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Hand and Ring

Anna Katharine Green

Book Overview: 

Widow Clemmens is struck down in her parlor while the town's legal professionals chat outside the courthouse down the street. An investigation is made and two equally plausible suspects are quickly unearthed. But is either guilty? And what role does the mysterious Miss Imogene Dare play in this drama? A classic Green mystery notable particularly for the extended courtroom scenes in the second half of the book.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .You see, sir," he observed, "I was right when I told you I was not the man."

"I don't know," returned the other, rising. "I have not changed my opinion. The man they send may be very keen and very well-up in his business, but I doubt if he will manage this case any better than you would have done," and he moved quietly toward the door.

"Thank you for your too favorable opinion of my skill," said Mr. Byrd, as he bowed the other out. "I am sure the superintendent is right. I am not much accustomed to work for myself, and was none too eager to take the case in the first place, as you will do me the justice to remember. I can but feel relieved at this shifting of the responsibility upon shoulders more fitted to bear it."

Yet, when the coroner was gone, and he sat down alone by himself to review the matter, he found he was in reality more disappointed than he cared to confess. Why, he scarcely knew. There was no lessening of the shrinking he had . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Another very pleasing mystery by the wonderful Anna Katharine Green. This is the 4th book of her Inspector Gryce series. However, Inspector Gryce isn't central to the book until the last 50 pages - although he appears in disguise earlier in the book. He certainly ties the mystery together and pro...more

Well-written, convoluted mystery of the death of a woman with several suspects. As the suspicion tightens on an obvious suspect, a great detective sorts out the real mystery with a great twist in the end.

This is classic Green, with lots of high drama and a twisting, many-layered plot turning on stubbornly kept secrets and the fine points of physical and circumstantial evidence. I thought I'd pinpointed the criminal at one point, but then it took another twist! Mr. Gryce appears only briefly, but...more

Enjoy the Grice series. Author's usual; long, end wrap up and intriguing plot. Nicely narrated by Richard Kilmer, recommended.

It's a bit lengthy and convoluted but interesting read. Set in Upstate New York, we follow a team of detectives and attorneys as they try to solve a murder. In the period preceding the advent of advanced forensics, the process is totally dependent on the skills and logic of the men tasked with br...more

Once again, I really liked a book by this author. Though Hand and Ring is set in the late 19th Century and with forensics not yet discovered, thorough and dogged detective work - by way of lots of red herrings - enables the perpetrator to be found in the end. With a manageable cast of suspects an...more