Image of Anna Katharine Green


Lifetime: 1846 - 1935 Passed: ≈ 88 years ago


American Poet, Novelist


United States

Anna Katharine Green

Anna Katharine Green was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories. Green has been called "the mother of the detective novel".

She was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 11, 1846.

Green had an early ambition to write romantic verse, and she corresponded with Ralph Waldo Emerson. When her poetry failed to gain recognition, she produced her first and best known novel, The Leavenworth Case (1878), praised by Wilkie Collins, and the hit of the year. She became a bestselling author, eventually publishing about 40 books.

On November 25, 1884, Green married the actor and stove designer, and later noted furniture maker, Charles Rohlfs (1853 – 1936), who was seven years her junior. Rohlfs toured in a dramatization of Green's The Leavenworth Case. After his theater career faltered, he became a furniture maker in 1897, and Green collaborated with him on some of his designs. Together they had one daughter and two sons: Rosamund Rohlfs, Roland Rohlfs, and Sterling Rohlfs. Her daughter Rosamund married Robert Twitty Palmer.

Green died on April 11, 1935, in Buffalo, New York, at the age of 88. Her husband died the following year.

Books by Anna Katharine Green

The Leavenworth Case Cover image

The Leavenworth Case

Crime Novel
Detective Mystery

The Leavenworth Case (1878), subtitled A Lawyer's Story, is an American detective novel and the first novel by Anna Katharine Green. Set in New York City, it concerns the murder of a retired merchant, Horatio Leavenworth, in his New York mansion. The...

That Affair Next Door Cover image

That Affair Next Door

Fiction Novel
Detective Mystery Thriller

A perplexing mystery novel published in 1897, That Affair Next Door focuses on a mysterious murder that has occurred in a quiet neighborhood, incidentally in the house next door to the home of the curious Miss Butterworth. Consequently, the middle-ag...

The Forsaken Inn Cover image

The Forsaken Inn

Crime Fiction

Told from the perspective of a Mrs. Truax, the owner of an inn during the time of the American and French Revolutions, "The Forsaken Inn" is a locked-room mystery that keeps readers guessing about what has happened. A young couple stays at the inn fo...

The Doctor, his Wife, and the Clock Cover image

The Doctor, his Wife, and the Clock

Fiction Novel
Detective Mystery Adventure Thriller Suspense Classics

A man has been shot dead in his house. Ebenezer Gryce is on the case, but he has no leads, no witnesses, no evidence -- until he decides to talk to the neighbors of the victim, a blind doctor and his beautiful wife.

The House of the Whispering Pines  Cover image

The House of the Whispering Pines

Fiction Novel
Detective Love Mystery Discovery Investigative General Fiction

The country club house The Whispering Pines was closed for the winter, but only one day after he locked the place personally, the narrator sees smoke come out of the chimney. He decides to investigate and enters the house. Hidden in the dark, he sees...

The Step on the Stair Cover image

The Step on the Stair

Gothic Truth Mystery Determination Life Dark Investigative Women

The story follows a young woman named Rosamund, who moves into a new home with her husband and soon becomes convinced that the house is haunted. As she begins to investigate the strange occurrences, she discovers a dark and sinister past that threate...

The Mill Mystery Cover image

The Mill Mystery

Fiction Novel
Love Mystery Death Revenge Suspense Betrayal Investigative Investigation Ghosts

A mysterious death at a remote mill sets the stage for a suspenseful mystery in which nothing is as it seems. "The Mill Mystery" is a novel by Anna Katharine Green that tells the story of the investigation into the death of a young woman at a remote...

A Strange Disappearance Cover image

A Strange Disappearance

Victorian Mystery Crime Suspense Psychological Secret Plotting

In the midst of bustling New York City, a woman vanishes without a trace, leaving behind a haunting enigma. Anna Katharine Green's "A Strange Disappearance" unfurls a web of intrigue as a peculiar mystery takes center stage. A seemingly ordinary day...

Doctor Izard Cover image

Doctor Izard

Fiction Novel
Murder Arrogance Mystery Crime Justice Struggle Suspense Betrayal

A brilliant doctor is found dead in his office, but there is no sign of forced entry or struggle. What happened to Doctor Izard? Anna Katharine Green's classic mystery novel Doctor Izard is a suspenseful tale of murder and intrigue. The novel begins...

The Golden Slipper, and Other Problems for Violet Strange Cover image

The Golden Slipper, and Other Problems for Violet Strange

Fiction Novel
Detective Truth Young Mystery Crime Deception Society Dark

Delve into the mind of Violet Strange, a brilliant and unconventional detective, as she unravels a series of baffling cases. Violet Strange, a young woman from New York's elite society, possesses an uncanny ability to solve mysteries that leave seas...