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The Mysterious Key and What It Opened

Louisa May Alcott

Book Overview: 

In this delightful short story, we discover the secrets of the Trevlyn family. 'The Mysterious Key and What it Opened' is a mystery entwined with romance.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .My father was an Englishman, but I've lived abroad a good deal since he died, and got foreign ways, perhaps."

As he spoke without any accent, and looked full in her face with a pair of honest blue eyes under the dark lashes, Lady Trevlyn's momentary doubt vanished.

"Your age, Paul?"

"Sixteen, my lady."

"You understand gardening?"

"Yes, my lady."

"And what else?"

"I can break horses, serve at table, do errands, read aloud, ride after a young lady as groom, illuminate on parchment, train flowers, and make myself useful in any way."

The tone, half modest, half eager, in which the boy spoke, as well as the odd list of his accomplishments, brought a smile to Lady Trevlyn's lips, and the general air of the lad prepossessed her.

"I want Lillian to ride soon, and Roger is rather old for an escort to such a little horsewoman. Don't you think we might try Paul?" s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The Mysterious Key And What It Opened by Louisa May Alcott

The story begins with the mysterious death of Sir Richard Trevlyn. All the reader knows is that Richard's wife, Alice, who is pregnant with their first child, listens through a keyhole in the library door to a conversation Richard has with...more

Richard Trevlyn dies suddenly leaving his pregnant wife behind, but prior to his death she overhears him conversing with someone... Then years later an unusual young man appears on their property...

This tale was a good change from the usual 'Little Women' series that Alcott is associated with...more

I was a huge fan of the Little Women movie starring Winona Ryder and Christian Bale growing up (I didn't read the actual novel until I was 22), so a couple of years ago when I saw a smutty-looking thriller by Louisa May Alcott called A Long Fatal Love Chase for sale in a used book shop in Coeur d...more

This was a lovely, short read. I felt it warm the cockles of my heart, and I really enjoyed the ending. Perhaps it is an unrealistic sort of story since forgiveness and goodness are not so abundant, but I like to think they are. And even if they aren't, at least they are in books, which is why th...more

Loved this story!

Cute story, suspenseful in parts. Great to listen to. Just a little melodramatic, which was the style back then.

Louisa May Alcott wrote this mystery in 1867. It is a real departure from the books she is best known for. It was a decent little mystery. Fairly short, read it in one afternoon. It keeps your interest and makes it hard to put down and before you know it you are done! The characters were fairly s...more

A fun little read. Though I suppose it's technically a full length novel, it felt to me more like a short story that I easily read in one afternoon. Though it definitely isn't among Alcott's best, I still really enjoyed it and would recommend it as a fast and easy read!

A fatal legacy and buried secret haunt the widow and daughter of a rich man who died after a visit from a mysterious stranger. What horrid news did the stranger impart to cause the man's sudden death? And does the young boy who miraculously appears and befriends the family know anything about it?...more

I thought the plot was okay mystery wise. It took some twists and turns with a fairly predictable ending. It’s a short novel but worth the read if you like Alcott. It is over sentimental in places but the character psychology and motivation is strong up to a point. And the point is this: Louisa M...more

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