Grace Livingston Hill (1865-1947) published over 100 novels and numerous short stories during her career. Since she was the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, it's not terribly surprising that her novels had strong religious and moral underpinnings. Initially, she tried to used her books to proselytize, but her publishers tried to tone down the religious angle, and she later modified her writing to make it more appealing to secular audiences.
Hill was an accidental pioneer of what is now often termed "romantic suspense," but her sometimes over-simplistic views of good versus evil are clearly rooted in more conservative culture of the time. You also can't draw any direct lineage between her characters and those of contemporary women authors with strong female protagonists (think Marcia Muller, Sara Paretsky, et al.) as the young women in her book are almost always of the damsel-in-distress type.
In 1912's The Mystery of Mary, a beautiful young woman approaches wealthy Tryon Dunham on a dark New York night at a train station. She tells him she's terrified she is being followed, so Dunham escorts her to safety and gets her to agree to attend a dinner party with him. Her dress and manner give away the fact she is a well-bred woman, and at the party she displays her musical talents playing the piano. But why was she traveling alone, with only the clothes on her back and no money?
The young woman won't tell him her full name or why she is in danger. When Dunham helps her leave town on a different train later that night, he can't get her out of his mind. From there on, he determines to discover her true identity and to solve the mystery that surrounds her. With assistance from the famous Judge Blackwell, Dunham picks up the trail that leads to an inheritance and an evil cousin, just in time to save the day.
Coming in at just under 37,000 words, this book is more a novella by today's standards, and many of Hill's books approach that same length. The plotting and characterization are fairly straightforward and simple in these works, but they are a quick read and interesting for their snapshot of the social mores and customs of that era.