Friday, March 15, 2013

The Gray Madam  -  1899
Anna Katharine Green
17 pages
genre - Mystery, short story
my rating  -  4 out of 5 stars

When I came across this book on Amazon, I had already read two of the author's works before and had thoroughly enjoyed them.  ( I will save those books for later.)  There was one review for The Gray Madam with the rating of 1 star.  The unsatisfied customer was complaining about paying $10 for a 13 page 'book'.  I was sure that the story itself would rate much higher than 1 star. 

And so I immediately acquired  the book.  It didn't take me long to read. (It's less than 20 pages, right?) Ms. Green didn't let me down; it's a wonderful tale.

The husband sees a strange woman dressed all in gray come out of his wife's bedroom. Who was she? How did she get in the room in the first place? Where did she go? To quote the first line in the story: "Was it a specter? For days I could not answer this question. I am no believer in spiritual manifestations, yet - But let me tell you my story." The husband does a little sleuthing and discovers the whole sad tale of the gray lady.

The story is a perfect length to read while you're waiting at the doctor's office. If you like ghostly gothic tales, you'll enjoy this.

About the author  -

Anna Katherine Green was an American mystery novelist, whose career stretched from 1878 all the way to 1923. Her first book, The Leavenworth Case (1878), was the first American best selling novel, selling a quarter of a million copies, and earning Green the title of "The Mother of the Detective Novel".  Agatha Christie records in her autobiography that Green's works helped inspire her to become a mystery writer. Mary Roberts Rinehart tells of a similar personal desire to publish her first mysteries from Green's books

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