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The Case of Jenny Brice
Mary Roberts Rinehart
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The Case of Jenny Brice (World Clissics in Large Print)

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  361 ratings  ·  53 reviews
A blood-stained rope and towel, and a missing tenant, convince Mrs. Pittman that a murder has been committed in her boarding house. But without a body, the police say there is no case. Now, it's up to Mrs. Pittman to ferret out the killer. For as the landlady, she has the perfect excuse to do a little snooping--and the key to Jennie's apartment.
Paperback, 132 pages
Published March 15th 2007 by The Large Print Book Company (first published 1913)
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Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Enjoyable, quick whodunnit (approximately 90 pages in the edition I have). The setting was one of the more unique ones: (a flooded out house in 1907 Pittsburgh), with boats coming in through the doorways to ferry people trapped inside on upper floods.

Good plot, likable heroine (a pleasure to read about fiesty, 40+ women) and an ingenious murder...or was it a murder? Rinehart crafts a short but puzzling tale for mystery lovers.
Ryan G
I think where this book sucked me in was the setting. Much like the last Mary Roberts Rinehart book I read, The After House, the setting is what dictates the story. Pittsburgh in the early part of the last century tended to flood every Spring. The problem was all the water, the Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers meet in Pittsburgh and form the Ohio river. Every year when the ice starts to melt the rivers start to rise and take over most of the city, especially the poorer areas.

One of those poo
4 stars when written. 3.5 stars now.

So continues my tour of Golden Age mystery writers in an attempt to see whether any of them hold a candle to Christie. To date, I've found Patricia Wentworth and Josephine Tey to be disappointments, though I will give the latter a second go. Dorothy Sayers had a very rocky first book but improved considerably in her sophomore effort, even if she was too concerned with literary showmanship to tell a tale as concisely as Christie did.

And here I am making a bit o
I read this in elementary school (or maybe junior high) when I went through a Rinehart-phase. Most of the plot details escape me now, but the intriguing setting has always stuck with me. It takes place during a flood, and the characters have to move their possessions to the upper floor and commute by row boat!
Nice cozy mystery with a good dose of humor. The plot was a bit thin, but I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Mary Roberts Rinehart's mysteries.

(Oh, and the name in the title is Jennie Brice, not Jenny....)
I download so many public domain books that I wasn't at all sure what to expect from The Case of Jennie Brice. Having read it, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. The case itself is convoluted, silly, and difficult to follow. The narration, however, makes this book worth the high rating that I gave it. The middle-aged boardinghouse mistress telling the story is smart, suprisingly snarky, and has unrevealed mysteries far more interesting than the central case. She isn't always aware of the ...more
Although the mystery that propels this book is not very interesting, the setting is. I loved the author's description of life on the Allegheny river, just on the fringes of Pittsburgh. The idea that those living in this area would stoically suffer through "flood-time" every year, had a routine for dealing with it, and even unofficial rules about things floating from one house to another, was fascinating to me. I also loved the background story of the narrator and how it figured into the story. B ...more
Randee Baty
A very interesting little book! Interesting setting, interesting plot twists.

Mrs. Pittman keeps in a boarding house in the section of Pittsburg that floods regularly every year. This was one of the most interesting settings for a mystery that I've read. Imagine know that every year your bottom story would flood so you would just plan to move everything and everyone upstairs until the water recedes! Hard to imagine in this day and age. You would just keep a boat on the first floor and use it for
Ivonne Rovira
The Case of Jennie Brice isn't as good as Mary Roberts Rinehart's best books: The Circular Staircase, The Window At The White Cat, or The Man in Lower Ten. However, at barely 100 pages, The Case of Jennie Brice is definitely worth a read, especially if you're getting the free Kindle version.

Some of the events are a tad unbelievable, but the ending will really surprise you. And, unlike some of Rinehart's books, where she doesn't play fair with the reader, she actually gives you enough clues that
Mary Roberts Rinehart is a fascinating writer. This story was originally published in 1913. The version I read was re-edited by her in 1948, as was the other story I finished a week ago.

