The Brand of Silence by Harrington Strong
This mystery tale, published in 1919, reads like a serial…you know what I mean-cliff hanging endings to chapters, repeating information given in an earlier chapter in a new way, etc. I haven’t been able to find out if this was a serial but the author, Johnston McCulley here using one of his many pen names, was certainly a master of the genre. Johnston McCulley is best known for creating Zorro-first introduced in 1919 (yes, the same year as our tale) in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly but he wrote over 50 books and hundreds of stories-often using different pen names.
Sidney Prale is returning home to
He goes to his stateroom to finish packing and realizes that someone has been in the room and messed with his things. Nothing is missing but there’s a note pinned to the pillow…”Retribution is inevitable and comes when you least expect it.” Whatever could this mean?
Odd things keep happening…he’s asked to leave his hotel, only one old friend, Detective Jim Farley, is glad to see him, the bank that received his money from Honduras doesn’t want to invest it for him. In fact it wants him to transfer the money that very day! (Now who ever heard of a bank refusing money!)
And then he’s accused of murder!
Besides the obvious murder/mystery plot there are some very interesting insights into finance and money…the value of money and who regards it as important and who doesn’t.