A young man, Richard Shackford – alienated from his wealthy family – seeks employment at a New England marble quarry. By hard work he makes his way up to become almost deputy to the owner whose daughter Margaret he has also fallen in love with. But when Shackford's wealthy cousin Lemuel Shackford is found murdered, and at the crime scene is the cousin's will naming Shackford as heir to the fortune, he is immediately the prime suspect. More clues emerge to implicate him further. With an overzealous detective out to prove him guilty, it's up to Richard to unravel the mystery and exonerate himself.
This has also been put forward as a contender for the first published murder mystery novel in English.