Rinehart is famous for the ‘Had I But Known’ style of writing, where a narrator notes that things could have played out differently had they taken a different course of action, thus creating suspense. She is also often credited – presumably wrongly – with spawning the ‘butler did it’ cliché.
That was all I knew when I picked up The Man in Lower Ten (1909), the only Rinehart novel I own in physical form. Mine is a 1960s Dell paperback, partly chewed by rats, which came into my possession mysteriously. My parents, who were antiquarian book dealers, one day accidentally mixed up a load of old stock they were throwing away with some of my cherished books that were in storage, and Mum kindly put all the crimey-looking titles aside for me, assuming they were mine.