Familiar Faces by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Familiar Faces by Mary Roberts Rinehart

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Stories of domestic anguish and delight from an American master

On a transatlantic voyage, a man fills with rage as his wife fusses over her makeup, filling their cramped cabin with powders, oils, and discarded clothes. It would be fine if he could open the porthole, but the porter has ordered it shut—lest a German submarine spot the light.

Back in America, an old man with failing health stares out his window and worries about the world. And the wife of a serial philanderer realizes, to her surprise, that she has finally grown tired of her husband’s humiliating displays.

These are the people of Mary Roberts Rinehart’s short fiction. Young and old, beautiful and ugly, joyous and downtrodden—they are ordinary people, consumed with the pains and privations of everyday life. Created with Rinehart’s impeccably light touch, they are more than characters on a page—they are a mirror in which we may recognize ourselves.


“[Rinehart’s] literary distinction lies in the combination of love, humor and murder that she wove into her tales. . . . She helped the mystery story grow up.” —The New York Times

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