'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Filigree Ball by Anna Katherine Green

Crime Fiction Alphabet - Letter G
This post is linked to Mysteries in Paradise

By Friday of each week participants try to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week.

Your post MUST be related to either the first letter of a book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname, or even maybe a crime fiction "topic". But above all, it has to be crime fiction. 


I am reading 'The Filigree Ball' by Anna Katherine Green
1846-1935
Another Vintage Mystery! There are so many great 'old' mysteries that I don't seem to get around to the new ones too often. This is my second A.K. Green book. She is a wonderful mystery writer. Written in 1st person, she takes us through the crime scene through the detectives eyes. Very descriptive, you can visualize everything the detective is seeing. In this story a new detective, no name given yet, to Washington D.C. has been summoned by a quirky man called Uncle David to come to his deserted family home to investigate a light he has seen moving in the windows. The home has a tragic past and has not be inhabited for years. The home was built before the White House. There have been 3 mysterious deaths over the decades. Each one a man found dead on the stone hearth in a certain room in the house. David's niece insisted there is no such thing as a curse or hauntings so she determines to be married in the house and during her wedding a man's body is found dead on the hearthstone. When word reaches her she and all the guest flee screaming from the house. Now sometime later the light is seen in the windows. 

The Detective, eager to make a name for himself and further his career, enters the old mansion to investigate. He finds the niece, Veronica Moore, dead from a gun shot in the same room as the hearthstone although she is not on the hearthstone. On first examination he determines suicide, but upon closer investigation decides it could be murder. I love her wording...'Some one else-some one whose breath still lingered in the air about me-had extinguished this candle flame after she fell, and the death I looked down upon was not a suicide, but a murder.'

What could a strangely soiled, dainty handkerchief point to? And how about the book pulled out an inch more than all the others on the shelf (with no dust on the top of it) or the five clear spots in the dusty mantel that are obviously where some man's finger tips rested. And there is the pencil drawing hanging above the mantel in the bedroom room. Nothing special, totally uninteresting and faded. But it seems to have an eerie presence about it. Was this what the man that left the fingerprints was looking at? And why? What does all this have to do with Veronica laying dead in the other room?

Good mystery so far, I am hooked!

Check out this post I did previously on Anna Katherine Green and read my review on another of her novels.

14 comments:

  1. I have got to try Anna Katherine Green. Have read lots about her in mystery reference books but never taken the plunge. Your post from April was also very good, full of information. Are you reading a paper copy or an e book? (I have read no e-books.) I am subscribing to your blog by email so I don't miss any more posts.

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    1. Ebook, Tracy. There are quite a few free by her. That's why I finally got an ereader for all free vintage mysteries!

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  2. Looks like a nice Victorian Mystery.

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  3. Thanks for participating Peggy Ann. I read X.Y.Z. A Detective Story last year - got it cheaply for my Kindle from Amazon.

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  4. I love the classic mysteries and have trouble moving into more contemporary mystery fiction. I've never heard of Anna Green but I'll keep an eye out for her on bookshelves.

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    1. That's me too Peter! Hope you find some of her books. If not they are available for free to read on the computer or ereader.

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  5. Peggy Ann - What an elegant use of language you shared with us! It's good to know that these old vintage stories are easily available. At times those terrific "oldies but goodies" really "fill the bill." And the mystery in this one looks like a good 'un.

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    1. Margot, I am perpetually stuck in those 'oldies but goodies'!

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  6. I read Green's XYZ: A Detective Story last year. It was a disappointment. This one though sounds promising.

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    1. That's two of you now that have mentioned XYZ. I'll have to check it out too!

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  7. Really enjoyed the post as I've been meaning to read something by Green for years but have never quite got myself organised though I think I have THE LAVENWORTH CASE lying around somewhere.

    Cheers,
    Sergio

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  8. I too read X,Y,Z last year. I thought it was written in formal and stilted style, and is melodramatic, but it moves swiftly along, with clearly defined characters and a well-described setting. It interested me enough to want to investigate more of Green’s novels, so I'll look out for 'The Filigree Ball'.

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