Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876 - 1958) was an American writer, often called the American Agatha Christie, although her first mystery novel was published 14 years before Christie's first novel in 1922. Rinehart is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it" from her novel The Door (1930), although the novel does not use the exact phrase. Rinehart is also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing, with the publication of The Circular Staircase (1908). She also created a costumed super-criminal called "the Bat", cited by Bob Kane as one of the inspirations for his "Batman". Best known for her detective novels, Mary Roberts Rinehart also wrote a widely popular series of amusing stories about a dauntless spinster and her two cohorts . . . including The Amazing Adventures of Letitia Carberry, Tish and More Tish.
More Tishby Mary Roberts Rinehart
"Wanted: A small donkey. Must be gentle, female, and if possible answer to the name of
It is doubtful if Aggie and I would have known anything about Tish's plan had Aggie not seen the advertisement in the newspaper. She came to my house at once in violent excitement and with her bonnet over her ear, and gave me the newspaper clipping to read. It said:
"Wanted: A small donkey. Must be gentle, female, and if possible answer to the name of Modestine. Address X 27, Morning News."
"Well," I said when I had read it, "did you insert the advertisement or do you propose to answer it?"
Aggie was preparing to take a drink of water, but, the water being cold and the weather warm, she was dabbing a little on her wrists first to avoid colic. She looked up at me in surprise.
"Do you mean to say, Lizzie," she demanded, "that you don't recognize that advertisement?"
"Modestine?" I reflected. "I've heard the name before somewhere. Didn't Tish have a cook once named Modestine?"
But it seemed that that was not it. Aggie sat down opposite me and took off her bonnet. Although it was only the first of May, the weather, as I have said, was very warm.
"To think," she said heavily, "that all the time while I was reading it aloud to her when she was laid up with neuralgia she was scheming and planning and never saying a word to me! Not that I would have gone; but I could have sent her mail to her, and at least have notified the authorities if she had disappeared."
"Reading what aloud to her-her mail?" I asked sharply.
"'Travels with a Donkey,'" Aggie replied. "Stevenson's 'Travels with a Donkey.' It isn't safe to read anything aloud to Tish any more. The older she gets the worse she is. She thinks that what any one else has done she can go and do. If she should read a book on poultry-farming she would think she could teach a young hen to lay an egg."
As Aggie spoke a number of things came back to me. I recalled that the Sunday before, in church, Tish had appeared absorbed and even more devout than usual, and had taken down the headings of the sermon on her missionary envelope; but that, on my leaning over to see if she had them correctly, she had whisked the paper away before I had had more than time to see the first heading. It had said "Rubber Heels."
Aggie was pacing the floor nervously, holding the empty glass.
"She's going on a walking tour with a donkey, that's what, Lizzie," she said, pausing before me. "I could see it sticking out all over her while I read that book. And if we go to her now and tax her with it she'll admit it. But if she says she is doing it to get thin don't you believe it."
That was all Aggie would say.
- Wildside Press
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I love the Tish stories and this author does great work in general. The Man in Lower Ten was the first of her works I read and although written in 1920 her stuff still kicks ass.
I laughed out loud very enjoyable
Loved the writing style, the characters and the settings. BUT, it was 2 completely separate and unrelated adventures that should have been in 2 different books. The first adventure, in the cave, could have been longer and made into its own book. The stories didn't flow well into each other...it was too random.