The Eight Strokes of the Clock

The Eight Strokes of the Clock by Maurice Leblanc

The Eight Strokes of the Clock by Maurice Leblanc

The Eight Strokes of the Clock is a collection of eight short stories by Maurice Leblanc. The stories have his most famous creation, Arsène Lupin, gentleman-thief, as main character. The eight stories, even though independent, have a leading thread: Lupin, under the name of Serge Rénine, trying to conquer the heart of a young lady, travels with her, solving eight mysteries on the way.

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The Bells of San Juan

The Bells of San Juan by Jackson Gregory

The Bells of San Juan by Jackson Gregory

Rod Norton is a lawman in a land where bandits and criminals make their own rules. Risking his life for justice and a future with the woman he loves, mortal danger awaits. For Norton and those in peril, the Bells of San Juan will chime.

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Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

Our Mutual Friend begins with an intriguing fortune offered to John Harmon by his late father, a rich dust contractor, in his will.

To receive the money, John must marry a certain Bella Wilfer who he does not know from Eve. He is returning from the exile enforced by his father and confides in a ship’s mate who attempts to murder him. The mate gets killed instead, leaving one inconvenient corpse. Because John is considered dead (the body is found with his papers), the money passes to Mr Boffin, old Harmon’s foreman. Harmon adopts Bella and John comes into his employ disguised as John Rokesmith. Bella does not fall for John but through kindly Boffin’s contrivances learns to hate money and fall for her suitor under his false name. Eventually she learns of his true identity as the Boffins had previously, and the villainous one-legged Silas Wegg’s plot to blackmail Mr Boffin is brought to light.

There is also a story running behind the main plot about a certain Eugene Wrayburn and his love for Lizzie Hexam, and his rival’s attempt to murder him. The two plots are only really connected through the waterside murders but it allows Dickens to indulge in an extremely socially diverse cast of characters.

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The Midnight Queen

The Midnight Queen by May Agnes Fleming

The Midnight Queen by May Agnes Fleming

The Midnight Queen is set in London, in the year of the plague 1665. Sir Norman Kingsley visits the soothsayer “La Masque” who shows him the vision of a beautiful young lady. Falling madly in love with her, he is astonished to find her only a short time later and saves her from being buried alive. He takes her home to care for her, but while he fetches a doctor, she disappears. Sir Kingsley and his friend Ormistan embark on an adventure to solve the mystery of the young lady – will they ever find her again?

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The Uttermost Farthing

The Uttermost Farthing by R. Austin Freeman

The Uttermost Farthing by R. Austin Freeman

Humphrey Challoner is a solitary old man who spent a lifetime collecting for his private museum, primarily mammals exhibiting osteological abnormalities but also 24 articulated human skeletons without any apparent defect. His friend, Dr. Wharton, is puzzled by the collection, but he humors Challoner’s eccentricities and tends to him in his final illness. When Wharton inherits the collection on Challoner’s death, the dark mystery that ties the collection together is finally revealed.

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The Man Who Was Thursday

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

In a surreal turn-of-the-century London, Gabriel Syme, a poet, is recruited to a secret anti-anarchist taskforce at Scotland Yard. Lucian Gregory, an anarchist poet, is the only poet in Saffron Park, until he loses his temper in an argument over the purpose of poetry with Gabriel Syme, who takes the opposite view. After some time, the frustrated Gregory finds Syme and leads him to a local anarchist meeting-place to prove that he is a true anarchist. Instead of the anarchist Gregory getting elected, the officer Syme uses his wits and is elected as the local representative to the worldwide Central Council of Anarchists. The Council consisting of seven men, each using the name of a day of the week as a code name; Syme is given the name of Thursday.

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The Mystery of 31 New Inn

The Mystery of 31 New Inn by R. Austin Freeman

The Mystery of 31 New Inn by R. Austin Freeman

Jeffrey Blackmore suspiciously made two wills, both deceptively alike, but still, in a cunning way, completely different. John Thorndyke, equally cunning and smart, smells something fishy. With stylish cool and logic, he leads the story up to its marvelous climax.

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The Case of Jennie Brice

The Case of Jennie Brice by Mary Roberts Rinehart

The Case of Jennie Brice by Mary Roberts Rinehart

The flood brings in not only the muddy waters but a series of suspicious clues that convinced Mrs. Pitman, a boarding house keeper, that a murder has been committed at her boarding house. Jennifer Ladley aka Jennie Brice is missing and with the help of Mr. Holcombe, a quirky gentleman with a passion for mysteries, they embark on a quest for the truth behind the disappearance of Jennie Brice.

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A Lovely Masquerade

A Lovely Masquerade by Nate Groshan

A Lovely Masquerade by Nate Groshan

Sandrone Pavironica, better known as the Spice King, was the second wealthiest man in the exceedingly wealthy City of Masks, until the day his greatest triumph turned into his most devastating tragedy. As his estate crumbles around him and the weight of illusion becomes too much to bear, Sandrone is forced to question the existence of dark nights alongside sunny days, and what has been gained from a life of chasing after pleasure and gold. However, in a city where the inhabitants hide their true selves behind perfectly painted porcelain masks, where can he turn to find the answers he seeks?

A private feud reveals a silent war being waged against the city’s unwitting residents, and with help from some unlikely friends, Sandrone comes to see the truth behind the idyllic façades cast in the lovely City of Masks:
Welcome to the Masquerade!

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Midnight

Midnight by Octavus Roy Cohen

Midnight by Octavus Roy Cohen

The crime seemed to have lost itself in the sleety cold of the December midnight upon which it was committed. The trails were not blind–there were simply no trails. The circumstances baffled explanation–a lone woman entering an empty taxicab; a run to a distant point in the city; the discovery of the woman’s disappearance, and in her stead the sight of the dead body of a prominent society man–that, and the further blind information that the suit-case which the woman had carried was the property of the man whose body was huddled horribly in the taxicab.

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