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The Clue

Carolyn Wells

Book Overview: 

On the eve of her wedding day, Madeleine Van Norman, a beautiful young lady who is soon to come into her family fortune is found dead, apparently stabbed with an ominous blood-stained letter opener found nearby. There is nobody within the household who is not considered a suspect by the police, but how could a killer have slipped through the doors of Madeleine’s locked bedroom? It must have been suicide, as a note was found lying on a table near her body. Or was it? An intriguing mystery ensues which hinges on the discovery of a single, all-important clue.

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Book Excerpt: 
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SUICIDE OR ——?

Miss Morton, also, seemed to have distracting thoughts. She sat down on the sofa beside Mrs. Markham, then she jumped up suddenly and started for the door, only to turn about and resume her seat on the sofa. Here she sat for a few moments apparently in deep thought. Then she rose, and slowly stalked from the room and went upstairs.

After a few moments, Marie, the French maid, also rose and silently left the room.

Having concluded it was a case for the county physician, Doctor Hills apparently considered that his personal responsibility was at an end, and he sat quietly awaiting the coming of his colleague.

After a time, Miss Morton returned, and again took her seat on the sofa. She looked excited and a little flurried, but strove to appear calm.

It was a dreadful hour. Only rarely any one spoke, and tho. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I am a fan of some of the Fleming Stone mysteries. You need to embrace the period it was written though, and I always find the earlier ones a bit... fluffy. The women faint and have hysterics and the men try valiantly to be stoic but their hearts flutter when see a pretty woman... the later ones...more

Carolyn Wells was a very intelligent woman, and she had a sound grasp of the theoretical technique of writing mysteries. How sad that when she put pen to paper she wrote such awful ones. This one is a rambling affair that loses the detection thread in a romance (a common fault of the period)

The o...more

Another entertaining Golden Age mystery. An heiress is stabbed on the night before her wedding. Who killed her - the cousin who loved her but had been rejected; her fiancé, who was in love with another woman; her secretary, who loved the fiancé; the eccentric spinster who stood to inherit her pro...more

A bride is killed the day before her wedding. At first, it appeared to be suicide, but on further investigation, it turns out to be murder. Bob Fessenden, a lawyer and amateur detective, takes on the job of trying to find out what happened. There are several suspicions about different people invo...more

Book first published in 1909. Good mystery. Many suspects ... An it had me speculating throughout the book. Some of these old books are refreshing.

BORING! The house guests just went round and round and round in circles, repeating the same useless bits of information about why so & so couldn't be the murderer. Then they finally bring Detective Stone in during the very last chapter and he solves the mystery and gets a confession in like t...more

If you like classic BW movies of the 30's and 40's, you'll like this book.

Easy read - good for relaxing somewhere, not a lot of thought is needed. Enjoyable old school murder mystery. Agatha Christie-light, if there could be such a think. Very light.

It's warmed-over Christie with a slight flavoring of Jane Austen. But even warmed-over Christie is still a pretty tasty dish.

I became interested in Carolyn Wells after reading that she was from New Jersey - my home state. I've enjoyed learning how people lived in NJ during the early 1900's. Unlike many books from this time period, the flowery language is kept to a minimum while giving the reader some very interesting m...more

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