Fiction Friday: The Leavenworth Case
Green was a poet and a novelist, and is credited with being one of the first writers of detective fiction. Her books are known to be well-plotted and legally accurate. She is often referred to as the “mother of the detective novel,” and Agatha Christie indicated in her autobiography that Green influenced her writing.
A wealthy retired merchant, Horatio Leavenworth, is shot and killed in his library (shades of Clue, anyone?) Investigator Ebenezer Gryce (who would go on to star in future novels) and lawyer Everett Raymond look into the case and determined that no one could have left the house prior to the discovery of the body, creating what is known as a closed-room mystery.
By using her knowledge of the criminal and legal industries, Green created a book that was technically accurate and included realistic procedural details. A coroner’s inquest, expert testimony, scientific ballistic evidence, a schematic drawing, and reconstructed letter hearken to future police procedural mysteries. The first “suspicious butler” also plays a role.
Ellie Wagner is fine being a spinster school teacher. Then she witnesses a bank hold up and can identify the bandits. Fellow robbery victim Milly Crenshaw happens to run the Westward Home & Hearts Matrimonial Agency so she arranges for Ellie to head West as a mail-order bride. But her groom only wants a business arrangement. Can she survive a loveless marriage?
Banker Julian Sheffield is more comfortable with numbers than with people, but he’s done well for himself. Then the bank president tells him that in order to advance further he must marry in six weeks’ time. The candid, unsophisticated woman sent by the agency is nothing like he expected, but time is running out. When her past comes calling, does he have what it takes to ensure their future?
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B09QZ14KKZ