Friday, May 24, 2013

Anna Katharine Green - XYZ A Detective Story

XYZ.  A Detective Story (1883) is actually a short story or novella.  I haven't counted the pages to say which is the more accurate description.  All  I know is that is was surprisingly short, and not, I thought, long enough; I could have used some more clever twists and turns in the plot.  I kept expecting some startling revelation that showed the true villain was a certain seemingly affable character and not the obvious candidate, after all.  But it never happened.  The story just ended with the obvious candidate unmasked as the villain.

The narrator is an unnamed detective who is sent to a small town, Brandon, Massachusetts, to investigate a lead involving a gang of counterfeiters.  He inadvertently gets caught up in unrelated case involving a local wealthy family and, eventually, murder.  It's up to him to see that justice is brought to the correct party.

It had its enjoyable moments, but, as it is no doubt obvious, I was rather disappointed by my failure to guess whodunit.  I was trying to be too clever about it.  Green outwitted me.

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