The Forsaken Inn

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The Forsaken Inn: A Novel by Anna Katharine Green

“The Forsaken Inn”

is a novel written by Anna Katharine Green, an American writer who is often considered one of the first female detective fiction writers. Originally published in 1890, the novel tells the story of a mysterious inn located in a remote area of New York State.

The story begins with the arrival of Richard Orcutt, a young man who is on his way to meet his fiancée, Mary Leavenworth. Along the way, he stops at the Forsaken Inn, where he meets the innkeeper, Amos Cadwalader. Orcutt is immediately struck by the inn’s eerie atmosphere and Cadwalader’s strange behavior. Despite his misgivings, Orcutt decides to spend the night at the inn.

As the night progresses, Orcutt becomes increasingly convinced that something sinister is happening at the Forsaken Inn. He hears strange noises and sees bizarre apparitions, and he begins to suspect that Cadwalader is involved in some kind of criminal activity.

The next morning, Orcutt continues on his journey, but he is unable to shake the feeling that something is not right at the Forsaken Inn. When he arrives at Mary Leavenworth’s home, he tells her about his experiences, and the two of them decide to investigate the inn together.

What follows is a gripping mystery that combines elements of suspense, romance, and supernatural horror. As Mary and Richard delve deeper into the secrets of the Forsaken Inn, they uncover a web of lies and deceit that threatens to destroy their relationship and their lives.

Anna Katharine Green was known for her intricate plots and her ability to keep readers guessing until the very end. “The Forsaken Inn” is no exception, as Green expertly weaves together a complex and suspenseful tale that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

One of the most striking aspects of the novel is Green’s vivid descriptions of the Forsaken Inn and its surroundings. She creates a haunting and atmospheric setting that adds to the overall sense of unease and mystery. From the creaking floorboards to the flickering candles, every detail of the inn is meticulously crafted to create a sense of foreboding and tension.

Another notable feature of the novel is Green’s use of multiple narrators. The story is told from the perspectives of Mary, Richard, and several other characters, which allows the reader to see the events from different angles and to piece together the mystery along with the characters.

Overall, “The Forsaken Inn” is a masterful work of suspense and intrigue that will appeal to fans of classic detective fiction and gothic horror. Green’s vivid descriptions, complex plot, and memorable characters make this a novel that is not easily forgotten.

In addition to its literary merits, “The Forsaken Inn” also holds historical significance as one of the earliest examples of detective fiction written by a woman. Anna Katharine Green was a pioneer in the genre, and her work paved the way for future female authors, such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, to make their mark on the field.

One of the themes that runs throughout the novel is the idea of justice. Mary and Richard are both motivated by a desire to uncover the truth and to see justice served, even if it means putting themselves in danger. This theme reflects the social and political climate of the late 19th century, when issues of justice and fairness were at the forefront of public discourse.

Another notable aspect of “The Forsaken Inn” is the relationship between Mary and Richard. The two are engaged to be married, but their relationship is tested by the events at the Forsaken Inn. They must learn to trust and support each other in the face of danger, and their bond is ultimately strengthened by their shared experiences.

Green’s writing style is elegant and poetic, and she has a knack for creating memorable characters. Amos Cadwalader, the enigmatic innkeeper, is a particularly intriguing figure, and his motives and actions are a source of mystery throughout the novel.

Despite its age, “The Forsaken Inn” remains a captivating and suspenseful read. The novel has been adapted for stage and screen several times, and its enduring popularity is a testament to Green’s skill as a storyteller. For readers who enjoy classic detective fiction or gothic horror, “The Forsaken Inn” is a must-read.


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