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The Woman in the Alcove

Anna Katharine Green

Book Overview: 

“I was, perhaps, the plainest girl in the room that night. I was also the happiest—up to one o’clock. Then my whole world crumbled, or, at least, suffered an eclipse. Why and how, I am about to relate.” Thus begins this mystery told by Anna Katharine Green, one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and renowned for writing well plotted, legally accurate stories.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . a friend who agreed to introduce me to the lady. She received me very graciously and was amiable enough until the subject of diamonds was broached, when she immediately stiffened and left me without an opportunity of proffering my request. However, on every other subject she was affable, and I found it easy enough to pursue the acquaintance till we were almost on friendly terms. But I never saw the diamond, nor would she talk about it, though I caused her some surprise when one day I drew out before her eyes the one I had procured for my patron and made her look at it. 'Fine,' she cried, 'fine!' But I failed to detect any envy in her manner, and so knew that I had not achieved the object set me by my wealthy customer. This was a woeful disappointment; yet, as Mrs. Fairbrother never wore her diamond, it was among the possibilities that he might be satisfied with the very fine gem I had obtained for him, and, influenced by this hope, I sent him this morning a request to co. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A forerunner of the classic English mystery genre, The Woman in the Alcove was written by an American in 1905. Miss Van Arsdale, short and plain, is a member of the lower echelon of New York's high society, and has recently resigned her self to a life as a spinster nurse. As the story opens, she is

Published originally in 1906. Set in that time frame. Historical from our point of view but not written as historical. First person narration. Aside from the attitudes toward women prevalent at that time a surprisingly readable, almost modern, story with twists and turns before it is finally unravel

Enjoyable plot, characters and narration ... only need a fireplace and hot chocolate...more

The author, Anna Katharine Green, lived from (1846-1935),
which means that this story was written a long time ago.
There were certain words and phrases that we just don't use anymore which made the story difficult to understand at times.
I found myself re-reading a couple of passages to make sure that

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