A Poor Wise Man mixes romantic fiction with political analysis. This engrossing story begins with, “The city turned its dreariest aspect toward the railway on blackened walls, irregular and ill-paved streets, gloomy warehouses, and over all a gray, smoke-laden atmosphere which gave it mystery and often beauty. Sometimes the softened towers of the great steel bridges rose above the river mist like fairy towers suspended between Heaven and earth. And again the sun tipped the surrounding hills with gold, while the city lay buried in its smoke shroud, and white ghosts of river boats moved spectrally along.
Lily Cardew, returning home from doing Red Cross work during the war, finds herself feeling restless and unable to fit back into the familiar but rather empty social life of her wealthy family. Looking to occupy herself and to assert her independence from her harsh grandfather, she decides to visit an estranged family member, and ends up falling unwittingly into dangerous company among the leaders of an anarchist group—and also into an extremely unwise romance with a man who is patently The Wrong Man.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Roberts Rinehart was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie. She is considered the source of the phrase “The butler did it”, although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the “Had-I-But-Known” school of mystery writing.
Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special articles. Many of her books and plays were adapted for movies, such as The Bat (1926), The Bat Whispers (1930), and The Bat (1959). While many of her books were best-sellers, critics were most appreciative of her murder mysteries.
“War is not two great armies meeting in the clash and frenzy of battle. War is a boy being carried on a stretcher, looking up at God’s blue sky with bewildered eyes that are soon to close; war is a woman carrying a child that has been injured by a shell; war is spirited horses tied in burning buildings and waiting for death; war is the flower of a race, battered, hungry, bleeding, up to its knees in filthy water; war is an old woman burning a candle before the Mater Dolorsa for the son she has given.”