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John Thorndyke's Cases

R. Austin Freeman

Book Overview: 

At the turn of the 20th century, Richard Austin Freeman emerged as an author to be reckoned with in the world of detective fiction, introducing the highly memorable scientific detective Dr. Thorndyke, an early forensic sleuth. Armed with his little green case full of scientific detection aids, Thorndyke unravelled murders and mysteries using logic and material evidence.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ll be seen that the appearances are not such as would be expected. The deceased was five feet nine inches high, but was very thin and light, weighing only nine stone six pounds, as I ascertained by weighing the body, whereas I am five feet eleven and weigh nearly thirteen stone. But yet the footprint of the deceased is nearly twice as deep as mine—that is to say, the lighter man has sunk into the sand nearly twice as deeply as the heavier man."

The magistrates were now deeply attentive. They were no longer simply listening to the despised utterances of a mere scientific expert. The cast lay before them with the two footprints side by side; the evidence appealed to their own senses and was proportionately convincing.

"This is very singular," said the chairman; "but perhaps you can explain the discrepancy?"

"I think I can," replied Thorndyke; "but I should prefer to place all the facts before you first. . . Read More

Community Reviews

1 - The Man with the Nailed Shoes
Dr Jervis is staying at the seaside village of Little Sundersley, when Dr. Thorndyke comes for a visit. A walk along the beach reveal various footprints and later a dead man. Thorndyke acts in the defence of the accused.
2 - The Stranger's Latchkey
Dr Jervis is staying

Good read

I had never heard of this author but have become hooked. A combination of doctor and detective with more warmth than Sherlock Holmes, Dr Thorndyke excels in rescuing the falsely accused.

Look, I wanted to like this book. It does have good mysteries and a lot of heartwarming interactions between Thorndyke, Jervis, and Polton. But also, it has some extremely questionable depictions of Asian people, and an uncomfortable amount of antisemitism.

He is a Jew, and he has that passion for th

The Blue Sequin. 6/10
The Man With the Nailed Shoes. 7/10
The Stranger's Latchkey. 6/10
The Anthropologist at Large. 7/10
The Moabite Cipher. 8/10
The Mandarin's Pearl. 8/10
The Aluminium Dagger. 6/10
A Message From The Deep Sea. 7/10

Overall 7/10

Seven short stories of John Thorndyke cases. Pleasurable, but not memorable. Published in 1909. Be warned, it is a book of its era, like the first book in this series, in the portrayal of Jews and Asians.

My second Thorndyke book in succession: this one, a collection of stories. I will be staying away from this author for sometime now, as his tales are a set of one-trick ponies which can stale fast.

Doctor Thorndyke is a doctor-cum-lawyer who lectures on medical jurisprudence. He is also a Grade A det

Although I really enjoyed reading these eight short mysteries, I see from these exactly why Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes is still popular and Dr. John Thorndyke is for the diehards only. Thorndyke is physically perfect, mentally perfect, and psychically something of a cypher with its older m

Good set of forensic mystery stories. I also liked the fact that this was illustrated, which allowed the reader to see some of the samples Thorndyke used in proving his cases!

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