
In London, Foreign Office agent Benbow Smith is visited by Bernard Mannister, a distinguished member of parliament and president of the British Disarmament League. A confidential letter that could destroy lives and disrupt the precarious balance of Western power is missing. Mannister, like Denny and others before him, is being driven from public service—but why?
With an intriguing cast of characters, including a talking parrot, a sleepwalker, and a psychic, Walk with Care is both a top-notch historical thriller and a revelatory glimpse into the inner workings of British intelligence.
Walk with Care is the 3rd book in the Benbow Smith Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
In the month after the 1918 Armistice a young woman, Hervey Russell, comes to London to seek her fortune. Inexperienced and poor, she has all the strength and stubborn will of her Yorkshire grandmother and all the dreams of youth. Hervey is alone, her husband in the Air Force still, her baby son in Yorkshire. She plunges into the social and political ferment of London life with her friends T.S. and Philip, her slovenly, amicable neighbor Delia, and her lover, the American Jess Gage. This is the beginning of Hervey's story...
As snow falls on the steps of the New York Public Library, a line of cars moves sluggishly down Fifth Avenue. Oblivious to the traffic, a blue Chrysler roadster tears down the street, hops the curb, and slams to a halt. The car is empty, its driver thrown half a block back. He's stone dead, his cigarette still burning, and a noose tied tight around his neck. First on the scene is Detective Oscar Piper, followed closely by Hildegarde Withers, a schoolmarm with more than a passing interest in crime. They are a close-knit pair, and would have been married by now if murder didn’t keep getting in the way. Piper and Miss Withers must race across New York, attempting to learn how a man can be hanged while driving, and to do whatever it takes to keep his twin from suffering the same fate.
Starring “one of the world’s shrewdest and most amusing detectives” (The New York Times)—regarded by some as an American Miss Marple—Stuart Palmer’s Hildegarde Withers Mysteries will captivate readers of classic and cozy mysteries. Murder on Wheels is part of the Hildegarde Withers Mysteries, which also includes The Penguin Pool Murder and Murder on the Blackboard.
The culprit is the three gas taps in Mr Mottram's room, and Miles hopes to prove that his death is suicide. Miles' old wartime colleague, Police Inspector Leyland, is convinced it's murder. And the conclusion is as ingenious as it is surprising.