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The Bellamy Trial (American Mystery Classics)

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A murder trial scandalizes the upper echelons of Long Island society, and the reader is on the jury… The trial of Stephen Bellamy and Susan Ives, accused of murdering Bellamy’s wife Madeleine, lasts eight days. That’s eight days of witnesses (some reliable, some not), eight days of examination and cross-examination, and eight days of sensational courtroom theatrics live A murder trial scandalizes the upper echelons of Long Island society, and the reader is on the jury… The trial of Stephen Bellamy and Susan Ives, accused of murdering Bellamy’s wife Madeleine, lasts eight days. That’s eight days of witnesses (some reliable, some not), eight days of examination and cross-examination, and eight days of sensational courtroom theatrics lively enough to rouse the judge into frenzied calls for order. Ex-fiancés, houseworkers, and assorted family members are brought to the stand—a cross-section of this wealthy Long Island town—and each one only adds to the mystery of the case in all its sordid detail. A trial that seems straightforward at its outset grows increasingly confounding as it proceeds, and surprises abound; by the time the closing arguments are made, however, the reader, like the jury, is provided with all the evidence needed to pass judgement on the two defendants. Still, only the most astute among them will not be shocked by the verdict announced at the end. Inspired by the most sensational murder trial of its day, The Bellamy Trial is a pioneering courtroom mystery, and one of the first of such books to popularize the form. It is included in the famed Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone list of the most definitive novels of the mystery genre.


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A murder trial scandalizes the upper echelons of Long Island society, and the reader is on the jury… The trial of Stephen Bellamy and Susan Ives, accused of murdering Bellamy’s wife Madeleine, lasts eight days. That’s eight days of witnesses (some reliable, some not), eight days of examination and cross-examination, and eight days of sensational courtroom theatrics live A murder trial scandalizes the upper echelons of Long Island society, and the reader is on the jury… The trial of Stephen Bellamy and Susan Ives, accused of murdering Bellamy’s wife Madeleine, lasts eight days. That’s eight days of witnesses (some reliable, some not), eight days of examination and cross-examination, and eight days of sensational courtroom theatrics lively enough to rouse the judge into frenzied calls for order. Ex-fiancés, houseworkers, and assorted family members are brought to the stand—a cross-section of this wealthy Long Island town—and each one only adds to the mystery of the case in all its sordid detail. A trial that seems straightforward at its outset grows increasingly confounding as it proceeds, and surprises abound; by the time the closing arguments are made, however, the reader, like the jury, is provided with all the evidence needed to pass judgement on the two defendants. Still, only the most astute among them will not be shocked by the verdict announced at the end. Inspired by the most sensational murder trial of its day, The Bellamy Trial is a pioneering courtroom mystery, and one of the first of such books to popularize the form. It is included in the famed Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone list of the most definitive novels of the mystery genre.

30 review for The Bellamy Trial (American Mystery Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Toria

    One of the first legal novels about the trial of Stephan Bellamy and Susan Ives accused of murdering his wife Madeline. This is a courtroom drama from 1927 and what drama it was. Felt a reality show but in 1920s. Couldn't help but be very morbidly courious on how things would go on and what things would come up under the terrigation. Not dull and boring as I was worried it would be. The story have not collected dust?! One of the first legal novels about the trial of Stephan Bellamy and Susan Ives accused of murdering his wife Madeline. This is a courtroom drama from 1927 and what drama it was. Felt a reality show but in 1920s. Couldn't help but be very morbidly courious on how things would go on and what things would come up under the terrigation. Not dull and boring as I was worried it would be. The story have not collected dust?!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Reads Books

