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The Mill Mystery

Anna Katharine Green

Book Overview: 

In the quiet New England village of S--, a young and beloved minister is found dead, ignominiously drowned in a dye vat in a dilapidated mill. Almost immediately, rumors of suicide begin to circulate. But was it suicide? How could a devout man of the cloth come to believe life was hopeless? The young woman to whom he was secretly engaged is adamant that it could not be. When this young woman tragically dies on the same day as her lover, it is left to her roommate Constance Sterling, a young woman without family or prospects, to determine the truth.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .So I passed into the alcove, which was really a small room opening out of the large one, and flinging myself on the lounge I saw there, asked myself whether I ought to shut the door between us, or whether my devotion to Ada's cause bade me listen to whatever came directly in my way to hear? The fact that I was in a measure prisoned there, there being no other outlet to the room than the one by which I had entered, determined me to ignore for once the natural instincts of my ladyhood; and pale and trembling to a degree I would not have wished seen by either of these two mysterious men, I sat in a dream of suspense, hearing and not hearing the low hum of their voices as they reasoned with or consoled the mother, now fast drifting away into an endless night.

Suddenly—shall I ever forget the thrill it gave me?—her voice rose again in those tones whose force and commanding power I have found it impossible to describe.

"T. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I read this as part of an omnibus, "Tea Time Mysteries", which was supposed to be wall-to-wall cozies. This, though, was not cozy – it was all so gothic, so very gothic: first person point of view of a young and beleaguered lady, complete with lots of variations on "had I but known" and "little d...more

I just get more and more impressed by this forgotten author. Her mastery of plotting is phenomenal.

Rather unsettling ending, I cried during parts and was a little spooken. This book seems much more real and emotional than her other books, worth the read if you don't mind something melancholy, but I was hoping for a happier ending.

Not having read this author before, and being very fond of Golden Age Mysteries, I decided to try two books by this author - Mystery of the Hasty Arrow, and The Mill Mystery.

Unfortunately, they didn't work for me. For one, I found the narration style slow and the prose convoluted. The mysteries t...more

‘The Mill Mystery’ by Anna Katharine Green is a terrific read! Published in 1886, it reflects many of the characteristics of popular gothic mysteries of the time, but it features a woman detective, Constance Sterling, an orphan who is between jobs.

Constance is not actually a detective in the sen...more

Very wordy, and with high ideals -- of a simpler time -- the mystery of the death of the local minister, compounded by the deaths of the leading man in the town, the minister's fiancee, the widow of the leading man! The two sons of the leading man, hardly "kind," are guilty, or are they? It is a...more

while she is one of my favorite mystery writers, this book lost my interest towards the end