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The Bellamy Trial de Frances Noyes Hart
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The Bellamy Trial (1928 original; edició 2020)

de Frances Noyes Hart (Autor)

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662307,985 (3.71)17
The trial of Stephen Bellamy and Susan Ives, accused of murdering Bellamy's wife Madeleine, lasts eight days. That's eight days of witnesses (some reliable, some not), eight days of examination and cross-examination, and eight days of sensational courtroom theatrics lively enough to rouse the judge into frenzied calls for order. Ex-fiancés, houseworkers, and assorted family members are brought to the stand--a cross-section of this wealthy Long Island town--and each one only adds to the mystery of the case in all its sordid detail. A trial that seems straightforward at its outset grows increasingly confounding as it proceeds, and surprises abound; by the time the closing arguments are made, however, the reader, like the jury, is provided with all the evidence needed to pass judgement on the two defendants. Still, only the most astute among them will not be shocked by the verdict announced at the end.Inspired by the most sensational murder trial of its day, The Bellamy Trial is a pioneering courtroom mystery, and one of the first of such books to popularize the form. It is included in the famed Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone list of the most definitive novels of the mystery genre.… (més)

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Madeleine Bellamy was found murdered in a gardener’s cottage on an estate belonging to the family of Susan Ives. Madeleine's husband, Stephen, and Susan are on trial for her murder. Madeleine appears to have been having an affair with Susan’s husband, Patrick, so on the surface it appears that the two jilted spouses put a stop to the affair in the most direct way possible. But is the truth that simple? This novel presents the trial, which lasts eight days, through the eyes of a pair of reporters covering the trial. I found it hard to put this book down. The chapters are long — each chapter covers a day of the trial — but the testimony and dialogue in the book make for an absorbing read. I was less thrilled with the reporters’ interjections, mainly because the male reporter struck me as patronizing (although that is likely accurate for 1927, the year of the book’s original publication). But the interjections did serve as a good way to break some of the tension and change the pace a bit. Otherwise the book would have been heavier going. I’d recommend this book to you if you like courtroom mysteries; this is one of the earliest ones. ( )
1 vota rabbitprincess | Jan 1, 2020 |
The Bellamy Trial by Frances Noyes Hart is an early 20th century courtroom drama focusing on the joint murder trial of Stephen Bellamy and Sue Ives, two of Long Island's "country club" set, accused of the murder of Madeleine Bellamy, Stephen's wife. Amidst a backdrop of wealth, jealousy, and secrets, the trial takes place over the course of eight days with all the juicy details of each witness's testimony displayed to help solve the mysterious case.

With close attention to detail throughout the story and subsequent plot twists and turns, The Bellamy Trial will keep readers guessing to the end. The courtroom setting was unique for a vintage mystery and I enjoyed seeing a glimpse into a arena that wasn't typically featured in older novels. The conclusion of the mystery was quite unexpected, though it did seem slightly hurried.

As far as the characters are concerned, I wasn't a fan of how the characters were introduced and used. The story is essentially told by two narrators, reporters present at the trial, who are unnamed. They didn't have a back story. This creates an unusual circumstance for me. Because I knew so little about them, I felt unconnected to them or their narration. The trial portions of the novel are written as observations with no personal insight into the trial or it's main players. I felt that since I didn't have an "inside" connection to the thoughts and feelings of any of the characters I didn't connect emotionally with the story. I felt as if I were reading a news article at times. Overall, this left me feeling a little underwhelmed and not really caring at times the outcome of the trial.

Despite it's problems, The Bellamy Trial was neat to read as it's one of the first courtroom dramas written. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
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The trial of Stephen Bellamy and Susan Ives, accused of murdering Bellamy's wife Madeleine, lasts eight days. That's eight days of witnesses (some reliable, some not), eight days of examination and cross-examination, and eight days of sensational courtroom theatrics lively enough to rouse the judge into frenzied calls for order. Ex-fiancés, houseworkers, and assorted family members are brought to the stand--a cross-section of this wealthy Long Island town--and each one only adds to the mystery of the case in all its sordid detail. A trial that seems straightforward at its outset grows increasingly confounding as it proceeds, and surprises abound; by the time the closing arguments are made, however, the reader, like the jury, is provided with all the evidence needed to pass judgement on the two defendants. Still, only the most astute among them will not be shocked by the verdict announced at the end.Inspired by the most sensational murder trial of its day, The Bellamy Trial is a pioneering courtroom mystery, and one of the first of such books to popularize the form. It is included in the famed Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone list of the most definitive novels of the mystery genre.

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