Reviews by Leah A. Zeldes

Out of a Labyrinth

by Lawrence L. Lynch

This absorbing novel follows a pair of city detectives unraveling several small-town mysteries: The disappearance of two young women, horse thefts, a grave robbery and the shooting of a local doctor. The characterizations are good, the style very readable and the mystery well-plotted.

It's sad that the works of Lawrence L. Lynch are forgotten. She wrote more than 20 detective novels, some of them excellent. Only a few of them have been put online.

Lynch was the pseudonym of Emily Van Deventer (née Murdock, Jan. 16, 1853–May 3, 1914) of Oswego, Ill. Her first book, "Shadowed by Three" was published in 1879, bylined with the name of her husband, whom she had married in 1877. I haven't been able to find out much about the couple. Some of the novels are bylined "Lawrence L. Lynch of the Secret Service." If true, and not just publisher's hyperbole, that may explain why his wife chose to write under his name. I don't know what happened to Lynch, but about 1887, Mrs. Lynch was married a second time, to Oswego physician Dr. Abraham Van Deventer, though she continued to use her first husband's name as nom de plume.

Reviewed on 2015.04.10

The Fifth-Dimension Tube

by Murray Leinster

A sequel to Leinster's “The Fifth-Dimension Catapult,” this 1933 action-adventure novelette follows Tommy Reames, Prof. Denham and his daughter, Evelyn, into a strange world in another dimension, where the citizens of a golden city are at war with drug-crazed madmen from the jungle and gangsters from Earth. It's pretty pulpy stuff, and by no means Leinster's best, but it was likely thrilling to the teenagers it was intended for.

Reviewed on 2015.04.10

X Y Z

by Anna Katharine Green

A Secret Serviceman following a counterfeiting gang stumbles on a family conspiracy in this rather tame short story.

Reviewed on 2015.04.07

The Courtship of Morrice Buckler

by A.E.W. Mason

In the 17th century, a studious young Britain is drawn to avenge the deadly betrayal of his friend by a treacherous Tyrolean count. Then he falls in love with the count's widow. The novel features loads of swashbuckling action, and could have been made into a fine movie for Errol Flynn, but on the page it stretches on rather long.

Reviewed on 2015.04.07

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