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When a Man Marries
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When a Man Marries

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
When the dreadful thing occurred that night, everyone turned on me. The injustice of it hurt me most. They said I got up the dinner, that I asked them to give up other engagements and come, that I promised all kinds of jollification, if they would come; and then when they did come and got in the papers and everyone -- but ourselves -- laughed himself black in the face, the ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Wildside Press (first published 1909)
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Felicia J.
Sep 16, 2012 Felicia J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Felicia by: Legacy Vintage Collection
3.5 stars

Mary Roberts Rinehart is best remembered today as a mystery writer, but When a Man Marries is a classic screwball comedy - complete with a feisty female lead, mistaken identities, romance, witty repartee and a cast of befuddled high-society types. Jewelry thefts and mysterious happenings are part of the plot, but what kept me turning the pages was the humor, the improbable twists and turns and the desire to see if two obviously mad-for-each-other couples would stop being stubborn, alrea
...more
Laura
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
Hannah
3.5 stars

This was my first Rinehart book. In comedic elements it is reminiscent of Frank Stockton or Harold MacGrath, and a couple times I found myself chuckling audibly. But there's also a strong mystery thread running beneath it, as nine people are quarantined in a house together and a pearl necklace vanishes. The mystery will definitely keep you guessing.

There's also a romantic thread. It's rather funny, as each is baffled by the lies they began to tell at the beginning of the ill-fated dinne
...more
Mo
4 1/2 stars

Now this is my kind of humor! Madcap to be sure, but not inane and NOT just a parade of snappy one-liners. This is exactly what a farce should be. I found it laugh-out-loud funny in places.

The only farce I have read that was any better than this is 'The Grand Sophy' by Georgette Heyer.

NOTE: At Rinehart's death her books had sold more than 10 million copies. The phrase "the bulter did it" originated from one of her books. How have I never heard of this author?
Megan
Sep 21, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
Kit assumes she's doing her friend Jim a favor, throwing a cheerful dinner party to distract the distraught divorcé on the anniversary of his divorce. What could go wrong? In very little time, through the zinging pinball-y series of silly happenstances, the group of helpless socialites is quarantined (and stranded without their servants) due to the possibility of smallpox exposure, Kit is impersonating Jim's ex-wife and pretending to still be happily married in order to secure Jim's financial fu ...more
Virginia
Mar 17, 2012 Virginia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know people who gnash their teeth about e-readers, but the Kindle has been responsible for introducing me to some really great pre-copyright authors, and Mary Roberts Rinehart (aka "the American Agatha Christie") is a prime example. She was one of the most popular and prolific writers of her time. How had I never heard of her? If I had to wait for someone to publish her again her "on dead tree," I probably never would have. so thank you, Kindle! (Oh, and it cost zero dollars and zero cents, al ...more
Marci
Aug 26, 2013 Marci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You don't want to know the plot. All you need to know is, when you need a laugh, and I mean an unrelenting, side-splitting, face-aching, I-can't-believe-I'm-falling-for-this-silliness type of laugh, this book will provide it. It's in the early 20th-century madcap, screwball, zany farcical comedy vein, like Wodehouse, or the Cary Grant - Katherine Hepburn movie Bringing Up Baby. It was originally written as a Broadway play that was produced in 1909, and then she rewrote it as a novel and publishe ...more
Suzannah
Jul 23, 2016 Suzannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, humour, mystery
Full review coming, but this was my first Mary Roberts Rinehart and I loved it!
Idril Celebrindal
Apr 13, 2010 Idril Celebrindal rated it liked it
More farce than mystery. I thought it was great fun.
Mitzi
Nov 06, 2016 Mitzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-novels
This is a fun story - a bunch of friends, upper crust types, get quarantined in a house together while having a party where they are trying to fool the home owner's aunt into believing the heroine is his wife, which she is not. Lies, misunderstandings, domestic troubles (none of them can take care of themselves without servants!), jewelry thefts, romantic interludes, and other general hijinks ensue. Great characters, and the story keeps you turning the page.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I adored this book. Everything about it: the writing style, the characters, the ludicrous plot, and frenetic mix of romance, slapstick comedy, and mystery. Written in 1910, this novel features a very broad and comedic portrait of New York society, and it was a delicious escapist read for the weekend.

