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The Black Bag

Louis Joseph Vance

Book Overview: 

Mr. Philip Kirkwood, a not so successful painter, receives a visitor from his home town in America, who wants him to do him an unspecified favor, but Kirkwood doesn't trust him and sends him away. That night, he sees the stranger dine with his beautiful daughter. In order to protect the girl, the stranger confesses to Kirkwood that he expects to be arrested upon leaving the restaurant. Kirkwood agrees to take care of the girl, but when he brings her home, he knows that she is in danger and that there must be a mystery attached. He decides to protect the girl.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . you going into any further danger?"

"And is that the only boon you crave at my hands, Mr. Kirkwood?"

"Without impertinence ..."

For a little time, waiting for him to conclude his vague phrase, she watched him in an expectant silence. But the man was diffident to a degree&#8212At length, somewhat unconsciously, "I think not," she answered. "No; there will be no danger awaiting me at Mrs. Hallam's. You need not fear for me any more&#8212Thank you."

He lifted his brows at the unfamiliar name. "Mrs. Hallam&#8212?"

"I am going to her house in Craven Street."

"Your father is to meet you there?"&#8212persistently.

"He promised to."

"But if he shouldn't?"

"Why&#8212" Her eyes clouded; she pursed her lips over the conjectural annoyance. "Why, in that event, I suppose&#8212It would be very embarras. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I was disappointed with this book. I've read other classic mystery writers and many of them are written suspensefully. This story was a good mystery and adventure premise, but the author was too wordy in lots of places. I had to skim over many parts to get to the main story.

Read the first 3 chapters, through page 50. I give it 3 stars because the plot and the dialogue, so far, are interesting. I didn't finish it because the descriptions of both character and setting are tinted a deep, pure purple.

Oh what drudgery! I tried very hard to enjoy this, and Vance obviously tried very hard to be enjoyable. I love a good dash into an historic adventure—a thriller written way back when. Sadly, this wasn't even slightly thrilling. Oh look, someone's thumping around in the dark! Oh look, the lovely,...more