    The Bellamy Trial by Frances Noyes Hart is an early 20th century courtroom drama focusing on the joint murder trial of Stephen Bellamy and Sue Ives, two of Long Island's "country club" set, accused of the murder of Madeleine Bellamy, Stephen's wife. Amidst a backdrop of wealth, jealousy, and secrets, the trial takes place over the course of eight days with all the juicy details of each witness's testimony displayed to help solve the mysterious case. With close attention to detail throughout the s The Bellamy Trial by Frances Noyes Hart is an early 20th century courtroom drama focusing on the joint murder trial of Stephen Bellamy and Sue Ives, two of Long Island's "country club" set, accused of the murder of Madeleine Bellamy, Stephen's wife. Amidst a backdrop of wealth, jealousy, and secrets, the trial takes place over the course of eight days with all the juicy details of each witness's testimony displayed to help solve the mysterious case. With close attention to detail throughout the story and subsequent plot twists and turns, The Bellamy Trial will keep readers guessing to the end. The courtroom setting was unique for a vintage mystery and I enjoyed seeing a glimpse into a arena that wasn't typically featured in older novels. The conclusion of the mystery was quite unexpected, though it did seem slightly hurried. As far as the characters are concerned, I wasn't a fan of how the characters were introduced and used. The story is essentially told by two narrators, reporters present at the trial, who are unnamed. They didn't have a back story. This creates an unusual circumstance for me. Because I knew so little about them, I felt unconnected to them or their narration. The trial portions of the novel are written as observations with no personal insight into the trial or it's main players. I felt that since I didn't have an "inside" connection to the thoughts and feelings of any of the characters I didn't connect emotionally with the story. I felt as if I were reading a news article at times. Overall, this left me feeling a little underwhelmed and not really caring at times the outcome of the trial. Despite it's problems, The Bellamy Trial was neat to read as it's one of the first courtroom dramas written.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Yibbie

    The Bellamy Trial by Frances Noyes Hart I gave up on this book once. I even wrote a review. I thought I had given it a good chance because I was well past one hundred pages into it. This was my review at that point. Reasons I quit... I found it really slow. It just never did capture my attention and I was about 1/3 of the way through. Then there were a number of curse words. But more importantly, I didn't appreciate the author's attempt to make the numerous adulterers sympathetic. It just wasn' The Bellamy Trial by Frances Noyes Hart I gave up on this book once. I even wrote a review. I thought I had given it a good chance because I was well past one hundred pages into it. This was my review at that point. Reasons I quit... I found it really slow. It just never did capture my attention and I was about 1/3 of the way through. Then there were a number of curse words. But more importantly, I didn't appreciate the author's attempt to make the numerous adulterers sympathetic. It just wasn't for me. Then a friend suggested that I keep going. (view spoiler)[ Just a little farther the author reveals out there really wasn’t an affair going on. (hide spoiler)] So I picked it up again. This time I did finish, but I can’t say that really enjoyed it despite being sucked in for the last few chapters. Perhaps though, I should say don’t really like courtroom dramas, so I may not be the best judge of how good a book this really was. The things I still didn’t like. It was still really slow, but I guess not more than any other courtroom scene. This one was just drawn out to book length. The language never really got better. It was nothing worse than you would find on TV, but there was more in this book than I was comfortable with. While there really wasn’t a (view spoiler)[ main affair, we are still lead to sympathize with the alleged adulterers before we know that they are innocent, and there were several side characters having affairs. The revelation that cleared them was strange. The husband kept back the information that he was being blackmailed supposedly for fear of distressing his wife by revealing letters written before their marriage. Even though, by doing that he helped incriminate his wife further. Then the ending was just so convenient. (I think even the author realized it). So that we would all be completely convinced of their innocence she introduces surprise witnesses. It does clear them, but it makes the original set of circumstances completely ridiculous. It seems the whole town was out around the hidden garden cottage having compromising picnics at 9 PM. Then the final reveal wasn’t really satisfying either. It was just odd. I guess it did find out who did it, but still, I didn’t like that solution any better than the first one. I wouldn’t recommend it, but people who like courtroom stories might like it. (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally published in 1927, Frances Noyes Hart’s The Bellamy Trial is one of the first legal thrillers. While it shows the prejudices and attitudes (all women are girls, unless they are elderly, for example) of the time, the central plot and premise hold up well. There are blustering lawyers, surprise witnesses, reversals, betting on the jury’s verdict, and all the trimmings. Readers who like to take a dip into the early works of a genre will get a kick out of this fast read... Read the rest of Originally published in 1927, Frances Noyes Hart’s The Bellamy Trial is one of the first legal thrillers. While it shows the prejudices and attitudes (all women are girls, unless they are elderly, for example) of the time, the central plot and premise hold up well. There are blustering lawyers, surprise witnesses, reversals, betting on the jury’s verdict, and all the trimmings. Readers who like to take a dip into the early works of a genre will get a kick out of this fast read... Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss, for review consideration.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Dee

