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The Man in Lower Ten

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  378 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Lawrence Blakely, attorney-at-law, sets off by train to deliver valuable documents in a criminal case. His ride will be eventful. Along the way he'll encounter romance, treachery, a train wreck, even a murder in which he'll be implicated. Who's after Blakely and his papers -- why? The first detective novel to appear on national bestseller lists, THE MAN IN LOWER TEN is sti ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1909)
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Cphe
A nicely atmospheric mystery of a bygone era. Attorney Lawrence Blakely becomes implicated when a murder is discovered on the overnight train he is travelling in. All the evidence points to Lawrence. To clear his name he pursues a convoluted trail to find out what really occurred on the Ontario that fateful night.

There is quite a bit of substance to this mystery, a well developed "whodunit" that remains suspenseful until the end. Well worth the time.
Marts  (Thinker)
Lies, murder, romance, a train wreck?
Lawrence Blakeley has a disagreeable task, he has to deliver a statement and some forged bank notes to Pittsburgh.
The lawyer ends up in a muddle of adventure which leads to him being labeled a murderer... First he loses everything, clothes, shoes, and worst of all the bag with the bank notes; and then he finds a murdered man in his berth and guess what, the murder weapon is also found in his possession...
Then there's Ms. West his colleague's mysterious lov
...more
Pam
In 1909 this book was a top 10 best seller for the year. Famous as the grand dame of the American mystery genre ("the butler did it..." is attributed to Rhinehart), I have stumbled over references to her books and plots a number of times. I was curious to read it and found it an exquisite period piece that allows you to be swept into the world of 1909 America that is modern enough for you to see the rich details and differences with 100 years ago. Mundane descriptions and actions about traveling ...more
Andrea Stoeckel
ebook, mystery, read your freebies 2014
read 12/13- 12/14

"McKnight could tell the story a great deal better than I, although he cannot spell three consective words correctly. But while he has imagination and humor, he is lazy.'It didn't happen to me anyhow', he protested when I put it up to him. ' And nobody cares for second hand thrills. For that you want the unvarnished and ungarnished truth, and I'm no hand for that. I'm a lawyer.' (7)

So starts a book that introduced a genre to America: The "i
...more
Richard Ward
Very good vintage murder mystery, first published in 1906 according to Wikipedia (other sources give other dates). Although Mary Roberts Rinehart is sometimes called "the American Agatha Christie," their styles are quite different from each other. Almost everyone will like Christie better.

Clever whodunit that keeps the reader guessing to the very end. Told in first person from the point of view of the cops' chief suspect, a lawyer who finds himself on a train that crashes soon after a passenger

...more
Ryan G
I think by now that everyone knows I'm hooked on Mary Roberts Rinehart. After being introduced to her last year by Yvette of in so many words..., I don't think it's been possible for me to get enough of the twists and turns she develops her mysteries with. I've even found myself rooting for the couples that Roberts pushed together as they faced danger and possible death.

I think it's also safe to assume that most of us realize that just because you love an author, doesn't mean you are going to lo
...more
Elisabeth
4.5 stars. An intricate, fun old-fashioned mystery! Lawrence Blakely, a lawyer traveling by train with some important documents, is forced by circumstances to go to sleep in the wrong berth, and wakes up in yet another wrong berth to discover that the man in the first one has been murdered, the important documents have been stolen, and he's been left in possesion of only the presumed murderer's clothes, shoes...and murder weapon! Following the wreck of the train, Blakely must join forces with so ...more
Ken
This is a mystery first published in 1906. It did not seem to be over 100 years old in its style and could have been a recent attempt at a period piece of fiction. The use of certain words that would be considered archaic or politically incorrect (darkey or Jap, for example) reminds the reader that it is from an earlier time.

The story concerns the murder of a passenger on a pullman sleeping car. In the middle of the immediate alarm and investigation the train wrecks and many of the people on th
...more
Mandolin
Rinehart, Mary Roberts
Classic Mystery


A confirmed (and proud) bachelor, comfortable in his solitary existence and his modest law practice, Lawrence Blakeley enjoys a humdrum life that is free of female encumbrance (except, of course, for his very formidable housekeeper!) Excitement and adventure are definitely not for him. So, when he boards a train for Pittsburgh with papers of importance to an upcoming case, the last place he expected to find himself was in the middle of a murder mystery and in
...more
C.
I don’t penalize eras out of my time. "The Man In Lower Ten" was current once and low enjoyment doesn’t mean work isn't good. One needn't like a protagonist if a story is captivating and setting doesn’t matter, if protagonist or writing fascinates us. Even at a 103 year stretch from where I stand, I like extinct language. I can also relate to male protagonists but Mary Roberts Rinehart did not acquaint us with hers and I was not fond of Lawrence Blakely. I found nothing in common with two bachel ...more
Bev Hankins
A stolen berth. Switched clothes. Missing evidence. Mysterious men and even more mysterious women. And....murder. It's business as usual for Mary Roberts Rinehart in The Man in Lower Ten.

This particular novel gives us Lawrence Blakely--confirmed bachelor and dedicated lawyer in the partnership of Blakely & McKnight. Blakely agrees to make a journey from Washington to Pittsburgh to obtain a deposition from a man on the fraudulent nature of bank notes which would serve as exhibit A in the pro
...more
Kay
I enjoy classic "murder on a train" mysteries, but this one suffered from a predictable love story and a tendency to jump forward and refer back to events that hadn't yet unfolded, as in "Had Harrington slept in his own berth, none of this would have happened" -- before the reader is acquainted with who Harrington is, for example. This got more than a little tiresome.

