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X Y Z, A detective Story

Anna Katharine Green

Book Overview: 

"Sometimes in the course of his experience, a detective, while engaged in ferreting out the mystery of one crime, runs inadvertently upon the clue to another. But rarely has this been done in a manner more unexpected or with attendant circumstances of greater interest than in the instance I am now about to relate.

For some time the penetration of certain Washington officials had been baffled by the clever devices of a gang of counterfeiters who had inundated the western portion of Massachusetts with spurious Treasury notes. Some of the best talent of the Secret Service had been expended upon the matter, but with no favorable result, when, one day, notice was received at Washington that a number of suspicious-looking letters, addressed to the simple initials, X. Y. Z., Brandon, Mass., were being daily forwarded through the mails of that region; and it being deemed possible that a clue had at last been offered to the mystery in hand, I was sent northward to investigate."

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .iving the ball, and the person called to the rendezvous; the entertainment being used as a blind if not as a means."

It was now four o'clock, five hours before the time of rendezvous. How should I employ the interval? A glance at the livery-stable hard by, determined me. Procuring a horse, I rode out on the road toward Mr. Benson's, for the purpose of reconnoitring the grounds; but as I proceeded I was seized by an intense desire to penetrate into the midst of this peculiar household, and judge for myself whether it was worth while to cherish any further suspicions in regard to this family. But how to effect such an entrance? What excuse could I give for my intrusion that would be likely to serve me on a day of such tumult and preoccupation? I looked up and down the road as if for inspiration. It did not come. Meanwhile, the huge trees that surrounded the house had loomed in sight, and presently the beauties of lawn and parterre began to appear beyond the . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Well, this was . . . different. Told in first person by an unnamed detective for the U.S. Government, this story starts off seeking counterfeiters, but instead ends up with a totally different case. There was plenty of action and it kept me reading, but the ending felt abrupt and strange. Not what I


I chose this short book to use for my A-Z Challenge since it would be a quick read, and it was a mystery, so I figured I would like it. But for me, it just ok really. I did not like the writing style at all, there were far too many run on sentences and that got annoying really quick. I also thought

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