If you look at any listing of the 10 most important books of detective stories published in the United States, chances are you will find Uncle Abner, Master of Mysteries, a series of historical crime tales, set in 19th-century West Virginia, on most of them. It is generally recognized as one of the most important contributions to American detective fiction between Poe and Hammett. In fact, there are some critics who call it the single finest collection of American detective stories ever written. This story is from that famous collection.
"Perhaps [Melville Davisson Post's] finest hour arrives in 'An Act of God'." (Otto M. Penzler, Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection)