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A Double Barrelled Detective Story

Mark Twain

Book Overview: 

A Double Barrelled Detective Story is a novel by Mark Twain, in which Sherlock Holmes finds himself in the American west.

At a mining camp in California, Fetlock Jones, a nephew of Sherlock Holmes, kills his master, a silver-miner, by blowing up his cabin. Since this occurs when Holmes happens to be visiting, he brings his skills to bear upon the case and arrives at logically worked conclusions that are proved to be abysmally wrong by an amateur detective with an extremely keen sense of smell, which he employs in solving the case. This could be seen as yet another piece where Twain tries to prove that life does not quite follow logic.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mexico was a New-Englander, with a head full of crotchets, and preferred greenbacks to gold or drafts. People thought it queer, since a draft on New York could produce greenbacks quite conveniently. There was talk of this odd thing, but only for a day; that is as long as any topic lasts in Denver.

I was watching, all the time. As soon as the sale was completed and the money paid—which was on the 11th—I began to stick to Fuller's track without dropping it for a moment. That night—no, 12th, for it was a little past midnight—I tracked him to his room, which was four doors from mine in the same hall; then I went back and put on my muddy day-laborer disguise, darkened my complexion, and sat down in my room in the gloom, with a gripsack handy, with a change in it, and my door ajar. For I suspected that the bird would take wing now. In half an hour an old woman passed by, carrying a grip; I caught the familiar whiff, and followed with my grip, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

There have been countless Sherlock Holmes parodies, but Mark Twain was perhaps the first. That is, if you can call A DOUBLE BARRELLED DETECTIVE STORY a parody. Personally, I'm not so sure. Holmes appears only briefly in this novella, to bungle the murder investigation and accuse the wrong man of...more

As someone that has read all of the Sherlock Holmes canon, I was doubtful that I would like a parody in which Holmes is described in the following manner: "Anybody that knows him the way I do knows he can't detect a crime except where he plans it all out beforehand and arranges the clues and hire...more

Quite enjoyed reading this funny side of Mark Twain depicting one of my all-time favorite literary characters - Sherlock Holmes.
The story wasn't surprising or mysterious in the way detective stories are supposed to be but that wasn't really the point of it. I can say that it was funny and comica...more

I loathed the jumping frog and couldn't relate to Tom Sawyer in high school, but 30 years ago after a week spent in bed with the flu and Mark Twain's Complete Short Stories, I was totally won over and ready to read anything he'd ever written.

Of all of the stories, I remembered this one the most,...more

It's incredible the perverse kind of delight we experience in seeing our heroes outsmarted. Even when it's Sherlock Homes.
The story wasn't great, but it surely was new. And whatever he writes, Twain is always so adorable, it's not really possible to resist him.

can't say one of the best strokes from Mr. Twain, nor from Sherlock as well.
The complimentary one's too much predictable as hell.

I did not enjoyed reading this book at all. I felt the story was poorly written. The humor I was hoping for in this satirical take on detective stories was nowhere to be found. There were a scene or two which made me laugh but the rest was all confusing and felt incredibly lame, even for a story...more

Sherlock ayrıntısı çok iyiydi. Mark abi, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle'u "verarschen" yapmış yahu, iyiydi. Bu kelimeyle ifade edebildim ancak kafamdaki düşünceleri. Bkz. Herhangi Almanca- Türkçe Sözlük .

Uno de los pastiches sherlockianos más conocidos es el escrito por Mark Twain, ‘A Double-Barrelled Detective Story’ (1902). Sin embargo, es uno de los que menos gustan a los aficionados holmesianos, ya que el relato largo o novela corta de Twain es una sátira mordaz de y contra el Gran Detective....more

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