"If I should lie in a manger all night," she said, standing with her feet well apart and looking up at him, "would I become a boy?" The Bishop tugged at his beard. "A boy, little maid Would you give up your blue eyes and your soft skin to be a roystering lad?" "My father wishes for a son," she had replied and the cloud that was over the Castle shadowed the Bishop's eyes. "It would not be well," he replied, "to tamper with the works of the Almighty. Pray rather for this miracle, that your father's heart be turned toward you and toward the lady, your mother." -from The Truce of God Mary Roberts Rinehart's popular fiction-about nurses who solve crimes and adventurous spinsters-made her one of the most popular novelists and short-story writers of the early 20th century, a feminist, comic Raymond Chandler. The Truce of God, written during the era of her more serious writing, is a medieval Christmas fairy tale about Lord Charles the Fair and his young daughter, Clotilde, who longs for something more than her gender is typically allowed in these dark times. Grimly charming, The Truce of God-here in a replica of the beautiful 1920 edition-is an excellent example of the engaging storytelling that first captivated Rinehart's readers. American author MARY ROBERTS RINEHART (1876-1958) wrote some of the earliest classics of pulp fiction, including The Man in Lower Ten (1906) and The Circular Staircase (1907). Among her many novels of comedy, mystery, and romance are The Case of Jennie Brice (1914), The Red Lamp (1925), and The Swimming Pool (1952).