Anna Katharine Green (1846-1935) was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories. Born in Brooklyn, New York, her early ambition was to write romantic verse, and she corresponded with Ralph Waldo Emerson. When her poetry failed to gain recognition, she produced her first and best known novel, The Leavenworth Case (1878). She became a bestselling author, eventually publishing about 40 books. She was in some ways a progressive woman for her time-succeeding in a genre dominated by male writers-but she did not approve of many of her feminist contemporaries, and she was opposed to women’s suffrage. Her other works include A Strange Disappearance (1880), The Affair Next Door (1897), The Circular Study (1902), The Filigree Ball (1903), The Millionaire Baby (1905), The House in the Mist (1905), The Woman in the Alcove (1906), The House of the Whispering Pines (1910), Initials Only (1912), and The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow (1917), (Source: Goodreads)
Many of Anna Katharine Green’s books are available electronically from Project Gutenberg.
- Mike Grost on Emile Gaboriau’s influence on Anna Katherine Green
- Anna Katherine Green at A Guide to Classic Mystery and Detection
- The rise and fall and restoration of Anna Katharine Green’s ‘The Leavenworth Case’ by Curtis Evans
- Curtis Evans’ articles on Anna Katharine Green are at The Passing Tramp
- The Mother of American Mystery: Anna Katharine Green by Michael Mallory
From Wikipedia: The Leavenworth Case (1878), subtitled A Lawyer’s Story, is an American detective novel and the first novel by Anna Katharine Green. Set in New York City, it concerns the murder of a retired merchant, Horatio Leavenworth, in his New York mansion. The popular novel introduced the detective Ebenezer Gryce, and was influential in the development of the detective novel. In her autobiography, Agatha Christie cited it as an influence on her own fiction.
Synopsis: Everett Raymond is a junior partner in the firm of Veeley, Carr & Raymond, attorneys and counselors at law. When Mr. Horatio Leavenworth, a very old and wealthy client, is found murdered, Everett finds himself entangled in the case. Leavenworth has been inexplicably shot while sitting at his own library table at night, all the doors in the house locked and untampered with. Suicide is quickly ruled out. Was the killer someone inside the house? Suspects abound: Thomas, the butler; Harwell, the private secretary and amanuensis to Mr. Leavenworth; and Mary and Eleanore Leavenworth, the two lady nieces, one of whom has been left out of her uncle’s will. Everett dives in as right-hand man to the inscrutable police detective Ebenezer Gryce, a brilliant investigator on the New York Metropolitan Police Force.
From a vanished servant to a secret marriage, from a shadowy mustached man to a forged confession, this swiftly plotted Victorian-era mystery, full of twists and turns and devastating cliffhangers, will keep you guessing until the very last page. Influential in the development of the modern suspense novel and a huge bestseller when it was first published, The Leavenworth Case is a groundbreaking tale not to be missed. (Source: Mysterious Press)