The Ghost It Was

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Richard Hull
4 October 2018
Agora Books

Richard Hull’s classic crime novel, The Ghost It Was, finds four nephews fighting for their superstitious uncle’s fortune. But when a harmless prank turns deadly, everyone is a suspect – even the ghost.

He seemed as if he might be interesting. People with no morals often are, and someone who makes no pretence of having any always is.

A convert to the recent fad of ‘spiritualism’, James Warrenton purchases the old, and purportedly haunted, Amberhurst Place. A cantankerous, yet easily amused, old man, he has far too many nephews, and far too much time.

Suspecting his family of only ever wanting his fortune, James strikes up a bet for his own entertainment with his nephews on the existence of ghosts.

Desperate to get into their uncle’s good graces, or at least not irritate him further, his four nephews vie for the place as prime heir to James’ estate.

Snide comments and ruthless remarks volley around Amberhurst, but when a harmless prank turns deadly, everyone is a suspect – even the ghost.

The Ghost It Was was first published in 1936.


Amusing and exciting; the secret is well kept and the detective is certainly original.’ — The Times Literary Supplement

‘Required reading.’ — Saturday Review of Literature

‘A model for mystery writers.’ — The New Yorker

‘Utterly original.’ — John Cournos

Well worth reading.’ — Isaac Anderson, New York Times

How delightfully witty Mr. Hull can be…’ — Charles Hannon Towne, NY American

‘Most assured… splendid writing.’ — New York Sunday News

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