The Man with the Crimson Box, by Harry Stephen Keeler (epub/Kindle/pdf)
A man stood on a streetcorner with a crimson hatbox in his hand. An archbishop approached him and asked what was in the box.
"Wah Lee's skull. I cracked Vann's pete," is the enigmatic reply.
From this simple encounter stems the trial of the century. The crimson box does indeed hold the skull of a long-dead Chinaman (or is it?), and the man did break into D.A. Vann's safe (or did he?) One face is certain: a man died when the safe was cracked, and now somebody has to pay.
And it just may be the man's lawyer, Elsa Moffit, attorney-at-law with no cases under her belt -- yet!