Published in 1878, Anna Katharine Green’s puzzler was admired by plenty of contemporary writers, including A. Conan Doyle. Penguin Books recently reprinted a new edition that brings this classic to a new audience of mystery readers. Horatio Leavenworth, a wealthy retired merchant, is murdered. He was shot in the head in his library and the evidence at the inquest shows that no one could have left the victim’s locked Manhattan mansion before the discovery of the body the next morning. Suspicion falls on the dead man’s nieces, Mary and Eleanore, only one of whom stands to benefit from their uncle’s violent death. Everett Raymond, a junior partner in a New York law firm that had Leavenworth as a client, teams up with the official investigator, Ebenezer Gryce, to discover the truth. More than just a locked room mystery, The Leavenworth Case was ahead of its time in the use of investigative techniques and indirection in the use of circumstantial evidence in the delightfully clever circuitous plot. Michael Sims’ informative Introduction puts this mystery novel in its social and historical context. This classic is well worth reading.

6 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #72: THE LEAVENWORTH CASE By Anna Katharine Green

    1. george Post author

      THE LEAVENWORTH CASE surprised me, Evan, with its narrative momentum and cleverness. Yale University Law School used the book when discussing circumstance evidence.


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