I'm going to try to describe the plot. Bear with me, because I know how over-the-top it sounds, and it is, but it's also hilarious and amazing and fun. The story is told by Kit McNair, a New York soc
...more
Lynn Hartter
Jun 04, 2012 Lynn Hartter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, easy to read, and the solution was one of Rinehart's "Had I But Known," once again. The comic elements, and the romantic comedy ensuing, in an almost spoof of the classic British house party mystery, made this far more enjoyable. In 1910 New York, society girl Kit throws a dinner and card party in sympathy for her former suitor, a now divorced friend, at his home, to cheer him up on the anniversary of the divorce. All joining are friends except for a dashing stranger, fresh from work as a ...more
Mandolin
Mar 23, 2012 Mandolin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When she agreed to help a friend deceive his maiden aunt by posing as his wife, Kit never guessed the trouble that would follow. Quarantined along with a group of society's elite, including her friend's aunt and his former wife, due to exposure to smallpox, Kit soon finds herself in the midst of a series of crazy events including several burglaries, bungled escape attempts and a slew of mysterious occurrences...with a little romantic confusion, too! Who is stealing from the household? The same m ...more
Jan
Originally published in 1910.
The story is as much fun as an old 1930's movie farce or a Chevy Chase movie. The humor is only partly from the snarks and wiseassery, but situational as well. Pretty much along the lines of "if anything can go wrong--it will".
Take a group of friends of the privileged class with good intentions (but no one with brains except the main protagonist) in a big old house in NYC. Add in a cantankerous aunt and a visiting civil engineer, a hastily concocted scheme crafted of
...more
Patricia
Hilarious comedy with a touch of mystery and a romance thrown in to make it even more interesting. Mary Roberts Rinehart is much better at comedy than serious mysteries, so this was a light, entertaining read.

Ten upper class socialites are quarantined in a house after the Japanese butler at a dinner party falls ill with the smallpox. Misunderstandings, tension and drama mount as expensive pieces of jewelry mysteriously vanish, but all in good humor. Escape attempts only result in their pictures
...more
Gail
Jul 26, 2015 Gail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, librivox-org
This is one of MRR's better efforts, a light and frothy novel, very much of its time. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of it before.

There's an anniversary party thrown by half a dozen of Jim's friends to cheer him up - his divorce was final two years ago. Throw in a surprise visit from a conservative aunt who pays Jim's allowance, who was never told of the divorce, Jim's ex-wife, a quarantine, and the occasional theft of jewelry, and you begin to get the idea. Romance also makes an appearance, of co
...more
Misti
Feb 01, 2016 Misti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Society girl Kit tries to help a friend by pretending to be his wife at a dinner party so his aunt doesn’t find out he’s divorced and cut the purse strings. The real ex shows up, they end up quarantined, and a comedy of errors ensues. For me, the problem is that I have a very low tolerance for drama that comes when simply telling the truth could fix everything. I realize there would be no story that way, but there you have it. Kit trying to fake knowing how to cook eggs was pretty funny, but oth ...more
Zena
Mar 20, 2016 Zena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the writing so very different from today's style but must admit that it was most refreshing and enjoyable. The story itself caused many laugh out loud moments for me and yet had many moments of cunning and intrigue and a touch of romance too.
The narration was good except I would ask Ms Commins to get a bit more coaching on her rendition of an Irish accent. Besides that, it was a great reading.
So, all in all this was a most enjoyable book and it is worth a read/listen.
This audiobook was p
...more
April
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."


This was a fun look into the lives of upper society, when they are thrown into unexpected circumstances. The orginal novel is in the public domain, so you know it was written many years ago but it makes you contemplate what would happen in our era. I found myself chuckling often while I listened.

The narration was well done, The characters were excellently
...more
Leah A. A.
Oct 03, 2015 Leah A. A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
A lively, humorous, romantic mystery, told with fine wit: Kit invites a batch of society types to help cheer up Jim, who's despondent over his divorce. Then she's talked into posing as his wife during the sudden visit of his wealthy aunt, who must be kept from knowing about the break-up. Unfortunately, the entire crew — and several other unexpected characters — find themselves cooped up together when the butler takes ill and the house is quarantined for smallpox. Meanwhile, the guests' jewels be ...more
Carol W.
I have always enjoyed reading Mary Roberts Rinehart's mysteries. This one is quite humorous. Enjoyable read. The time period of the story is early 1900's. She mentioned Women's Suffrage in part of her story telling but it's not about that. I'm glad that I'm able to cook, dress myself etc., without the help of a maid. But this group sure knew how to have fun playing card games most of the day, reminds me of someone I know.
Kathy
Nov 30, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
This book really should have been called What a Tangled Web or maybe It Wasn't My Fault or even The Upper-Crust in Captivity. It is NOT about someone who gets married. A fun, light-hearted read, though. This house must have been HUGE...
Danielle
May 11, 2013 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful quick read. There is something about the books from this era that put them in a class of their own.
Kathleen
Feb 15, 2011 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
Entertaining mystery-comedy-romance. The plot was a bit contrived but it held my interest to the end. 3 1/2 stars.
Mary
Feb 21, 2012 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought, kindle
Mildly amusing early 20th century whodunit involving quarantined houseful of upper crust characters and missing jewelry.
AnnE
AnnE rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2012
Allyson Heumann
Allyson Heumann rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2015
Britni Mcbryde
Britni Mcbryde rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2016
Mary Beth
Mary Beth rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2011
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Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie. She is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing.

Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special
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More about Mary Roberts Rinehart...

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