A Chicago socialite braves death to save her beloved from the gallows.
Search Abbott is high over Chicago when Howland proposes marriage, but her heart is far away. Since childhood she has loved Richard Bohan, and her passion has not dimmed in the three years since he made the mistake of marrying Eve. Howland has few kind words for Richard, but Search’s heart cannot be moved. She declines him, and leaves to visit her Aunt Ludmilla, a kindly old woman who claims she is being poisoned.
She finds Richard staying at Ludmilla’s estate, and all her old feelings come rushing forth. His marriage is finished, he says, as he takes Search in his arms. But joy is fleeting - Eve will never let him go. Search’s hatred for her rival evaporates the moment she finds Eve dangling from a hangman’s noose. The woman was murdered, and the police are going to take Richard away.
“The suspense ... mounts steadily ... Mignon Eberhart, who has written many excellent mystery stories, has seldom, if ever, produced one better than The Hangman’s Whip.” - The New York Times
“Frilly stuff built on a sound structure, with love abounding.” - The New Yorker
“Mignon Eberhart’s name on mysteries is like sterling on silver.” - Miami News
Mignon G. Eberhart (1899-1996) wrote dozens of mystery novels over a nearly six decade-long career. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, she began writing in high school, trading English essays to her fellow students in exchange for math homework. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, and in the 1920s began writing fiction in her spare time, publishing her first novel, The Patient in Room 18, in 1929. With the follow-up, While The Patient Slept (1931), she won a $5,000 Scotland Yard Prize, and by the end of the 1930’s was one of the most popular female mystery writers on the planet.
Before Agatha Christie ever published a Miss Marple novel, Eberhart was writing romantic crime fiction with female leads. Eight of her books, including While the Patient Slept and Hasty Wedding (1938) were adapted as films. Made a Mystery Writers of America grandmaster in 1971, Eberhart continued publishing roughly a book a year until the 1980s. Her final novel Three Days for Emeralds, was published in 1988.