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The Brand of Silence

Harrington Strong

Book Overview: 

The Brand of Silence – A Detective Story finds Sidney Prale returning to New York after ten years during which he sought his fortune. But he finds New York a very changed place, and even more distressing, he finds that his old friends are now turning their backs on him, his old haunts no longer welcome him, and there seems to be a conspiracy against him.

Why can’t he receive service in hotels, restaurants, and theaters that he once frequented? Who is working against him? And just as importantly, why? And what is the meaning of the notes he receives which remind him of “retribution”?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .What did George Lerton know that he refused to tell? Why should there be powerful enemies? He knew of no reason in the world.

"He's dead eager to get me out of town," Prale mused. "There's something behind it, all right."

CHAPTER VI MURK—AND MURDER

Instinct, intuition, or some similar faculty caused Prale to turn off the Avenue eastward toward the river. He was not angry now. His mind was in action. He had convinced himself that there was something behind all this, and he was eager for the solution.

Those mysterious warnings had begun on board ship, he remembered. The piece of paper Kate Gilbert had dropped, and which he had picked up, had writing similar to the messages he had received. He would have to engage Jim Farland, he told himself, and learn a few things concerning Miss Kate Gilbert.

Had the journey because of ill health been a subterfuge? Had Kate Gilbert gone to Honduras to watch him? If she had, what was . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Quite an interesting and exciting mystery. Sydney Prale returns to New York from Honduras after a ten year absence. He's done quite well overseas, now being worth a million dollars, and all he wants to do is relax in his newly acquired wealth. However, things aren't as he expected them to be. He'...more

Fitting perfectly in between the writing styles of Arthur Conan Doyle and Erle Stanley Gardner is the works of Harrington Strong (pseudonym of Johnston McCulley). The Brand of Silence published in 1919 reads like a serial from the silver screen. Sidney Prale returns to New York from Honduras afte...more

Excellent mystery novel

The summary alone was so very intriguing to me. When listening I was kept in suspense all the way through. While I thought I knew who was behind the conspiracy, & was right, there was no way to figure out why. There's also a murder. Are both related or not? Is the main character really a good...more

Wow! This book could have been written today instead of one hundred years ago.

Johnston McCulley (1883-1958) wrote many novels across numerous genre and under a variety of pseudonyms such as Harrington Strong, Raley Bries, George Drayne, Monic Morton, Rowena Raley, Walter Pierson and so on. McCull...more

Harrington Strong was a pseudonym of Johnston McCulley, who created not just Zorro but several other continuing pulp characters as well (Black Star, the Crimson Clown, Thubway Tham, etc.) The Brand of Silence isn't part of an ongoing series and in fact doesn't even had a single lead. What it does...more

Enjoyable "Detective" + Pulp adventure by Johnston, although, yeah, it's not great literature. However, it is a good story and has an interesting premise. It's easy to get drawn into the book and wonder why this personal shunning is happening to the hero of the story. I think if the story and dia...more

This might have once been a good book, but it did not stand the test of time. The characters seem naive and simple-minded, and the plot has quite a few holes (or parts that are glossed over). Having said that, it might actually make a decent children's book, since the story itself is fun.

A nice read. Reminded me c of the TV series "Murder She Wrote".

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