This story is set in Allegheny, Pa., which I think may now be a part of Pittsburgh. The narrator is a struggling widow who is alienated from her wealthy family because of her marital choice. Now she runs a boarding house to pay the bills on the house she is renting. Apparenly living with Spring floods is a yearly
Marilyn Groves
classic 1913 mystery - loved the view of Pittsburgh during that time with periodic flooding and the acceptance of the people who lived there. The writing is excellent, explaining why the author is considered one of the masters of early mystery. Certainly dated, but very interesting and a good read. Download for computer, Kindle or other free at
Intriguing plot twist, some romance(minimal) and very interesting setting. Who knew that people lived with annual flooding inside their homes! Enjoyable quick read. I usually don't care much for short stories, but this novelette had the depth of a full novel.
Engaging mystery. Nice, short, interesting story of a disappearance that might be a murder--- or perhaps it's a frame-up? Lots of twists to keep you engaged, with a touch of romance to help balance the suspense.
A short, fast read. Mrs. Pittman, who runs a boarding house, notices that one of her roomers, actress Jenny Brice, is missing during a flood. Perhaps jumping to conclusions, Pittman suspects Mr. Ladley, Jenny's unlikable husband, of murder. She begins to search for clues to prove his guilt and is aided by Mr. Holcombe, an eccentric elderly amateur detective. The only thing missing is a body!

This is a tightly-written little novella. The flood waters add to the atmosphere of the mystery with Mrs.
This is a vey fine mystery story. It is the first book I read by Mary Roberts Rineheart, and certainly not the last. The writer keeps us in tension until the last chapter and then still surprises us with the real course of events. The book is written in a light and pleasant style, with the "I" person being a simple woman who sees the events from nearby, but hardly understands them. A murder has been comitted, but at first there is not even a body and only some circumstantial evidence. As the sto ...more
Julie Davis
I remember enjoying The Bat by this author when I heard it on LibriVox. Rinehart writes with a sly humor as she weaves interesting mysteries, usually with female protagonists. In this one, the story is told by a boarding house keeper as one of her boarders has disappeared, the landlady suspects the husband of foul play, and flood covers Pittsburgh in 1907.

A quick read and one that I found entertaining more for the personalities and the description of Pittsburgh during the flood than for the deta
Not one of the author's best.
Susan Wallace
Good, written in 1913, quick listen.
Enjoyable mystery from the early 1900s.
First sentence: "We have just had another flood, bad enough, but only a foot or two of water on the first floor."

Last sentence: "I think I shall do it."

I needed something light and short to read, and this short story was ideal. A nice, short and relaxing read. Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) has written other short stories, and I will definitely read some more of them when I am in the mood.
Julie Johnson
LIke the other reviewers, I found this book to have a very 'modern day' feel in spite of its age. I also, like many others, was looking for a 'free read' from a free book, it was better then expected. On par with modern day mysteries. I had a feeling I knew 'the solution' but wasn't certain, so it held my interest. A very intriguing mystery and well worth looking into.
Cristina Rivera
It was good, not great, but good enough. The murder mystery was intriguing to the end. Some of the writing was a little 'Ok, and the point of that being said was?', moreso about the main character's dead husband. I only gave it 3 stars, but if you like murder mysteries or whodunnits, don't put my rating past you. You might still like it, maybe more than me.
Bought this book on Cabbage Key Florida which is owned by the decendents of the author. A fun to read book especially if you enjoy the reading the stiff language of the upper class at turn of the century. I found it interesting that the author was known as the American Agatha Christie even though she published 14 years before Chrisie!!
This was the book that introduced me to Rinehart and boy am I glad it did. The book was very short but a very fun gothic mystery to read. Satisfying ending as well. Highly recommend this to fellow golden age mystery readers. Christie may have been the reigning queen but Rinehart and others also wrote some nifty mysteries back in the day.
I liked this author's style and her main character, the narrator, who was both believable and interesting. The plot itself was a little far-fetched, which made the setting and characters stand out even more. Worth reading just to figure out what I'm talking about. I'd be interested in hearing others' reactions.
Vicki Seldon
I have learned that there is a bit more variety and subtlety to Ms. Rinehart's choices of plot and settings than I thought when I read 'The Bat' two decades ago. Locating the story in Pittsburgh during the winter floods is unusual and adds interest to the boarding house(rather than drawing room) setting.
Marts  (Thinker)
Another great old-fashioned mystery by Rinehart, completed with that small town setting, unhappy young wife, suspicious husband, overly friendly visitor, and who could by-pass the single, mature, 'I need a mystery' in my latter years protagonist...

Trust me, you will enjoy this...
The setting was certainly one of the more unusual that I can remember for a murder mystery--it's flood time in Pittsburg in 1907 and the boarding house residents have to keep a boat in the front hall tied up to the stair rail. It was a good mystery with interesting characters.
Karen M
Absolutely traditional mystery written by one of the experts, Mary Roberts Rinehart. A short, quick read but interesting and full of mystery, with enough characters and clues (some misleading) to satisfy anyone.

Good classic mystery written by one of the greats.
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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
More about Mary Roberts Rinehart...
The Circular Staircase The Man in Lower Ten The Bat The Yellow Room The Window at the White Cat

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