America's Most Beloved Golden Age Mystery Writer Published by Same Magazines as Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Erle Stanley Gardner - But More Popular
“An absorbing novel of espionage and romance – an unforgettable story of the amazing ship that saved the Union.” -New York Herald Tribune
“One of America’s most famous authors tells of the fateful battle of the ironclads-and the beautiful woman who turned the tide of history.” -Detroit News
Yvonne Constant of Val-Fleury was a pampered, privileged daughter of the south and an ardent champion of the Confederate cause. Eric Nelson was a Swedish immigrant and a committed Union patriot, working with the famed John Ericsson on a new weapon that could win the war for the North. When Yvonne and Eric met, they experienced an attraction neither could admit—not even to themselves.?But Eric had been entrusted with the North’s greatest secret; men had already died to keep it safe, and Yvonne’s aunt was one of Robert E. Lee’s wiliest agents in New York—how could he ever trust her or let down his guard in her presence?
When their true passions for each other became manifest to those around them, Yvonne and Eric were targeted by conspirators, spies, and assassins. Would they ever live long enough to realize—or even declare—the growing love they felt? In what kind of nation would they realize it?
“As John Ericsson and his assistant were trying to convince Northern officials of the need for his ship Monitor. Confederate spies were working to destroy it. Those who like Kelland's work will not want to miss this.” –Buffalo News
“Clarence Budington Kelland is master of the slick, swift, entertaining yarn … Demonstrates the emotions of his lovers with psychological penetration.” New York Times
"Espionage and romance; and also the story of the amazing ship that saved the Union.” –Hanover Evening Sun
Clarence Budington Kelland was author of nearly 100 novels of mystery and romantic suspense, had enough careers for several men: attorney, reporter, manufacturer of clothespins, director of a major newspaper group, and more. Kelland became best known as a fiction writer, penning some 100 novels, and selling them as serials to the biggest and highest paying magazines of the time—like the Saturday Evening Post, The American Magazine, Colliers, and Cosmopolitan. Many were immortalized on film, of which the romantic suspense comedy and Oscar-winner, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, is undoubtedly the most famous. Kelland appeared alongside Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and Erle Stanley Gardner in the same magazines, but was the most popular of the four. The New York Times described Kelland’s novels as “lively stories, designed to prick the jaded palate, that keep readers pleasantly entertained” and noted that “Kelland demonstrates the emotions of his lovers with a psychological penetration.” Kirkus Reviews called his novels “Bright and breezy, with plus appeal for murder-mystery addicts.” His magazine publishers kept besieging him for more novels because every time they serialized one of them (typically in 6-8 installments), circulation shot upward. Kelland obliged, and produced far more each year than his publisher (Harper and Row) could keep up with, leaving more than three dozen unpublished in book form when he died. His inimitable characters, trademark dialogue and deftly plotted stories, according to Harper, “made him an American tradition and won him more loyal, devoted readers than almost any other living author.” Kelland, as ever self-depreciating, simply described himself as “the best second-rate writer in the world.” His legions of fans, old and new, would likely disagree. There was nothing second-rate about his work.