Finally . . . a lost in the stacks post. Have you missed reading them? I've actually missed writing them and have wanted to get back on schedule with posting them regularly ever since I got back from vacation in August, but one thing after another kept me too busy to share any of my 'older' library book finds. It seems fitting now that it is October and we are in the midst of RIP reading season to choose an author who writes mysteries.
I own a handful of Mignon Eberhardt's books and read one a couple of years back hoping to pick up another ever since, but never quite getting back to her work. I'm especially interested in Eberhart since she is a Nebraska author. She was born in Lincoln in 1899, and educated at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She later settled for a time in Valentine with her husband who was an engineer before moving on to bigger and more exciting places. She was hugely prolific, her career lasting some six decades. She wrote more than sixty novels for which she won an assortment of awards, including A $5000 Scotland Yard Prize. I've only read The Mystery at Hunting's End, one of her nurse Sarah Keate novels, which was published in 1930.
According to the Wikipedia Eberhart favored female sleuths, which was an unusual twist for the time. After her first mystery was published in 1929, Agatha Christie followed up by introducing her own very famous Miss Jane Marple. Eberhart was known as "America's Agatha Christie" (though it seems I've heard that about other American mystery writers from that Golden era, too). I think she was quite popular in her day, and even now some of her books are still in print in paper from Nebraska's Bison Books and in ebook format from The Mysterious Press. I wish I enjoyed reading on my Nook more, though I am still very tempted to order and download a few of those previously hard to find titles.
I don't see The Cases of Susan Dare listed on the Wikipedia's bibliography, but the copy I borrowed was published in 1934. There are six short stories, which I imagine are interlinked and they feature Susan Dare.
"Susan Dare is a charming young writer of mystery stories who has long pursued clues on paper with relentless logic but who has never encountered an actual murder. Then came that eventful week at Christabel Frame's--where she first met Jim Byrne and first met murder. Red is the color of violent death, and a red stone enabled Susan to duplicate for the first time in the realm of true murder her many triumphs in the field of fictional crime."
Although I'm not sure Eberhart's books would be categorized as romantic suspense (I think they are closer to simple cozy mysteries), her stories do generally have a love interest. In this case it's Jim Byrne, a reporter.
"Inside the lovely head of Susan Dare, grisly murder lurks. A mystery author who makes her living providing tidy solutions to imaginary crimes, Dare is enjoying a much-needed vacation when the mood at her host’s house turns sour. Ugly secrets lurk in the Frame family’s past, and jealousy stirs beneath the surface of their tranquil country estate. Dare makes plans to leave before her hosts turn on each other, but she is too late. On the morning of her departure, a gunshot echoes through the fog. Only a beautiful author with a head full of murder mysteries can pinpoint the killer."
I was thinking it would be fun to read one of the stories for my RIP/ghost story reading this weekend, but the more I flip through the book, the more I think it is much closer to a novel than individual stories. I guess there is just one way of finding out.