Reviews by Leah A. Zeldes

The Case of the 16 Beans

by Harry Stephen Keeler

In which a rare book of Chinese wisdom bizarrely determines the fates of a disinherited heir and a millionaire impresario, as told in Keeler's inimitable fashion.

Reviewed on 2015.04.21

The Last Stroke

by Lawrence L. Lynch

“The Last Stroke, by Lawrence L. Lynch”

In a fictional town outside Chicago, a popular young teacher is found shot to death, devastating his fiancée and brother. There seems to be no motive for the shocking murder of a man who had no known enemies. The local doctor calls in Chicago detective Francis Ferrars, who gradually pieces together the evidence. It becomes obvious fairly early whom he suspects, and why, but the process is still interesting, and Lynch's characterizations are excellent. The ending tidies things away rather too neatly, but that's a minor flaw.

It's a shame so little of Lynch's work is online.

Reviewed on 2015.04.21

Brigands of the Moon

by Ray Cummings

One of the writers who brought science fiction from the Wells and Verne era toward what became its Golden Age, Ray Cummings here writes a straight up piece of space opera. Martian brigands threaten Earth's secret lunar radiactum mining operations, though with a few adjustments, they could be Wild West bad guys attacking a gold mine or pirates preying on a treasure island. There's nothing very original here, but it's a reasonably good action-adventure yarn.

Reviewed on 2015.04.21

Agatha Webb

by Anna Katharine Green

Excellent! This is the best Anna Katharine Green novel I've read. In retrospect, I can find some nits to pick, but while reading it, I found it so exciting that I stayed up all night to finish it first.

A saintly woman is found stabbed, with her husband, a dementia victim, found asleep with blood on his sleeve; her housekeeper is dead, too. The reprobate son of the town's first citizen acts suspicious; his girlfriend is blackmailing him. Witnesses saw a strange, bearded old man.

There's lots going on, and the solution is quite unexpected. (Unlikely, too, and a bit of a let down but the rest is so absorbing that it doesn't matter in the least.)

Reviewed on 2015.04.13

more reviews ->