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The Mystery of the Sycamore

Carolyn Wells

Book Overview: 

Instead of prison time, former governor, Samuel Appleby, sentences his former rival, Daniel Wheeler to imprisonment on his homestead with a very strange addendum. He then endeavors to convince Mr. Wheeler to endorse his son’s candidacy for governor with a promise of commuting his sentence. In the meantime, Samuel Appleby is murdered in Wheeler’s home. The discovery of the identity of the murderer has many twists and turns filled with love, devotion, gumshoe dialog, and weird circumstances that will delight the listener in a most unusual way.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But, good gracious! What do you want to do?” and Genevieve giggled. “Say I entice the old gentleman over the line—then his pardon is canceled and he’s a criminal—then you agree to ignore the lapse if he meets your wishes—is that the idea?”

[52]

Appleby smiled. “A little crude, Miss Lane. And beside, you couldn’t get him over the line. He’s too accustomed to his limitations to be caught napping, and not even your charms could decoy him over intentionally.”

“Think so? Probably you’re right. Well, suppose I try to work through Maida. If I could persuade Mr. Wheeler that she suffers from the stigma of her father’s incomplete pardon——”

“Yes, that’s it. This thing can’t be accomplished by brutal threats, it must be done by subtle suggestion and convincing hints.”

“That’s my idea,” agreed Keefe. “If . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Sam Appleby, a former Governor of Massachusetts, is paying a visit to Sycamore Ridge. The Connecticut estate of an old political rival - Dan Wheeler. But when Appleby is found dead, three people confess. Can Fleming Stone determine the truth and therefore the guilty party.
An enjoyable mystery

Carolyn Wells was a writer and poet educated in the 19th century who died in 1942, leaving behind a wealth of well-crafted novels as well as poetry. Her character "Fleming Stone," premiere detective, headlines many of her mysteries, which today would be called cozy. Not so cozy was this Mystery o...more

Another great installment. I seem to have never enough of A Fleming Stone Mystery series!

Another thrilling mystery by author Carolyn Wells. I have several of her books and love them!

The Mystery of the Sycamore: A Fleming Stone Mystery
by Carolyn Wells

A superb and gripping tale to the set.

Must-read for cozy mystery fans.

Incredibly aggravating. An example of this: a man is shot. The gun is not seen on the lawn or in the rhododendron bushes, so everyone gives up looking for it. It is left among the ferns for three or four days until it finally occurs to someone to search the garden.

"The Mystery of the Sycamore" is an early type of detective story, falling somewhere between Conan Doyle's genius Sherlock Holmes and Hammett's tough-guy Sam Spade. It contains elements of the Gothic (the tale of the phantom bugler, which is used by the murderer as a cover) and the Golden Age puz...more

Carolyn Wells has created a number of early 20th century mysteries -- some good and some not so much but this one, is really not too bad. She creates a scenario in which a former governor turns to his former protagonist for a favor, and then when he is turned away, shows his true stripes and blac...more