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The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow

Anna Katharine Green

Book Overview: 

It is the noon hour at a museum in New York City. The date: May 23, 1913. The weekday, attendance is light; the attendees are scattered between two floors. Suddenly a cry rings out from the second floor. Scrambling to Section II, the museum director discovers a teenage girl dead with an arrow through her heart. An older woman hovers over her whispering incoherent phrases in the girl's ear and offering incomprehensible answers to the director's questions. She is the only witness to the crime, or accident, as the case may be. How will the feeble, 83 year-old Mr. Gryce unravel this mystery when this witness is apparently insane?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .he had found a way of escape which rendered him for the time being safe from discovery. But there was another possible miscalculation which he felt it his duty to recognize before he proceeded further in his difficult task. The bow found back of the tapestry had every appearance of being the one used for the delivery of the arrow. But was it? Might it not, in some strange and unaccountable way, have been flung there previous to the present event and by some hand no longer in the building? Such coincidences have been known, and while as a rule this old and experienced detective put little confidence in coincidences of any kind, he had but one thought in mind in approaching this final witness, which was to get from him some acknowledgment of having seen, on or about the time of the accident, a movement in the tapestry behind which this bow lay concealed. If once this fact could be established, there could be no further question as to the direct connection between the bow th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Mystery set in New York City around the end of the 19th century. A girl in a museum is killed by an arrow mysteriously shot from one gallery into another. The detective assigned to the case is 80 years old and one who has solved many cases. There are many twists as the detective unravels the myst...more

It makes a mountain out of a molehill. When the first few pages reveal that a beautiful young girl is shot through the heart while visiting a museum, I was preparing myself for a memorable read. This beginning high point left no where to go but down. I thought it was both slow and longwinded. Whe...more

Excellent! It promotes love, honor, self-sacrifice, unselfishness, and all goodness in its purest form! Plus, the story has the added benefit of full, rounded, intriguing characters ;)

Not having read this author before, and being very fond of Golden Age Mysteries, I decided to try two books by this author - Mystery of the Hasty Arrow, and The Mill Mystery.

Unfortunately, they didn't work for me. For one, I found the narration style slow and the prose convoluted. The mysteries t...more

Murder in the Museum

The story about a young girl shot dead by an arrow at a museum. Detective Gryce tries to figure out how the killer got away when the doors to the museum were closed as soon as the girl was killed. Long, complicated story but good.

2,5 stars, but wasn't sure whether to round it up or down, but then I decided to give it 2 stars for the reason that the narrative is dragging. The movement is very slow that in some places it feels like it is not moving forward. The perpetrator of the crime has been obvious for a long time befor...more

A young woman is killed by an arrow in the middle of the museum. An older woman seems to be in shock and huddles next to the girl. Mr. Gryce is an old man now, but he is still sharp of mind. He and his detectives slowly unravel the mystery of who could've have killed the girl and why. It involves...more

This was only okay. I never felt the stamp of the detective's personality, which was disappointing. He is set up in the beginning pages to be an incredible personality, and then he just ends up being colorless and somewhat wishy-washy. The book starts out with an exciting premise, and then trails...more

Very delicate where necessary. No foul language. A convenient set up, but fun any way.

The only quibble I had was that print copies of the book apparently have a map of where all the characters were standing when the crime occurred. Not having that visual reference, it was hard for me to keep straight who was where. But I enjoy Anna Katherine Green's work, even without the map.

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