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.
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About the Author
She was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 11, 1846. Green had an early ambition 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), praised by Wilkie Collins, and the hit of the year. She became a bestselling author, eventually publishing about 40 books. On November 25, 1884, Green married the actor and stove designer, and later noted furniture maker, Charles Rohlfs (1853 - 1936), who was seven years her junior. Rohlfs toured in a dramatization of Green's The Leavenworth Case. After his theater career faltered, he became a furniture maker in 1897, and Green collaborated with him on some of his designs. Green died on April 11, 1935 in Buffalo, New York, at the age of 88.