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The Man in Lower Ten

Mary Roberts Rinehart

Book Overview: 

Someone had to take the bank notes to Pittsburgh and take a statement from John Gilmore confirming that they were indeed forged. It was McKnight's turn to go, but he was bagging off because he wanted to spend the weekend visiting Alison West in Richmond. And so his law partner, Lawrence Blakeley, is left with no choice but to make the trip himself. All goes well at first, but on the train home, Blakeley wakes to find that the notes, along with his clothes, are missing from his sleeping berth. It was an eventful night. In addition to the theft, there's been a murder in the berth across, and when the weapon is found under Blakeley's pillow, he becomes one of the prime suspects.

Recommended for fans of John Grisham, Scott Turow, Michael Connelly, Janet Evanovich and David Baldacci.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I don't want it," I said. "Look inside. Maybe the other man took the money and left the wallet."

The conductor opened it, and again there was a curious surging forward of the crowd. To my intense disappointment the money was still there.

I stood blankly miserable while it was counted out—five one-hundred-dollar bills, six twenties, and some fives and ones that brought the total to six hundred and fifty dollars.

The little man with the note-book insisted on taking the numbers of the notes, to the conductor's annoyance. It was immaterial to me: small things had lost their power to irritate. I was seeing myself in the prisoner's box, going through all the nerve-racking routine of a trial for murder—the challenging of the jury, the endless cross-examinations, the alternate hope and fear. I believe I said before that I had no nerves, but for a few minutes that morning I was as near as a man ever comes to hysteria.

I fold. . . Read More

Community Reviews

True, the technology is different (one photocopier could have changed the whole course of the book), and some of the manners. But it's still amazing to think that this was written more than a century ago. Lawyer Lawrence Blakeley is sent to Pittsburg to get a deposition from a millionaire; as he...more

see review on another edition

Written by Mary Roberts Rinehart, "the American Agatha Christie," this was the first detective novel to crack national bestseller lists. According to The New York Times, "[Rinehart's] literary distinction lies in the combination of love, humor, and murder that she wove into her tales … She helpe...more

I have a soft spot for closed door mysteries, and ones taking place on a moving train are extra spine tingling. This one held a lot of promise. A man murdered in his train berth, stolen forgery notes, an irresistibly beautiful woman who holds the heart of two best friends, a broken and bloody nec...more

3.5-Stars.

Right out of Agatha Christie, but predating her by some 20 years, the crime in this mystery occurs on a train. Lawrence Blakeley is an attorney traveling home from a client meeting and carrying some papers that will make the difference in securing a conviction in a forgery case. Due to...more

This has about everything you would expect from a Victorian mystery, a stunningly beautiful heroine whom everyone loves, a hero who’d do anything for her, and a rejected lover who’s a perfect gentleman. These perfect people supported by a wonderful cast become entangled in a web of tragedy, mayh...more

This book was first published in 1909, so all the caveats about different cultural norms apply. That said, it is quite readable today and gives an interesting look at a time removed from ours by almost a century with an emotional tenor that is timeless.

A nicely atmospheric mystery of a bygone era. Attorney Lawrence Blakely becomes implicated when a murder is discovered on the overnight train he is travelling in. All the evidence points to Lawrence. To clear his name he pursues a convoluted trail to find out what really occurred on the Ontario t...more

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