Hand and Ring

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Published: 1883
Language: English
Wordcount: 146,773 / 418 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 80.1
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,654
Added to site: 2010.03.18
mnybks.net#: 27049
Origin: gutenberg.org

A powerful detective story, constructed with marvelous ingenuity and minuteness of detail, with a captivating jury trial -- you'll be forced to admit that fiction is stranger than truth.

Show Excerpt

strate woman and look in her face. "This woman is not dead."

"What!" they both cried, bounding forward.

"See, she breathes," continued the former, pointing to her slowly laboring chest. "The villain, whoever he was, did not do his work well; she may be able to tell us something yet."

"I do not think so," murmured Mr. Orcutt. "Such a blow as that must have destroyed her faculties, if not her life. It was of cruel force."

"However that may be, she ought to be taken care of now," cried Mr. Ferris. "I wish Dr. Tredwell was here."

"I will go for him," signified the other.

But it was not necessary. Scarcely had the lawyer turned to execute this mission, when a sudden murmur was heard at the door, and a dozen or so citizens burst into the house, among them the very person named. Being coroner as well as physician, he at once assumed authority. The widow was carried into her room, which was on the same floor, and a brother practitioner sent for, who took his place at her head


Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****
Marie Bruemmer

Nice, convoluted mystery. Not at all an obvious ending!


Another great old 19th Century mystery novel by Anna Katharine Green. In the town of Sibley in New York, the widow Clemens is attacked right after a group of friends, including the local District Attorney, had just concluded a discussion about crimes of this type. Before she dies she cries out: "Hand! Ring!" Later, during the coroner's inquest, suspicion falls on one man who stood to benefit from her death. But, Horace Byrd, a detective visiting from New York city, is not satisfied with this view, and begins to investigate on his own... Complications, and much drama ensue. Finally, in the very closing chapters Mr. Gryce show up to straighten things out. The author had a wonderful knack for writing these lengthy old mystery novels - and sustaining interest all the way through. It's a long book. The table of contents preserves the original page numbers: and, the last chapter is listed as beginning on page 600! Nevertheless, I never lost interest, as new "red herrings" show up along the way. Without giving anything away, I should mention that readers may not find the events and reconstructions in the closing chapters to be entirely credible. The attitudes about men and women in this book are very 19th Century. Just the same, I recommend this highly to all lovers of mystery novels.

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