Chicago and New York: Belford, Clarke & Co., 1886.
First edition. Octavo (7 1/4 x 4 7/8 inches; 184 x 124 mm). -288 pp. With frontispiece and 15 additional engravings. We could find no copies at auction in the past 50 years.
Publisher's heavily illustrated cloth. Stamped in black and gilt on front board and spine. Floral endpapers. Some rubbing and bumping to head and tail of spine and along cloth edges. Some finger soiling throughout. Minor staining to first leaf of text and the blank facing page. Previous owner's name on front free endpaper. Binding slightly skewed. Still a very good copy.
An intriguing detective novel by the head of the second largest detective agency in the 19th Century. A recently widowed woman in black accompanied by a well dressed man walks into a bank producing a prearranged insurance check and walks out with thousands of pounds. A few minutes later another woman black comes in to the bank with her attorney and produces her check from the insurance company, only to be told that has already been paid. The head of a large detective agency is called and uses "Sherlockian" techniques. He encounters fraud, deceit, forging, and even murder. The story is interwoven with a tragic love story as well.