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The Case of Jennie Brice

Mary Roberts Rinehart

Book Overview: 

The flood brings in not only the muddy waters but a series of suspicious clues that convinced Mrs. Pitman, a boarding house keeper, that a murder has been committed at her boarding house. Jennifer Ladley aka Jennie Brice is missing and with the help of Mr. Holcombe, a quirky gentleman with a passion for mysteries, they embark on a quest for the truth behind the disappearance of Jennie Brice.

Recommended for fans of John Grisham, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Scott Turow and David Baldacci.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Why, I don't think I ever noticed."

He turned to me angrily. "Why didn't you notice?" he snapped. "Good God, woman, do you only use your eyes to cry with? How can you wind a clock, time after time, and not know the maker's name? It proves my contention: the average witness is totally unreliable."

"Not at all," I snapped, "I am ordinarily both accurate and observing."

"Indeed!" he said, putting his hands behind him. "Then perhaps you can tell me the color of the pencil I have been writing with."

"Certainly. Red." Most pencils are red, and I thought this was safe.

But he held his right hand out with a flourish. "I've been writing with a fountain pen," he said in deep disgust, and turned his back on me.

But the next moment he had run to the wash-stand and pulled it out from the wall. Behind it, where it had fallen, lay a towel, covered with stains, as if some one had wiped bloody hands on it. He held it up, his face working with. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Nice cozy mystery with a good dose of humor. The plot was a bit thin, but I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Mary Roberts Rinehart's mysteries.

(Oh, and the name in the title is Jennie Brice, not Jenny....)

I read this in elementary school (or maybe junior high) when I went through a Rinehart-phase. Most of the plot details escape me now, but the intriguing setting has always stuck with me. It takes place during a flood, and the characters have to move their possessions to the upper floor and commut...more

Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Enjoyable, quick whodunnit (approximately 90 pages in the edition I have). The setting was one of the more unique ones: (a flooded out house in 1907 Pittsburgh), with boats coming in through the doorways to ferry people trapped inside on upper floods.

Good plot, lika...more

A snappy little murder mystery (not quite as long as your average novel, I think) with a unique setting—a flooded boarding-house!—and a nicely puzzling web of clues. Not as deep in theme or character development as some of the real classics of the genre, but definitely more than mediocre in intel...more

3.5.STARS that I cannot round up to 4

A very compact, quick little story. The setting is fantastic and atmospheric: in the midst of the annual flood in Pittsburgh that sweeps into people's houses, such that one needed to travel by boat from hall to hall, to the street and beyond. (view spoiler)[In this setting,... (hide spoiler)]

I had a hard time getting through this one. The narrator was very intrusive into the story, inserting herself and her ideas into the clues, and didn’t take care to share the clues chronologically. It took me weeks to work my way through the book, and the way it doubled back on itself multiple tim...more

I did not read this edition, instead getting my Rinehart titles from The Collected Complete Works of Mary Roberts Rinehart:. But what was the cover designer of this hardcover edition thinking? I don't know who the person is supposed to represent as the cover bears no resemblance to any of the cha...more

I think where this book sucked me in was the setting. Much like the last Mary Roberts Rinehart book I read, The After House, the setting is what dictates the story. Pittsburgh in the early part of the last century tended to flood every Spring. The problem was all the water, the Allegheny and the...more

As a rule I love MRR's books. When compared with some current writers, I find her books to be incredibly well-written, and if somewhat convoluted due to the back-and-forth of the plots, at least it keeps you on your toes!

This book was by far the easiest one to follow and ready - I think my copy...more

4 stars when written. 3.5 stars now.

So continues my tour of Golden Age mystery writers in an attempt to see whether any of them hold a candle to Christie. To date, I've found Patricia Wentworth and Josephine Tey to be disappointments, though I will give the latter a second go. Dorothy Sayers had...more

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