Uncle Abner is a sturdy mountaineer who helps to solve the mysteries tragedies and crimes which occur in the Virginia mountains where he lives. There are eighteen short stories which have appeared in magazines at various times.
ps find the wall there, with the sun on it, and the yellow flowers in the grass. And now, may I go?"
It is a law of the story-teller's art that he does not tell a story. It is the listener who tells it. The story-teller does but provide him with the stimuli.
Randolph got up and walked about the floor. He was a justice of the peace in a day when that office was filled only by the landed gentry, after the English fashion; and the obligations of the law were strong on him. If he should take liberties with the letter of it, how could the weak and the evil be made to hold it in respect? Here was this woman before him a confessed assassin. Could he let her go?
Abner sat unmoving by the hearth, his elbow on the arm of his chair, his palm propping up his jaw, his face clouded in deep lines. Randolph was consumed with vanity and the weakness of ostentation, but he shouldered his duties for himself. Presently he stopped and looked at the woman, wan, faded like some prisoner of legend escaped out of
Too mucha God's Acts and God's Angels and God's Vengeance for my taste.
Maybe if you are a Protestant (I'm not a Catholic and I don't have anything against the believers) and live in the Bible's Belt, you'll synthonize with the Uncle Abner...
The first chapter is a deceptive one, it offers a rational solution and not a mention of God's Higher Will, but in the next episodes the solutions happen only as manifestations of His Justice.
The stories, except the first one, are all the same: someone owes someone
money, or steals it, the owner turns up dead and the Uncle Abner, a righteous preacher, supernaturelly gets to know all the details and
presses on the culprit until the culprit confesses.
All this, narrated with a woodenly grave intonation. Like the Uncle's
culprits, I also have a confession to make: I couldn't finish the book.
This is a first-rate collection of mystery stories by one of the greatest American mystery writers of all time. Very ingenious stories, well-told. These are the stories for which Melville Davisson Post is best remembered. Unfortunately, they are not as well-known as they should be. The collection opens with a Locked Room puzzle. The others are also very good - and distinctively American. More information on Post and the Uncle Abner stories can be found here: www.firstthings.com.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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