This has everything you might want from a Victorian mystery: heaps of Hudson Valley atmosphere, a body by the side of the road, a fiancee who dons the widow's weeds, a simmering love triangle, an eccentric detective, and even a clairvoyant assistant. Then--there's a silver mine! That's in part because the book was published in 1866, and is considered the first full-length American detective novel. Regester, a pseudonym for dime-store novelist Metta Victoria Fuller, has a nifty way of pulling the rug out from under readers while making them reach for a handkerchief to wipe away a tear or two. Few contemporary mysteries offer so much gusto..
The Dead Letter, by Seeley Regester