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The Last Stroke

Lawrence L. Lynch

Book Overview: 

Written by Chicago socialite, Emma Murdock Van Deventer, under the nom de plume of Lawrence L. Lynch, this detective story opens with the mysterious disappearance of schoolmaster, Mr. Brierly. The under-teacher and students set about finding him, but when his body is found, the mystery only deepens. Was it murder? What was the motive? He appeared to have no enemies

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ls were all his adorers, young and old alike were his admirers, and he had room in his heart for all. No hand in Glenville was ever raised against him, I am sure."

"You think then that it was perhaps an accident, a mistake?" He was eyeing her keenly from beneath his drooping lashes.

"No!" She sprang suddenly to her feet and stood erect before him. "No, Mr. Ferrars, I do not! I cannot. I was never in my life superstitious. I do not believe it is superstition that compels me to feel that Charles Brierly was murdered of intent, and by an enemy, an enemy who has stalked him unawares, for money perhaps, and who has planned cunningly, and hid his traces well."

[Pg 64]


"Give me a few moments of your time, doctor, after your guest has retired for the night."

For more than two hours after his parting with Hilda Grant, Ferrars had talked, first with Robert Brierly alone, and then with the doctor as a third p. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a weird one. At times is charming and gripping. The first half and the ending are quite decent, but the author seems to have completely lost its hand for most of the book's second half. Still, if you are a fan of mystery fiction this book has some historical relevance.

Ummm... this is such a period piece! Overly melodramatic, silly, preposterous, and not terribly well-written, but if you are a connoisseur of old detective novels, it might be worth a few hours of your time. The plot revolves around a murdered young school-teacher, a lost heir to an English fortune,

I especially enjoy books with a satisfying ending. I like to sit back and sigh with satisfaction at the end of a narrative - this book had that. perfect.
Sadly, very sadly, the cover art blew the mystery completely, so i knew the entire time who the culprit was. I can't say if it would have been so

I enjoyed this murder mystery it started off well with the tragic discovery of the body and then turned into an almost procedural detection story. It kept my interest throughout and the reveal was quite surprising as the detective had kept his suspicions close to his chest. I was pleased to find tha

Decent mystery published in 1896. A beloved small-town teacher is murdered, to the consternation of his brother, his fiancee, and the professional detective who is called in to clandestinely investigate. Perhaps a bit easy mystery-wise -- the bad guys conveniently Reveal Nearly All in an overheard c

Not a bad mystery novel. A little tedious, but that just goes with the period.

This was a very good murder mystery. Took me so long to read it because I was receiving it by a podcast. I finally decided to download it on my audio books app. It was well worth the download. They were many different plots. Murder, inheritance, and romance. This is a good book. I shouldn't have wai

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