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sight unseen book by mary roberts rinehart

sight unseen book by mary roberts rinehart

How to Enjoy Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart, a Classic Mystery Novel

sight unseen book by mary roberts rinehart

Are you looking for a thrilling and suspenseful book to read? Do you love stories that involve séances, murder, and mystery? If so, you might want to check out Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart, a classic novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Sight Unseen is one of the best works of Mary Roberts Rinehart, a prolific and popular American writer who is often called the American Agatha Christie. She is known for creating the “Had-I-But-Known” school of mystery writing, where the narrator reveals clues that they wish they had noticed earlier.

In this article, I will tell you more about Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart, why it is worth reading, and how to get the most out of it. I will also answer some frequently asked questions about the book and the author. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of this fascinating novel and hopefully feel inspired to read it yourself.

mary roberts rinehart

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Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart was first published in 1921. It is a short novel that follows the adventures of the Neighborhood Club, a group of six friends who decide to hold a séance for fun. However, things take a dark turn when they witness a blood-curdling crime reenacted before their eyes. Soon, they are hot on the trail of a murderer who seems to have a connection to one of them.

The novel is narrated by Clay Blakely, a young journalist who is engaged to one of the club members, Agnes Blakiston. He is skeptical about the supernatural and tries to find a rational explanation for the strange events that occur. Along the way, he encounters many twists and turns that challenge his logic and his faith.

Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart is a classic example of the “locked room” mystery genre, where a crime is committed in an apparently impossible situation. The novel also explores themes such as psychology, spiritualism, and social class. It is a fast-paced and engaging story that will appeal to fans of mystery and horror.

Some of the reasons why you should read Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart are:

  • It is a well-written and well-plotted novel that will keep you guessing until the end.
  • It has an intriguing and original premise that combines elements of mystery and horror.
  • It has memorable and realistic characters that you will care about.
  • It has a historical and cultural value as it reflects the attitudes and beliefs of its time.
  • It is a short and easy read that you can finish in one sitting.

To enjoy Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart, you should:

  • Pay attention to the clues and details that are scattered throughout the story.
  • Try to solve the mystery yourself before reading the final reveal.
  • Be open-minded and suspend your disbelief when reading about the supernatural aspects of the story.
  • Appreciate the style and tone of the author, who uses humor, irony, and sarcasm to lighten the mood.
  • Compare and contrast the novel with other works by Mary Roberts Rinehart or other mystery writers.


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Here are some frequently asked questions about Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

Q: Is Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart based on a true story?

A: No, Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart is not based on a true story. However, it was inspired by some real-life events and experiences that the author had. For example, she was interested in spiritualism and attended several séances herself. She also witnessed a murder trial that involved circumstantial evidence and hypnotism.

Q: Who is Mary Roberts Rinehart?

A: Mary Roberts Rinehart was an American writer who lived from 1876 to 1958. She wrote over 60 novels and hundreds of short stories, poems, articles, and plays. She was one of the most popular and influential writers of her time. She is best known for her mystery novels, but she also wrote romance, adventure, humor, and historical fiction. Some of her most famous works include The Circular Staircase (1908), The Bat (1920), The Door (1930), and The Yellow Room (1945).

Q: What is the “Had-I-But-Known” school of mystery writing?

A: The “Had-I-But-Known” school of mystery writing is a term coined by critic James Sandoe to describe a type of mystery fiction where the narrator regrets not noticing or acting on certain clues or events that could have prevented or solved the crime. The term is often associated with Mary Roberts Rinehart, who used this technique frequently in her novels. However, she was not the first or the only writer to use it. Other examples of “Had-I-But-Known” writers include Anna Katharine Green, Wilkie Collins, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Q: How can I get a copy of Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart?

A: Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart is available in various formats and editions. You can buy a paperback or hardcover copy from online or offline bookstores. You can also download a free ebook version from Project Gutenberg or ManyBooks. You can also read it online on Scribd or Goodreads.


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Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart is a classic mystery novel that will entertain and intrigue you. It is a story that blends mystery and horror with humor and romance. It is a story that will challenge your mind and your emotions. It is a story that you will not forget.

If you are looking for a book that will keep you hooked from the first page to the last, you should give Sight Unseen by Mary Roberts Rinehart a try. You will not regret it.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below. Thank you for reading and happy reading! 😊

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