On the plus side, references to travel and domestic arrangements circa 1909 provided plenty of interest. At one point, the protag
...more
Kathy
I generally like Mary Roberts Rinehart despite the age of the books. However, I had trouble with this one. There were too many characters who weren't developed enough to keep them straight and just wandered in and out occasionally. Even when the murderer was revealed I had to scratch my head and ask myself "Now which one was that?"
I'll still try a few other Rineharts that I haven't read yet. Hope they're better.
e they're better
Julie Davis
Lawrence Blakely, attorney-at-law, sets off by train to deliver valuable documents in a criminal case. Was he spied upon from the vacant house window across from his when packing his papers? How did he wake up in the number 7 bed when he went to sleep in the number 9 bed on the train? Who has taken all his clothes and more importantly his bag with the documents?

I have just begun this book and already it burgeons with questions that seem to have no answers. So far, so good!

Update: Quite enjoyable
...more
Kim
This author has been referred to as the American Agatha Christie. This book (her first) was published in 1906, while Agatha Christie's first book was published in 1922. The story was from the perspective of "the accused" and there wasn't a significant detective character. So based on the time period and lack of leading detective character, I didn't see the similarity. Perhaps some of her later books are more like Christie's. This book didn't really grab me. The advantage of audiobooks is that th ...more
Doina
Overall, I found this book enjoyable. But, it was a little too convoluted. The story was interesting, the characters were interesting, the mystery was interesting, but there were so many twists and turns that I wonder how in the world the author managed to keep it all straight herself. It did keep me from guessing who the murderer was, but took away part of my enjoyment in the book. And I have to say that I looked everywhere for her books, most of which have been out of print for years, and I ma ...more
Yan
A likeable, humorous hero, and a story with a bit more dynamism than Mary Roberts Rinehart's usual mysteries.
Rebecca
Oct 25, 2014 Rebecca marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Own on Kindle, Free
Ruth
My first Mary and I'll be back for more. I came to this book because of an odd confluence -- a mention in a Carolyn Hart novel and a long abiding curiosity about the Roberts Rinehart publishing company. I am still in the dark about the publisher, but I have a new novelist to enjoy.

A nice, solid mystery with the added bonus interesting period ambience (I love wandering through early century DC) and surprisingly a feel of a modern novel merely well-set and well-crafted in a historic setting.
Marci
The Man in Lower Ten is a murder mystery set on a train in a sleeping compartment, and it is a very clever locked-room type of mystery. How the victim could have been murdered and how the hero could have been framed are the central questions that take the story to its climax. There's a decent little romance included and quite a lot of interesting social and economic conditions incident to the 1906 (or prior) setting. Some of the period treatment has aged awkwardly though.
Janiece
The style of writing is interesting and the setting of the 1920s takes me back to a time when train travel was the norm. Being a fan of Mary Roberts Rinehart since childhood, I am re-reading her books now and see much more in them that I didn't get before. Solving mysteries is more about inductive reasoning and observation than high tech diagnostics, so the people side of this story is appealing as the depth of the characters is gradually revealed. A good read.
Carol
A fun who-dunnit, with some clever, amusing characters. There are just so many great pieces in the puzzle. We have a mix up in sleeping compartments, several mysterious women and a missing man, a train wreck, an amusing amateur detective. And of course the woman Blakely’s best friend hopes to marry, who is obviously mixed up in the whole situation, and who Blakely himself quickly falls in love with. Romance, mystery, danger, it’s got it.
Lynn
I remember this one because it was unusual for being written from a man's point of view. It was very well done, making me wonder why the author didn't do this more often. Also, although I don't remember all the details of the mystery, the way the main character got caught up in the events was good and natural; I don't remember thinking "why doesn't he just...?" or "wait, what ever happened to...?' hardly at all.
Jenn Estepp
I mostly enjoyed this very vintage American mystery, although there were a few bits that felt convuluted. And I was rather irked by what a damsel in distress the female character was - although I guess that's the only way the boy gets to be hero. Still, it seemed a wee bit exaggerated, even for the time (and the morals of said time).
Miklos
The only other book I read by Rinehart was "The Circular Staircase" and I expected a quasi-equivalent mystery/thriller comparable. In short, I was disappointed; The man in the lower ten was convoluted, confusing, and strangely anti-climatic.

I"ll give her another chance and maybe she really is the "american Agatha Christie"
George
Mystery written in 1906 involving murder, robbery and identify confusion. Lawyer transporting important evidence has it stolen and becomes a murder suspect during a train trip. Plot line involves switching of sleeping compartments, confusion of identifies, mysterious persons as the laywyer tries to prove his innocence.
Sarah Jowett
Man, the language makes this a hard plot to follow but it's worth reading. Half the time, I had no idea what was going on (also because if the difference in customs and etiquette, not just language) and I waited until the end of the book to have everything laid out for me, ha.

Jim M
An attorney sets off on a train ride to deliver important documents but gets ambushed in this thriller.
alibrivoxfan
Sweet mystery-romance, typical of Mary Roberts Rinehart and quite enjoyable.

There's a public domain audiobook version available here from LibriVox.
Jane
This has been the best of the three MRR mysteries I've listened to lately, as well as being the best Librivox record. Very enjoyable!
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was it just me who couldn't follow the plot? 1 3 Feb 09, 2014 04:01PM  
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85587
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
...more
More about Mary Roberts Rinehart...
The Circular Staircase The Bat The Yellow Room The Case of Jennie Brice The Window At The White Cat

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