Our Founder
Our Investigators
Our Fees
Our Location
Other Localities
Case Files
Other Information

Ladies and Gentle-men of Boston,

It is my distinct pleasure to author this advertisement, detailing the services rendered by THE NEWBURY AGENCY. We are an investigative group dedicated to discreet, private investigations of mysteries left unsolved by the constabulary and other private agencies.


Our Founder, 1881

Colonel Arlen Rice (Confederate States of America, Texas 23rd, retired) has numerous connexions to the City of Boston. Born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1840, initially the young Rice was first educated in Boston, at a boarding school. Then, at the age of 7, his whole family moved to Houston, Texas, to assist his uncle, William Marsh Rice, in his burgeoning business empire there.

Master Rice took to Texas very quickly, and enjoyed working under his uncle's charge. He and his family became and continued to work under his uncle until the outbreak of the last War.

Loyal to the state of Texas, and a prominent member of Houston society, young Arlen accepted a commission as a cavalry colonel in the Texas militia. The dashing 21-year-old took charge of the 23rd Cavalry and began harrying the Union forces on the Western Front in Missouri and Arkansas. Colonel Rice was, however, taken prisoner in a Union ambush in early 1862.

For the next three years, Colonel Rice languished in a Union prison in Illinois. Since he was an officer and a gentleman, and since this was the beginning of the war and prisoner-of-war camps had not yet become overcrowded, he was taken to the civilian Federal prison in Joliet, where he spent the rest of the war. Here he avoided the awful conditions of Confederate prisons like the one at Alton, Illinois.

Nevertheless, being a Confederate soldier in a prison full of petty criminals was in some ways much worse. Reviled from all corners, Colonel Rice spent the war in a tiny cell with three other Confederate officers, including an old man the boys called "The Major," who died in captivity.

In 1865, at the end of the war, Rice was released, and saw his family for the first time in over three years. He had suffered enormously in the three years of his incarceration, and spent a year on the Gulf Coast recuperating physically and mentally. When he came back to Houston, he did not want to depend on his uncle for employment, and strove to make a life on his own. He subsequently became a poltical reporter for an Austin daily newspaper, covering the state legislature and other postbellum affairs in the state capital. Within three years, he owned the paper. The newspaper business was where Rice spent the seventies. He got newspaperman's ink in his blood, and made quite a small fortune as he covered the happenings in the Texas capital.

In 1881, Rice received a telegram from Boston. One of Rice's many uncles, an industrialist, had died, and left Rice his substantial fortune. This prompted Rice to move to Boston to move into his uncle's townhouse, and soon Rice found himself a member of Boston society.

But, by the end of the eighties, the Colonel found himself losing interest in spending his days idly, and decided to do something about it. In 1890, he established the Newbury Agency, an investigative agency based very much on the success of the Pinkerton Agency. He envisioned his agency having two distinct differences: first, it would specialize exclusively with unsolved investigations in the Boston area, and second, it would also concern itself with crimes having qualities that could be characterized as "para-normal." Over the last two years, Colonel Rice has hired an efficient and competent corps of investigators. This corps is available both for hire and as an adjunct to the Boston Police Department.


The investigators of our group are possessed of myriad skills, both intuitive and scientific. Our staff of trained investigators numbers above ten currently, and new investigators, all familiar with the city of Boston, are hired on a regular basis.


Fees are charged on a case-to-case basis. Each fee is unique to the services rendered.


The Newbury Agency may be found on the northeast corner of Newbury Street and Fairfield Street, in the Back Bay of Boston. Also you may ask your telephone operator to connect you to Arlen Rice's place of business, on Newbury Street.


Some locales which will be of paramount interest to the reader:


"The Beast Within" -- a strange tale of a man whose violent and bestial nature is unleashed on the populace of Boston

"Numquam Posthac Aetas Ardens" -- The sins of the fathers are often visited upon the sons. Herein, an alien power compels revenge and evil to once again envelop to town of Salem, 200 years after the infamous witch trials.

"The Hunter" -- Signs and portents of the arrival of a being of immense and malevolent power lead the agents to investigate a mysterious murder in Chinatown...


Dear reader, we present these other sources, written by divers authors and compilers, in order to reflect the life and times of this era. They present fictive and non-fictive accounts of life at the fin-de-siecle in the Hub of the Universe, and elsewhere.

  • Making of America -- Celebrate the idle scribes of our day; in this impressive archive, almost a million pages of text have been painstakingly transcribed from the popular journals of the day.
  • Humanities On-line: Gilded Age and Progressive Age America -- Discover the world of the "Gilded Age," through numerous resources detailing the United States in the beginning of its second century.
  • Websites and Documents from the Gilded Age and Progressive Era -- These documents portray the history of the United States in this period
  • How the Other Half Lives -- A fascinating examination of the "underworld" of New York City, which often betrays the bigotries of its author, Jacob Riis
  • Jess Nevins' Victoriana page -- Join your guide, Mister Nevins, a gentle-man late of Boston, now residing amongst the Texans, as he provides a primer to the fantastical literature of the era, from Chinaman detectives to Edisonade adventurers to primary-school super-heroes to scientific fiction to Romantic/Gothick tragedies
  • Classic Literature -- The fiction of our day, including the complete collection of the Sherlock Holmes stories of Conan Doyle
  • Skyscrapers -- The first giant office buildings were engineered and built in the Gay Nineties
  • Victorian Web -- A page discussing the era through the eyes of our cousins across the Atlantic, in Albion
  • Household Cyclopedia -- Written in 1881, a complete look at all the minutiae of daily life in our time. Learn how to make root beer, or read about electro-plating.
  • 19th century -- An index of useful resources
  • Magical and Occult Detection -- Tales of detectives and debunkers of the super-natural and para-normal
  • Boston Family History -- This set of documents describes the waves of non-Anglo-Saxon immigration to Boston and the vicinity
  • Boston buildings -- Famed edifices of Boston
  • Mage: Texts and Images -- a page full of optional rules for advanced players, but full of character ideas and background
  • Weird Science -- the strange science of your own day
  • Paradigma Online -- the Etherites' professional journal; in our era, known as the journal of the Electrodyne Society
  • Etherite Musings -- Some fiction, and lots of inventions from the last decade