Feb 18 2019: Please check back. Currently reading, I fill this post in as I go along. RM
About the author: Carolyn Wells (1862-1942) was married to Hadwin Houghton, the heir of the Houghton-Mifflin publishing empire. Like Mary Roberts Rinehart, being in a publishing family created an easy pipeline for getting her works into print. She wrote a total of more than 170 books, including 61 Fleming Stone detective stories. See this Wikipedia article.
Sir Herbert Binney, baker of 'Binney's Buns'
Miss Letitia Prall, "The Grenadier",
Richard "Rick" Bates, Letitia's nephew
Eliza Gurney, Letitia's companion
Dorcas Everett, Adeline's daughter, engaged to Richard Bates
Locale: New York City
Synopsis: Sir Herbert Binney, successful baker in England, has come to the US to expand his business. He wants to enlist his distant relative Richard Bates, by offering to make him heir to his empire if he accepts.
Bates lives with his aunt, Miss Letitia Prall, who has a long-running undefined feud with Adeline Everett, who lives in another apartment in the luxurious Campanile. Adeline's daughter, Dorcas Everett, is secretly engaged to Bates.
Eliza Gurney, companion to Letitia, catches on and spills it to Letitia, which escalates the feud.
While Bates is considering whether to 1) accept Binney's offer and 2) continue his engagement, Binney is found dead in the Onyx Lobby.
Review: I was only a few pages in when I realized I have heard this all before. Two single parents, neighbors, having a long-running but unexplained feud - and their children secretly in love? This is the same plot as the off-Broadway The Fantasticks.