    The Bellamy Trial, written in 1919, was one of the first courtroom mysteries. While it is a bit creaky in places (you would be too at 100 years old!), it is still an engaging and readable mystery.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I’m so glad this book came into my life! The writing is so vivid and transporting, I felt like I was watching the murder trial and the eyewitness accounts. An amazing classic book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Mclaren

    "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" While the main players in this story didn't exactly try to deceive that is exactly what they did in this story in which the tale is told during a murder trial. Throughout the story readers are sitting along side the reporter and the little red-haired girl who are flirting and perhaps growing in love while they watch the machinations of lawyers, jurors, witnesses and the accused, Susan Ives and Stephen Bellamy charged with murde "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" While the main players in this story didn't exactly try to deceive that is exactly what they did in this story in which the tale is told during a murder trial. Throughout the story readers are sitting along side the reporter and the little red-haired girl who are flirting and perhaps growing in love while they watch the machinations of lawyers, jurors, witnesses and the accused, Susan Ives and Stephen Bellamy charged with murdering Bellamy's wife Madeleine. Susan and Stephen had motive — they supposedly believed that Susan's husband Pat is carrying on an affair with "Mimi" — means and opportunity. And the prosecutor brings out a compelling and airtight case. Written in 1927 by Frances Noyes Hart, a daughter of one of the founders of the Associated Press, The Bellamy Trial takes a "straight forward" murder trial and ramps it up to a fast-paced, action-packed tale as we go back and forth with what is happening between the reporters and those involved in the trial. Right up to the very end, readers are guessing — did they do it or ...? It's an excellent mix of dialogue, descriptions and solid story-telling. And the twist at the end is not to be missed.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This is a reissue of a book from 1927, apparently one of the first legal thrillers. One unusual aspect is that the entire story takes place in the courthouse. The reader gets to hear the witnesses and suspects as if he or she is a member of the jury, and must decide for himself (or herself) whether the witnesses are to be believed. There are two other players in the story, a seasoned male reporter and a young rookie reporter, described as "the red-headed girl," on her first assignment. Of course, This is a reissue of a book from 1927, apparently one of the first legal thrillers. One unusual aspect is that the entire story takes place in the courthouse. The reader gets to hear the witnesses and suspects as if he or she is a member of the jury, and must decide for himself (or herself) whether the witnesses are to be believed. There are two other players in the story, a seasoned male reporter and a young rookie reporter, described as "the red-headed girl," on her first assignment. Of course, there are differences in the trial from what we have today (after all, this was published almost 100 years ago), it was still enjoyable to read, and held my interest throughout.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Ladensack

    In the middle of this book, I started to feel fatigued with all of the details, but by the end I was just so impressed. I wish I had read it uninterrupted, and I wish that I had the luxury of being able to sit down with pencil and paper to take notes while reading this book—I kind of want to study how the author paced the story, how the trial and the various witnesses’ testimonies and evidence unfolded.... it was that good.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan Ferguson

    Written in 1927. The story of a murder trial taken day by day. The book takes place during the trial - each chapter opening and closing a day of the trial. Much of the commentary is done by a young, red-haired reporter covering her first murder trial. She is assisted in the commentary by a reporter who has covered many murder trials. And in between witnesses and during discussions of the coverage, a romance between the two develops. The trial is the murder of Mimi Bellamy and the prosecution cla Written in 1927. The story of a murder trial taken day by day. The book takes place during the trial - each chapter opening and closing a day of the trial. Much of the commentary is done by a young, red-haired reporter covering her first murder trial. She is assisted in the commentary by a reporter who has covered many murder trials. And in between witnesses and during discussions of the coverage, a romance between the two develops. The trial is the murder of Mimi Bellamy and the prosecution claims that her husband, Stephen, and Sue Ives (Patrick Ives wife, her supposed lover) murdered her, one out of jealousy and the other to retain her station in life. The trial comes through to it's conclusion and decision. But the book is not quite over.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    Court case whodunnit with added love story. Would have liked more from the reporters.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frances

