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The Leavenworth Case

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The Leavenworth Case Cover

ISBN13: 9780143106128
ISBN10: 0143106120
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The classic genre-defining whodunit, by the mother of the detective novel

Introducing the first American series detective, Ebenezer Gryce, The Leavenworth Case was published nine years before the debut of Sherlock Holmes, and made author Anna Katharine Green an enormously popular and influential writer who changed the mystery genre forever. Showcasing Green's verve and style, The Leavenworth Case opens with the shocking murder of Horatio Leavenworth, a wealthy New York merchant, philanthropist, and well-known member of the community. His favorite niece, Mary, is to inherit his fortune, and all of the evidence seems to implicate her or her sister. Yet surprises greet Gryce at every turn-even before the second murder.

Review:

"First published in 1878, nine years before the debut of Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet, this atmospheric and suspenseful mystery well deserves a modern audience. When someone shoots Horatio Leavenworth, a wealthy retired merchant, through the head in his library late one night, the evidence at the inquest indicates that no one could have left the victim's locked Manhattan mansion before the discovery of the body the next morning. Suspicion thus falls on members of the household, specifically the dead man's nieces, Mary and Eleanore, only one of whom stands to benefit from their uncle's death. Everett Raymond, a junior partner in a New York law firm that had Leavenworth as a client, teams with unassuming official investigator Ebenezer Gryce to seek the truth. Green (1846 — 1935), whose smooth prose remains fresh, makes Gryce an interesting enough character to leave fans of traditional whodunits eager to see more of the detective in reissues of his further exploits." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Short excerpt: 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.

Synopsis:

"First published in the United States of America by G. P. Putnam's Sons 1878"--T.p. verso.

About the Author

Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935) was an American author of mysteries.

Michael Sims is the editor of The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime, The Annotated Archy and Mehitabel, and Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief, all for Penguin Classics, and the author of Apollo's Fire, Adam's Navel, and Darwin's Orchestra. He lives in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

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Gypsi, January 21, 2011 (view all comments by Gypsi)
Anna Katharine Green (November 11, 1846 – April 11, 1935) was one of the first Americans to write mysteries that featured a detective, and is also credited with shaping the genre into more legally accurate fiction, as well as inventing both the (new stereotypcial) meddling busybody sleuth and girl detective.

The Leavenworth Case (her first novel), is a complex mystery with a well penned and well planned plot. It takes many twists and turns, but none unbelievable or contrived, and arrives at a solution at once surprising, satisfying, and obvious from the beginning if the read had been looking in the right direction.

Loosely, the plot of The Leavenworth Case is that Horace Leavenworth is found murdered in his locked library. Naturally, his household is suspected, and evidence points to one of his nieces, Eleanor.

The narrator is a young lawyer, Mr. Raymond, who has no experience is mysteries or murders. The police detective, Mr. Gryce, enlists Raymond's help because he is a gentleman, and as such will be welcome in places that Gryce would not be. While Raymond hates the thoughts of playing spy, he has become extremely interested in protecting Eleanor's reputation, so agrees. All the clues and information the reader sees are what Raymond sees, so at times, the reader is deducing (like Raymond) without all the facts. As new information comes to light, Raymond has to fit that into his hypotheses, or scrap it all together and form a new one--and so does the reader.


The Leavenworth Case was a most satisfying mystery, and kept me guessing til the end. I was certain I knew who the guilty party was time and time again. Time and time again I had to reform my ideas around new information. The clues and misinformation did not feel contrived at all, rather it came about very naturally, as one would expect during the course of a police investigation.

Not only does The Leavenworth provide a meaty mystery; in it, one sees a very clear picture of life among certain classes in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century.

Given both the quality of the mystery, and the slice of history it gave, I look forward to reading many more of Green's mysteries.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143106128
Author:
Green, Anna Katharine
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Introduction by:
Sims, Michael
Introduction:
Sims, Michael
Author:
Sims, Michael
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series:
Penguin Classics
Publication Date:
20100431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
7.72x6.32x.64 in. .52 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

The Leavenworth Case Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143106128 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "First published in 1878, nine years before the debut of Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet, this atmospheric and suspenseful mystery well deserves a modern audience. When someone shoots Horatio Leavenworth, a wealthy retired merchant, through the head in his library late one night, the evidence at the inquest indicates that no one could have left the victim's locked Manhattan mansion before the discovery of the body the next morning. Suspicion thus falls on members of the household, specifically the dead man's nieces, Mary and Eleanore, only one of whom stands to benefit from their uncle's death. Everett Raymond, a junior partner in a New York law firm that had Leavenworth as a client, teams with unassuming official investigator Ebenezer Gryce to seek the truth. Green (1846 — 1935), whose smooth prose remains fresh, makes Gryce an interesting enough character to leave fans of traditional whodunits eager to see more of the detective in reissues of his further exploits." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Short excerpt: 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.
"Synopsis" by , "First published in the United States of America by G. P. Putnam's Sons 1878"--T.p. verso.
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