Sunday, December 8, 2013

Love and Murder

A CHAIN OF EVIDENCE.
By Carolyn Wells.
J. B. Lippincott.
1912. 324 pages. $1.25
Early reviewers were inclined to cut Carolyn some slack:
A detective story mixt with romance of the "love-at-first-sight" variety makes this story peculiarly interesting to those who enjoy the solution of mysteries, and the pursuit of murderers.
When old Robert Pembroke was found dead in bed, the physician soon found that there were suspicious circumstances which must be investigated and the young lawyer across the hall—already attracted by the beauty of old Pembroke's niece—volunteers his services when he realizes that circumstances involve her in suspicion.
The door being securely fastened, and windows locked, make the problem a very serious one, but Otis Landon, our lover-lawyer, finally calls in Fleming Stone of Sherlockian perspicacity, and he tracks the villain and exonerates the fair heroine. — THE LITERARY DIGEST (July 20, 1912) [Text is online HERE and HERE.]
Another opinion:
'A Chain of Evidence' (1907, 1912) seems to be Wells' first impossible crime. It depends on a simple gimmick, and is a poor novel. Its mystery involves an outsider penetrating a locked apartment. It also has a simple alibi puzzle. There is perhaps some historical interest, in reading about what a New York City apartment was like at this early date. — Mike Grost, "Carolyn Wells," A GUIDE TO CLASSIC MYSTERY AND DETECTION
. . . but she did occasionally do better.

Category: Detective fiction

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