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Valeria Woodville's first act as a married woman is to sign her name in the marriage register incorrectly, and this slip is followed by the gradual disclosure of a series of secrets about her husband's earlier life, each of which leads on to another set of questions and enigmas. Her discoveries prompt her to defy her husband's authority, to take the law into into a labyrinthine maze of false clues and deceptive identities, in which the exploration of the tangled workings of the mind becomes linked to an investigation into the masquerades of femininity. Probably the first full-length novel with a woman detective as its heroine, The Law and the Lady is a fascinating example of Collins's later fiction. First published in 1875, it employs many of the techniques used in The Moonstone, developing them in bizarre and unexpected ways, and in its Gothic and fantastic elements The Law and the Lady adds a significant dimension to the history of detective fiction.

  • The Law and the Lady
  • NOTE:
  • ADDRESSED TO THE READER.
  • PART I. PARADISE LOST.
  • CHAPTER I. THE BRIDE'S MISTAKE.
  • CHAPTER II. THE BRIDE'S THOUGHTS.
  • CHAPTER III. RAMSGATE SANDS.
  • CHAPTER IV. ON THE WAY HOME.
  • CHAPTER V. THE LANDLADY'S DISCOVERY.
  • CHAPTER VI. MY OWN DISCOVERY.
  • CHAPTER VII. ON THE WAY TO THE MAJOR.
  • CHAPTER VIII. THE FRIEND OF THE WOMEN.
  • CHAPTER IX. THE DEFEAT OF THE MAJOR.
  • CHAPTER X. THE SEARCH.
  • CHAPTER XI. THE RETURN TO LIFE.
  • CHAPTER XII. THE SCOTCH VERDICT.
  • CHAPTER XIII. THE MAN'S DECISION.
  • CHAPTER XIV. THE WOMAN'S ANSWER.
  • PART II. PARADISE REGAINED.
  • CHAPTER XV. THE STORY OF THE TRIAL. THE PRELIMINARIES.
  • CHAPTER XVI. FIRST QUESTION—DID THE WOMAN DIE POISONED?
  • CHAPTER XVII. SECOND QUESTION—WHO POISONED HER?
  • CHAPTER XVIII. THIRD QUESTION—WHAT WAS HIS MOTIVE?
  • CHAPTER XIX. THE EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENSE.
  • CHAPTER XX. THE END OF THE TRIAL.
  • CHAPTER XXI. I SEE MY WAY.
  • CHAPTER XXII. THE MAJOR MAKES DIFFICULTIES.
  • CHAPTER XXIII. MY MOTHER–IN–LAW SURPRISES ME.
  • CHAPTER XXIV. MISERRIMUS DEXTER—FIRST VIEW.
  • CHAPTER XXV. MISERRIMUS DEXTER—SECOND VIEW
  • CHAPTER XXVI. MORE OF MY OBSTINACY.
  • CHAPTER XXVII. MR. DEXTER AT HOME.
  • CHAPTER XXVIII. IN THE DARK.
  • CHAPTER XXIX. IN THE LIGHT.
  • CHAPTER XXX. THE INDICTMENT OF MRS. BEAULY.
  • CHAPTER XXXI. THE DEFENSE OF MRS. BEAULY.
  • CHAPTER XXXII. A SPECIMEN OF MY WISDOM.
  • CHAPTER XXXIII. A SPECIMEN OF MY FOLLY.
  • CHAPTER XXXIV. GLENINCH.
  • CHAPTER XXXV. MR. PLAYMORE'S PROPHECY.
  • CHAPTER XXXVI. ARIEL.
  • CHAPTER XXXVII. AT THE BEDSIDE.
  • CHAPTER XXXVIII. ON THE JOURNEY BACK.
  • CHAPTER XXXIX. ON THE WAY TO DEXTER.
  • CHAPTER XL. NEMESIS AT LAST.
  • CHAPTER XLI. MR. PLAYMORE IN A NEW CHARACTER.
  • CHAPTER XLII. MORE SURPRISES.
  • CHAPTER XLIII. AT LAST!
  • CHAPTER XLIV. OUR NEW HONEYMOON.
  • CHAPTER XLV. THE DUST–HEAP DISTURBED.
  • CHAPTER XLVI. THE CRISIS DEFERRED.
  • CHAPTER XLVII. THE WIFE'S CONFESSION.
  • CHAPTER XLVIII. WHAT ELSE COULD I DO?
  • CHAPTER XLIX. PAST AND FUTURE.
  • CHAPTER L. THE LAST OF THE STORY.
  • Footnotes
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