by Mary Roberts Rinehart
When three people are murdered on a yacht everyone must watch their back as the murderer is still on board. But who is it?
Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) was aprolific author often called the American Agatha Christie. She isconsidered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", althoughshe did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered tohave invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing. Shewas born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, which has been a part ofthe city of Pittsburgh since 1907. Her father was a frustratedinventor, and throughout her childhood, the family often hadfinancial problems. She was left-handed at a time when that wasconsidered inappropriate, and she was trained to use her right handinstead. She attended public schools and graduated at the age ofsixteen, then enrolled at the Pittsburgh Training School for Nursesat Homeopathic Hospital, where graduated in 1896. She described theexperience as "all the tragedy of the world under one roof." Aftergraduation she married Stanley Marshall Rinehart, a physician whomshe met there. They had three sons and one daughter: Stanley Jr.,Frederick, Alan, and Elizabeth Glory. During the stock market crashof 1903 the couple lost their savings, and this spurred Rinehart'sefforts at writing as way to earn income. She was 27 that year, andshe produced 45 short stories. In 1907 she wrote The CircularStaircase, the novel that launched her to national fame. Accordingto her obituary in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that book alonesold a million and a quarter cop...
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