    The murder mystery part was very good, but the ‘romance’ between the journalist and the ‘red-haired girl’ was simply vom-inducing! 🤢

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Dunlap

    Excellent mystery! The novel consists of the testimony given during a murder trial with two defendants, punctuated by the exchanges of a red-headed writer and a more experienced journalist covering the trial; they share food and impressions of the proceedings, in effect functioning as a sort of Greek chorus. Susan Ives and Stephen Bellamy are on trial for the murder of Stephen's wife Mimi, who was (according to a former beau of hers, a man interested in breaking up the Bellamy marriage so that h Excellent mystery! The novel consists of the testimony given during a murder trial with two defendants, punctuated by the exchanges of a red-headed writer and a more experienced journalist covering the trial; they share food and impressions of the proceedings, in effect functioning as a sort of Greek chorus. Susan Ives and Stephen Bellamy are on trial for the murder of Stephen's wife Mimi, who was (according to a former beau of hers, a man interested in breaking up the Bellamy marriage so that he could marry Mimi) allegedly having an affair with Susan's wife Pat. -- There are interesting twists and turns to the plot, and a last-minute revelation precedes the verdict. Following the verdict, the presiding judge receives a letter which reveals the solution to the murder. Fascinating...and very satisfying.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Kepesh

    Originally published in 1926, this is one of the first courtroom dramas, and it's full of all sorts of the froth and shenanigans associated with the 20s. The plot is based on a scandalous trial of the time. In this, the crime is the murder by stabbing of the young and beautiful wife of a local mechanic; on trial are her husband and the local young society matron, who are thought to have murdered Mimi because she was having an affair with the matron's wife. There is a lot of eyewitness testimony Originally published in 1926, this is one of the first courtroom dramas, and it's full of all sorts of the froth and shenanigans associated with the 20s. The plot is based on a scandalous trial of the time. In this, the crime is the murder by stabbing of the young and beautiful wife of a local mechanic; on trial are her husband and the local young society matron, who are thought to have murdered Mimi because she was having an affair with the matron's wife. There is a lot of eyewitness testimony from rich wastrels, boardinghouse owners, upright brothers, bus drivers....there is drinking cocktails, there is driving on country roads, there is a gardener's cottage... So, plenty of Roaring 20's tropes, but these were being deployed concurrently, as with Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. Early in the book, a dewy-eyed reporter explains to her more seasoned colleague that everyone, from a housewife to a president, is fascinated by a murder trial, by learning what caused someone to break through a solid wall of humanity to do something evil, and how they all wondered, "could I do the same?" Later, the same reporter, saddened and disillusioned, says she will never cover a murder trial again, because it seems as though it will be a ritual of truth-finding and justice served, but instead, each person who is touched by the murder has their lives upended. All of their secrets, all of their motivations, laid bare to the public, changing how they are seen forever.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pip Snort

    This was unexpectedly good. It was persuasive and engaging and followed the patterns of the Courtroom quite closely, without exaggeration or excessive drama which so characterizes modern courtroom tv. It cleverly places the reader in place of a participant in the courtroom. We know nothing of the victim, or the acccuseds other than what we learn through the presentation of evidence and the cross-examination of witnesses. The case is this: Notorious beauty Mimi Bellamy has been found murdered in This was unexpectedly good. It was persuasive and engaging and followed the patterns of the Courtroom quite closely, without exaggeration or excessive drama which so characterizes modern courtroom tv. It cleverly places the reader in place of a participant in the courtroom. We know nothing of the victim, or the acccuseds other than what we learn through the presentation of evidence and the cross-examination of witnesses. The case is this: Notorious beauty Mimi Bellamy has been found murdered in a cottage on an abandoned property in the town of Rosemount, Long Island. The police investigate and arrest the husband, Stephen Bellamy and the wife of the man suspected to be her lover, Sue Ives. Mimi is accused of having an affair with Pat Ives, a man she had dated prior to the second world war. It is thought that Sue Ives discovered the affair, and enlisting Stephen Bellamy's assistance meets Mrs Bellamy at the abandoned cottage and does her in. A parade of witnesses are brought forth, each with their own motives and foibles. The trial brings up quite a few twists and turns and the allegiance of the reader swings from guilty to innocent and back again at various points in the presentation of the case. A delightful mystery.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn Fadeev

