The Man in Lower Ten

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Published: 1909
Language: English
Wordcount: 65,298 / 180 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 69.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,390 5932

An absorbing detective story woven around the mysterious death of the "Man in Lower Ten." The strongest elements of Mrs. Rinehart's success are found in this book.

Show Excerpt

ed the mists, and a fresh summer wind had cleared away the smoke pall. The boulevard was full of cars flying countryward for the Saturday half-holiday, toward golf and tennis, green fields and babbling girls. I gritted my teeth and thought of McKnight at Richmond, visiting the lady with the geographical name. And then, for the first time, I associated John Gilmore's granddaughter with the "West" that McKnight had irritably flung at me.

I still carried my traveling-bag, for McKnight's vision at the window of the empty house had not been without effect. I did not transfer the notes to my pocket, and, if I had, it would not have altered the situation later. Only the other day McKnight put this very thing up to me.

"I warned you," he reminded me. "I told you there were queer things coming, and to be on your guard. You ought to have taken your revolver."

"It would have been of exactly as much use as a bucket of snow in Africa," I retorted. "If I had never closed my eyes, or if I had kept my fi


Average Rating of 4 from 3 reviews: ****
Leah A. Zeldes

One of the first murder mysteries to be a U.S. bestseller, this absorbing novel offers a complex, twisting plot, with many secrets not uncovered till the very end. Its biggest drawback is the conclusion, which comes as something of an anticlimax after the buildup to it.

Lawrence Blakely, an attorney carrying important papers, stumbles on a murder aboard a train; meanwhile his bag containing the documents has been stolen, along with his clothes, and he's being accused of the killing when the train is wrecked. He and a mysterious young woman may be the car's only survivors. Told with humor and suspense, it shows why Rinehart was so popular.


There is no Cornelia Van Gorder in this book. But saying that it's an interesting story of the murder of the man in lower ten.


First, who is Cornelia Van Gorder? She was not a character in this book. There are about twenty characters, but not one is a Cornelia nor a Van Gorder.

Second, there are a lot of characters to keep track of, and many have names that are too similar for me. Mrs Curtis, Mrs Conway and Mrs Carter? I never figured out who was who. Sullivan and Simon and Stuart also threw me for a loop. Then there were the descriptions: the lady with the bronze hair and the one with the dark hair? Were either of these a Curtis or a Conway? I still don't know.

Still, the main characters were entertaining and kept my interest even as the plot became more convoluted and improbable.

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