Category Archives: Reading

The Countess of Saint Geran

The Countess of Saint Geran by Alexandre Dumas

The Countess of Saint Geran by Alexandre Dumas

This story details the crimes and trial surrounding the unexpected pregnancy and subsequent childbirth of the Countess de Saint-Geran in 1640s France. Familial jealousies harbored by her sister-in-law, the Marchioness de Bouille, intertwine with the greedy schemes of a fugitive relative, the Marquis de Saint-Maixent, to produce a scandalous series of events.

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Là-bas

Là-bas by Joris-Karl Huysmans

Là-bas by Joris-Karl Huysmans

The plot of Là-Bas concerns the novelist Durtal, who is disgusted by the emptiness and vulgarity of the modern world. He seeks relief by turning to the study of the Middle Ages and begins to research the life of the notorious 15th-century child-murderer Gilles de Rais. Through his contacts in Paris (notably Dr. Johannes, modeled after Joseph-Antoine Boullan), Durtal finds out that Satanism is not simply a thing of the past but alive in turn of the century France. He embarks on an investigation of the occult underworld with the help of his lover Madame Chantelouve. The novel culminates with a description of a black mass. (Wikipedia)

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The Golden Slipper

The Golden Slipper by Anna Katharine Green

The Golden Slipper by Anna Katharine Green

Miss Violet Strange is young, petite and attractive and has a wealthy father. She also has the knack for solving problems. This collection contains nine mysteries or problems for her to solve in an early example of the ‘girl detective’ by mistress of crime, Anna Katharine Green

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The Datchet Diamonds

The Datchet Diamonds by Richard Marsh

The Datchet Diamonds by Richard Marsh

Oh dear! The Duchess of Datchet’s diamonds, worth a quarter of a million pounds, have been stolen. Just as Mr. Paxton, a ne’er do well gambler planning to leave the country to escape his losses, reads this news item on a train, he overhears, in the next compartment, the actual thief boasting of his accomplishment. Then, when he arrives at his hotel and opens his Gladstone bag, he finds the bag is not his — and it contains the spoils of the robbery! Will our hero take them directly to the magistrate and tell all he knows? Or will things take another turn, leading to brigands, danger, and possibly romance?

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Vaninka

Vaninka by Alexandre Dumas

Vaninka by Alexandre Dumas

The story of Vaninka, generally regarded as the most fictionalized of Dumas’ Celebrated Crimes series, occurs during the short and eccentric rule of Emperor Paul I of Russia. Vaninka is a general’s daughter whose love for one of her father’s officers leads to tragic death, savage crimes and perversions of justice.

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A Man of Honor

A Man of Honor by George Cary Eggleston

A Man of Honor by George Cary Eggleston

New Yorker Robert Pagebrook travels to Virginia to visit relatives. The Civil War has ended and family ties are in order to be re-established. All goes well; the family relationships are as they should be, perhaps even better than expected. Unique character studies develop as Pagebrook finds himself in a financial predicament, becoming indebted and with no resources available, as his bank back home has dissolved. It is up to Robert Pagebrook to find a way to prove to his kin that he is still a Man of Honor.

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Arsène Lupin versus Herlock Sholmes

Arsène Lupin versus Herlock Sholmes by Maurice Leblanc

Arsène Lupin versus Herlock Sholmes by Maurice Leblanc

The story of an exciting test of wits between world-class thief Arsène Lupin and master detective Herlock Sholmes.

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The Most Extraordinary Trial of William Palmer

The Most Extraordinary Trial of William Palmer

The Most Extraordinary Trial of William Palmer

John Parsons Cook was a 28 year old bachelor, from a good family but not in robust health. He studied to become a lawyer, but instead of following that career, turned to raising race horses. In November 1855, during a visit to the Shrewsbury races, he was taken violently ill. He was attended by the 80 year old local doctor Dr. Bamford, and Cook’s friend and sometimes partner, Dr. Palmer. William Palmer was a physician and surgeon, a widower and father. His appearance instilled confidence and invited trust. But were appearances deceptive? Was he, in fact, a cool, calculating and vicious serial murderer, who used his knowledge and skill for evil ends, to escape the effects of an addiction that was destroying his life? There are numerous references to this case in fiction, by Dickens, Sayers, Hitchcock and others; and the familiar salutation “What’s your poison?” is believed to date from the events of this case. This is true courtroom drama, more gripping than fiction and it will have you guessing until the end.

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The Evil Shepherd

The Evil Shepherd by E. Phillips Oppenheim

The Evil Shepherd by E. Phillips Oppenheim

A businessman is found stabbed through the heart, the obvious suspect his partner: Oliver Hilditch. Hilditch seems destined for the gallows, but he is saved by brilliant defense attorney Francis Ledsam. It is a defense to be proud of, but Ledsam’s joy vanishes when Hilditch’s wife informs him that her husband is guilty of crimes far more monstrous than murder. Ledsam finds himself trapped between his love for a beautiful woman and a powerful desire to do the right thing—no matter the cost.

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Plague of Pythons

Plague of Pythons by Frederik Pohl

Plague of Pythons by Frederik Pohl

In a post-apocalyptic world where every government in the world has been overrun by its own military machinery, only to see that military machinery self-destruct, people are randomly being affected by a plague that seemingly takes over their brains and forces them to commit heinous crimes. Chandler is one of these unfortunate victims, the perpetrator of rape and murder. He is driven out of his community as a Hoaxer (someone who feigns being a victim of the plague), branded on his forehead with the letter H. But he is not feigning. In his travels, he finds the source of the plague, and it’s not what people think. It’s up to him to deal with it, and he does. But to what end?

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