    This is an old school murder mystery that I only picked up because it was available in Libby. I have a lot of things that I don't like about this book, but then when I think back on it, it doesn't seem that bad. I had a hard time getting the characters straight at first, to a point where I almost went so far as to make a diagram for myself. I could have gone completely without the red-haired girl and the unnamed reporter... I understand how they were devices to provide context, but ultimately I This is an old school murder mystery that I only picked up because it was available in Libby. I have a lot of things that I don't like about this book, but then when I think back on it, it doesn't seem that bad. I had a hard time getting the characters straight at first, to a point where I almost went so far as to make a diagram for myself. I could have gone completely without the red-haired girl and the unnamed reporter... I understand how they were devices to provide context, but ultimately I found their dialog to be distracting. The book was very slow until the last two chapters. I will say I was surprised at the ending of the book, which is the ultimate goal of a whodunnit, right? If you love The Great Gatsby I feel like you'll enjoy reading this on vacation.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    The last book I read was set in 1927, this book was actually written in 1927. It is very unique in that it puts the reader in effect, sitting as a member of the jury in a murder trial. All the reader is privy to is what evidence is given during the 8 day trial and by the 27 witnesses. The only other information comes from the observations of the "redheaded girl" and the reporter that sit side by side in the press area of the courtroom. This perhaps was the birth of the first legal thriller, publ The last book I read was set in 1927, this book was actually written in 1927. It is very unique in that it puts the reader in effect, sitting as a member of the jury in a murder trial. All the reader is privy to is what evidence is given during the 8 day trial and by the 27 witnesses. The only other information comes from the observations of the "redheaded girl" and the reporter that sit side by side in the press area of the courtroom. This perhaps was the birth of the first legal thriller, published 6 years before the first Perry Mason. The reader is put into the position of deciding guilt or innocence. The truth is reveled after the verdict is delivered. Were you deceived??

  18. 5 out of 5

    Valectrice

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This puppets to be one of the first courtroom mysteries. It’s an interesting whodunit, but I found the device of telling the story through witness testimony to be a bit heavy at times. It is inherently artificial and takes some of the life out of the story. It definitely kept the victim from having much presence in the story other than as the victim. I enjoyed the reveal of the murderer at the end. One question I don’t remember being answered was the basis for the connection between defense atto This puppets to be one of the first courtroom mysteries. It’s an interesting whodunit, but I found the device of telling the story through witness testimony to be a bit heavy at times. It is inherently artificial and takes some of the life out of the story. It definitely kept the victim from having much presence in the story other than as the victim. I enjoyed the reveal of the murderer at the end. One question I don’t remember being answered was the basis for the connection between defense attorney Lambert and Sue Ives. An enjoyable enough period murder mystery.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    This was a fun mystery. It was cool to see all those witnesses on the stand and try to parse the truth from their accounts. I certainly didn't get the truth before the story revealed it, but I had a good time trying to guess and weighing the different witnesses. The commentary from the reporters was good, though I wish it hadn't been quite so patronizing. Oh well, that's what I get for reading historical books with historical attitudes. Still, it wasn't too bad in that regard either. I had a fun This was a fun mystery. It was cool to see all those witnesses on the stand and try to parse the truth from their accounts. I certainly didn't get the truth before the story revealed it, but I had a good time trying to guess and weighing the different witnesses. The commentary from the reporters was good, though I wish it hadn't been quite so patronizing. Oh well, that's what I get for reading historical books with historical attitudes. Still, it wasn't too bad in that regard either. I had a fun time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Probably the best book I've read this year, and it's a "vintage" one, written in 1927, the first 'trial' mystery genre. Eight days in a courtroom...did she, did he, did they? Interesting to read and note the differences between the trials of 1927 and now (at least as written in novels). Prosecutor and defense lawyers present their cases. Are the witnesses telling the truth? They all seemed pretty credible to me...glad I wasn't a juror. Good read. Probably the best book I've read this year, and it's a "vintage" one, written in 1927, the first 'trial' mystery genre. Eight days in a courtroom...did she, did he, did they? Interesting to read and note the differences between the trials of 1927 and now (at least as written in novels). Prosecutor and defense lawyers present their cases. Are the witnesses telling the truth? They all seemed pretty credible to me...glad I wasn't a juror. Good read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I found this rather long-winded. It is a straightforward recounting of a murder trial, with an "unexpected" ending. I rather think that experienced GAD readers will work out the answer, but to give a reason for this assertion would be to spoil the plot. There is a romantic sub-plot which added little to my enjoyment. I am afraid this is another American classic which, while a pleasant and easy read, was somewhat underwhelming and a tad disappointing. I found this rather long-winded. It is a straightforward recounting of a murder trial, with an "unexpected" ending. I rather think that experienced GAD readers will work out the answer, but to give a reason for this assertion would be to spoil the plot. There is a romantic sub-plot which added little to my enjoyment. I am afraid this is another American classic which, while a pleasant and easy read, was somewhat underwhelming and a tad disappointing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Collyn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoyed this. It's definitely of its time, but the syntax and humor are charming. My only issue is the basis of the crime--a dude is being blackmailed over something he would definitely have just told his wife about. She knew almost all of it anyway, and even a jealous person like me would have accepted it. Otherwise, delightful. I really enjoyed this. It's definitely of its time, but the syntax and humor are charming. My only issue is the basis of the crime--a dude is being blackmailed over something he would definitely have just told his wife about. She knew almost all of it anyway, and even a jealous person like me would have accepted it. Otherwise, delightful.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Hallowell

