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Mary Roberts Rinehart was an American writer, most well-known for her mystery novels. She was often called the American Agatha Christie, though her first novel, The Circular Staircase, was published years before Christie's. The Circular Staircase is as complex a mystery as anyone could wish for, full of twists and turns, mysterious intruders, a murder and kidnapping, bank failure, all revolving around the sinister staircase itself.

Public Domain (P)2018 Paula Faye Leinweber

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  • Colleen
  • 09-03-19

Historic mystery that stands the test of time

This is a beautifully done new audiobook of a very old book. The book was published in 1908. Mary Roberts Rinehart (b.1876) is credited as one of the first authors from the Golden Age of Mystery. Other authors in this wonderful genre include Agatha Christie (b. 1890), Dorothy Sayers (b.1893), Victoria Holt (Elinor Hibbert) (b.1906), and Phyllis Whitney (b.1903). This book is a first-person narrative by a strong older woman who is brave, intelligent, opinionated, and a remarkable representation of a woman of the time. The mystery is complex and there are many plot twists that keep the reader guessing until the end. The only caution is that her portrayal of the African American servants is dated and offensive to our modern ears. As is true with a Shirley Temple movie, one must decide to either accept that this was the common world view of the time or to skip the book/movie altogether. There were a few truly cringe-worthy lines, especially at the beginning, but the book is such a masterpiece of the genre that I recommend the book without reservation. The narrator does a beautiful job and the characters all have unique voices.

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  • Russ89123
  • 19-01-19

I can't believe I almost finished this stupid book

I don't know when this book was written, but it is horribly racist and full of insulting statements about Indians and blacks. The women don't come off looking very smart either.
it took forever to finish it. the story was way too long and stupid