The Shrieking Pit

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Author: Arthur J. Rees
Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 100,615 / 287 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 78.6
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 1,018
Added to site: 2007.02.04 15980

As the scenes of this story are laid in a part of Norfolk which will be readily identified by many Norfolk people, it is perhaps well to state that all the personages are fictitious, and that the Norfolk police officials who appear in the book have no existence outside these pages. They and the other characters are drawn entirely from imagination.

Show Excerpt

nsibly softened itself into the best bedside manner when he spoke to the patient on the carpet, who, from a sitting posture, was now endeavouring to struggle to his feet. "You think you can get up, eh? Well, it won't do you any harm. That's the way!" Sir Henry assisted the young man to rise, and supported him with his arm. "Now, the next thing is to get him to his room. No, no, not you, Willsden--you're too small. Where's that gentleman I was sitting with a few minutes ago? Ah, thank you"--as Colwyn stepped forward and took the other arm--"now, let us take him gently upstairs."

The young man allowed himself to be led away without resistance. He walked, or rather stumbled, along between his guides like a man in a dream. Colwyn noticed that his eyes were half-closed, and that his head sagged slightly from side to side as he was led along. A waiter held open the glass doors which led into the lounge, and a palpitating chambermaid, hastily summoned from the upper regions, tripped ahead up the broad carpete


Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
Henry L. Ratliff

(1918) Mystery (Master Detective) / Crime (Murder)

R: * * * * *

Plot bullets

  • A robbery and murder is committed at an isolated country inn.

  • The police come to a quick conclusion and accuse a young man who was staying at the end.

  • The famous American detective, Grant Colwyn is asked to help. He thinks that the police are basing their theory, too much on circumstantial evidence.

  • The police case revolves around the strange actions of the suspect, the knowledge that he needed money, his quick departure on the morning after the murder and his refusal to defend himself.

  • The body of the murdered man was found in a local pit. The pit has a reputation of being the abode of the White Ghost. Legend has it, that her shrieks from the pit are a warning. Those who do not heed the warning and look upon her, will soon die.

  • The ghosts activities pick up after the murder. Is there yet another surprise in, The Shrieking Pit?


Okay, but nothing special. Murder mystery set in a remote country inn at Norfolk, England. The first half is better than the second half. The multiple retellings of how the crime was committed slowed down the last five chapters.

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