    Very satisfying read. Having read a couple of the other reviews here, it’s tempting to go through and refute them point by point. But I hate typing on an iPad so I won’t. I will say it’s a great period piece, and a fascinating look at how much (and also how little) trials and courts have changed in 100 years. Just wish I knew what happened to the two reporters who “narrated” the story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Hoefer

    I quite enjoyed this book. Certainly it’s dated (female reporter portrayed as hysterical, neurotic, and weepy, etc.), but compelling story and mystery. I hovered between 4 and 5 stars and decided to ‘round up’. For some reason this type of book appeals to me (US in the 1920s). So I am sure that affects my opinion. Not as good as the great Mary Roberts Rinehart but same feel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Who Knew! At first the writing from the 20’s through me off but I quickly was able to fall into line with the prose. I had not read a mystery written. From this era and really like the dialogue. They are not quite as graphic as today’s novels, which was nice! I like the character development and the twist in the plot.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Very old-fashioned and sometimes downright ridiculous, but I can't deny that I was fully engaged with the mystery and stayed up late turning the pages to see how it ended. The cliffhangers! Silly but fun. Very old-fashioned and sometimes downright ridiculous, but I can't deny that I was fully engaged with the mystery and stayed up late turning the pages to see how it ended. The cliffhangers! Silly but fun.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carol Gaskamp

    Reportedly the first courtroom drama novel, a fiction inspired by a true crime. Published in 1927, provides a glimpse into 1920s justice system (all lawyers, judge, and jurors male) and NY upper class society.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I don't usually read mystery type books but this one was available for me so I chose it. It was a real story from the 1920 era. Aside from the multiple characters to keep track of, reading to me was as though I were watching a murder trial in person. Well written with a surprise ending! I don't usually read mystery type books but this one was available for me so I chose it. It was a real story from the 1920 era. Aside from the multiple characters to keep track of, reading to me was as though I were watching a murder trial in person. Well written with a surprise ending!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Courthouse mystery with witnesses all giving conflicting stories. No women on juries in those days. They did not yet have the right to vote. Interesting voices through which the murder story is told. Keeps you guessing. Old fashioned attitudes toward wealth and servants. 4-

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gayel Kaplan

    Tedious and outdated The book is so over dramatic. The characters are stereotypes: the brazen cloying female, the chivalrous male. The story drags with the overwrought “red haired” girl and veteran reporter witnessing the murder trial.

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