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Published a decade prior to Anna Katharine Green’s The Leavenworth Case (1878), The Dead Letter concerns the murder of Henry Moreland, whose body is found just a few steps from the home of John Argyll, Esq. Moreland was engaged to Argyll’s daughter, Eleanor, and suspicion soon falls upon the lawyer’s protégé, Richard Redfield. Desperate to clear his name, Redfield seeks the help of Mr. Burton, a famous New York City detective—but the case has more twists and turns than either of the two men could possibly imagine.
Set against the political turmoil of the Reconstruction Era, The Dead Letter is a fascinating historical document, a pioneering work of genre fiction, and a mystery with a cleverly satisfying conclusion.
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