If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Friday, March 4, 2016

The Chief Legatee by Anna Katherine Green: A Review by Warren Bull

The Chief Legatee by Anna Katherine Green: A Review by Warren Bull

     Anna Katherine Green is considered the mother of American crime fiction. She is credited with 

writing the first American detective novel, The Leavenworth Case. She lived until age 88 and was a 

prolific writer throughout her adult life. She wrote more than thirty novels and many pieces of short 


     I have been reading mysteries written in the early 1900s. The Chief Legatee was published in 1906

Unlike The Hollow Needle, no character makes long, impassioned speeches about his own brilliance. 

Unlike The Profiteers, the protagonist faces reverses as well as success. There are surprises in The 

Chief Legatee. The language is more like contemporary language, i.e., less stilted, although it

 contains what we would consider some “purple prose.”

     The Chief Legatee is an interesting read for any time. It starts with the disappearance of a woman 

on her wedding day. She disappears shortly after the ceremony. It is soon determined that she 

designed and carried out the vanishing act. Her new husband reports that while walking down the 

aisle to leave the church about halfway down she suddenly gripped his arm and looked startled. 

During the reception, a man with a disfigured face whispered something to her that left her pale and 


     The husband also relates that she asked for a change in plans, requesting a few quiet days in a 

hotel before they start their planned honeymoon trip. She then also asks for her husband to refrain 

from speaking to her in the taxi to the hotel. He is surprised and a bit concerned but he complies with

 her request. Once in the hotel she disappears, seemingly into thin air.Eventually the husband receives

 a note from his wife avowing her love, but also telling him she cannot return until something is

 accomplished. She cannot tell him the reason for her actions.

     The novel plays fair with the reader. Some plot devices may seem clichéd to a contemporary 

reader, but I believe they were fresh and unexpected when the book was written.

     Having read a few novels written about the time The Chief Legatee was published, I was 

pleasantly surprised by the good writing, surprises and the originality in the novel. The author’s star 

has dimmed, but I recommend The Chief Legatee. The author should be read and remembered more 



KB Inglee said...

I Have not read this particular story, but I used one of her characters in an unpublished short story because I liked his mannerisms. I still like the character but the story should remain unpublished.

Gloria Alden said...

I've never read anything by this author and don't remember having heard of her before. I'll have to check her out and that book because now I'm intrigued by what happened to her.

Shari Randall said...

What an intriguing set up! There's another one for my TBR :)

Linda Rodriguez said...

Warren, I'm glad to see you giving her this kind of attention. She was the first American writer of detective novels and the first American best-selling novelist (and, of course, the first woman to do any of this). She was a foundational forerunner for all of us who are doing this today, and her books are still amazingly readable.

Margaret Turkevich said...

how intriguing! From what you describe, the wedding portion of the plot could happen today. It reminds me a bit of a Paul Gallico story, when the groom disappears from his hotel room on his wedding night.