A 99-cent classic from Mary Roberts Rinehart
Mary Roberts Rinehart created the “Had I But Known” sub-genre in detective fiction with her classic The Circular Staircase, and it is one of my favorite classic mysteries.
I’d heard of Rinehart for decades, of course, but her mysteries weren’t sitting on shelves in the brick-and-mortar stores — nor on the shelves at the local libraries which place a premium on newly published — so ebooks gave me my first chance to read Rinehart, and The Circular Staircase was my first. I loved it — I laughed, I savored the now-classic elements, and I wanted to read more. A lot more. I hope you do, too.
You can, of course, find free public domain editions, but this particular edition, sold by HarperCollins, is professionally (and properly) formatted. I think it’s well worth $0.99 (USD) if your budget permits.
Description: When Rachel takes a country house for the summer with her niece and nephew, she expects to fill her days with relaxing social activities. But these plans take a turn for the sinister when, on the second night, a dead body is found at the bottom of the house’s circular staircase.
Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876 – September 22, 1958) was an American writer, often called the American Agatha Christie, although her first mystery novel was published 14 years before Christie’s first novel in 1922. Rinehart is credited with creating the phrase “The butler did it” with her novel The Door (1930), although the exact phrase isn’t used in the novel. She also created a costumed super-criminal called “the Bat”, cited by Bob Kane as one of the inspirations for his “Batman”.
FREE bonus book: She by H. Rider Haggard
Description: On the occasion of his twenty-fifth birthday, Leo Vincey opens the locked iron box that is his birthright and finds an ancient potsherd. Following clues engraved on the relic, Vincey and the man who raised him, Cambridge professor Horace Holly, embark on a remarkable adventure that will take them from Victorian England to an uncharted region in East Africa. Surviving shipwreck, disease and hostile natives, they discover a lost civilization no European has ever encountered—or lived to describe. They have entered the realm of the cruel and beautiful Ayesha, known to those who worship her as “She-who-must-be-obeyed.” For two thousand years, the white queen has been waiting—for what, Vincey and Holly are about to find out.
She, A History of Adventure, was originally published in The Graphic magazine in serial form between October 1886 and January 1887 and has never been out of print, with more than 96 million copies sold in 44 different languages to date.
Also available free (when posted, please verify before purchase), is this illustrated edition: