Dead Letter cover

Dead Letter

Metta Victoria Fuller Victor (1831-1885)

1. Part I: The Letter
2. Events of a Night
3. The Figure Beneath the Trees
4. Moreland Villa
5. Mr. Burton, the Detective, part 1
6. Mr. Burton, the Detective, part 2
7. Two Links in the Chain
8. Eleanor
9. The Haunted Grave, part 1
10. The Haunted Grave, part 2
11. The Spider and the Fly
12. The Anniversary, part 1
13. The Anniversary, part 2
14. The Little Guest and the Apparition, part 1
15. The Little Guest and the Apparition, part 2
16. The Night in Moreland Villa
17. The Shadow Assumes Shape
18. Part II: The Letter
19. Our Visits
20. The Confession
21. Embarked for California
22. On the Trail
23. At Last -- At Last
24. Now for Home Again
25. The Ripe Hour
26. Joining the Missing Links
27. The New Life

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Published in 1866, "The Dead Letter: An American Romance" written by Metta Victoria Fuller Victor under the pseudonym, Seeley Regester, is credited by historians of popular literature to be the first full-length American crime fiction novel. The writing is melodramatic in places and includes opinions typical of the time period, but is an enjoyable, early example of the genre. The novel begins with Richard Redfield, a clerk in the "Dead Letter Office," opening an unclaimed letter. Upon reading the contents, he is convinced that the message relates to the events of a night two years prior when another young man was brutally murdered.



- review

Very well read, and a reasonable story but it did meander about a bit taking a little long to move on in places.