'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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'The Man in Lower Ten' by Mary Roberts Rinehart

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Another fine who dunnit by a master mystery writer! I always enjoy Ms. Rinehart's stories and this one was no exception. Written in 1909 and set in Pittsburgh PA. (her hometown) and Washington D.C. we have a murder on a train. I loved the train aspect of this mystery!

In this mystery we have a rich plot with 3 suspects. Attorney Blakely is traveling from Pittsburgh back to Washington DC via the train. He purchases a ticket for a berth in the Pullman car Ontario, lower ten. He is carrying in his case forged papers that he has just had verified as forgeries. He can't let these papers out of his sight as they are vital to a conviction in the case he is working on. When he gets to his berth, Lower Ten, someone else is sound asleep in it and he can't get him to wake up. The Porter has him use another berth. So imagine the scene, old fashioned Pullman car, sleeping berths, hot summer temperatures, no air conditioning, overcrowded, very important legal papers that could determine a man's future freedom, a mix-up in who is sleeping where... Now throw in - When Blakely wakes up in the morning he is not in the berth he went to sleep in, his case with the papers is replaced with a different case and the man asleep in Lower Ten is dead! In the berth Blakely wakes up in is the dead man's wallet and the knife that killed him! But that's not all throw in a beautiful mysterious girl and the train wreck shortly after the murder is discovered!  Are you hooked yet?

Characters you can really like and root for and a superb who dunnit. I did not figure out who did it. It was a complete surprise! See if you can figure it out!

I loved it!


  1. I've always loved the classic mysteries, yet I've not read many of Ms. Rinehart's. Sounds like I should make more of an effort. Sounds similar to Agatha Christie.

    1. You can get quite a few over at Project Gutenberg for the ereader free!


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