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Dangerous Days

Mary Roberts Rinehart

Book Overview: 

Dangerous Days opens in a still neutral America, though within a year the country will have joined the European alliance against the Central Powers in the first world war. Clayton Spencer, a successful industrialist and owner of a munitions plant, finds himself facing several problems: not only anarchism and German sabotage, but also the prospect of a deteriorating marriage, and of a son who all too often shares his mother's frivolous and essentially self-concerned point of view. How far will America's entry into the war change such views? What will it mean for Spencer, for his family, and for his business?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It is being pretty expensive as it is. But after all, success doesn't mean anything, unless we are going to get something out of it."

They were closer together that evening than they had been for months. And at last he fell to talking about the mill. Natalie, curled up on the chaise longue in her boudoir, listened attentively, but with small comprehension as he poured out his dream, for himself now, for Graham later. A few years more and he would retire. Graham could take hold then. He might even go into politics. He would be fifty then, and a man of fifty should be in his prime. And to retire and do nothing was impossible. A fellow went to seed.

Eyes on the wood fire, he talked on until at last, roused by Natalie's silence, he glanced up. She was sound asleep.

Some time later, in his dressing-gown and slippers, he came and roused her. She smiled up at him like a drowsy child.

"Awfully tired," she said. "Is Graham in?"

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Community Reviews

A marvelous little period piece, not, I gather, one of her usual early twentieth century mysteries, but a sound snapshot of the days before the First World War on the heady, gilded home front. The Spencer family -- its work and love lives mirroring others' -- is followed as the both get caught up...more

This story is set in the period just before and during the U.S. becoming involved in the First World War (1916-1918), and the place is probably Pittsburg. The danger in the title can refer to the war, to the changing social norms, and to actions different characters take that endanger either thei...more

Generally considered to be the American Agatha Christie, Rinehart's fiction goes beyond mysteries. This is the second book of hers that I've read that concerns itself with America's involvement in World War I. While The Amazing Interlude focused on the debate over American involvement in the War,...more

I have yet to be disappointed by Mary Roberts Rineheart. Her mysteries are awesome as are her romances. Neither genre ever lacks the deep feelings they both require to be effectively attention-worthy.

Dangerous Days contained a mixture of mystery and romance. The mystery was due to the espionage a...more

America initially resisted Britain's call to join them in WWI, but by 1916 that decision was dividing the nation. Clayton Spencer, the owner of a steel mill, hates war but has to think of his business, the expensive needs of his shallow wife Natalie, and the self-respect of his son and heir, Grah...more

I loved this book. It was suspenseful, to say the least. Characters so well-drawn. I fell in love with one of the characters, and certainly cared about lots of the characters. I love this writer. It's an older book, copyright 1919! An oldie but a goodie.

With a bit of an "Agatha Christie" reputation, Mary Roberts Rinehart has been on my "to read" list for some time. Ironically, in spite of the mystery sounding title, my first Rinehart book turned out to be a pre-WWI book rather than a mystery. Published just after the conclusion of WWI, Dangerous...more

This was an interesting glimpse into what American life was like in the run up to World War I. I learned some things--such as that sabotage was a very real threat in those days--and appreciated Rinehart's perspective on the attitudes of the time, both for and against entering the war. This was an...more

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