Mary Roberts Rinehart sets her mystery The Man in Lower Ten on a pullman car. From there, she leads an unlikely hero down many wrong tracks, much to his discomfort and reader’s delight.
Bachelor lawyer Lawrence Blakely’s take a train to Pittsburgh to take a statement from John Gilmore proving Andy Bronson forged the millionaire’s name. Blakely’s eye is taken by a photo of Gilmore’s granddaughter, Alison West.
On the return trip, Blakely is assigned to the lower 10 berth. He finds it occupied by a sound-asleep drunk.
The next morning the man in lower 10 has been murdered, the documents are gone, and there are blood stains on the berth where Blakely slept.
Suspicion falls on Blakely.
When the train wrecks and burns, Blakely escapes accompanied by a woman who turns out to be Alison West. From there the plot thickens, twists and turns before gliding gracefully to a halt.
With its gentle, quirky characters and period setting, The Man in Lower Ten practically begs to be made into a movie. It’s witty, funny, and totally absorbing—everything a mystery ought to be.
Find a copy and watch it in your mind’s eye.The Man in Lower Ten
By Mary Roberts Rinehart Project Gutenberg ebook #1869
#4 on the 1909 bestseller list My grade: B+