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The Silent Bullet

Arthur B. Reeve

Book Overview: 

This book contains twelve of Professor Kennedy's adventures. The interesting thing about these stories is Kennedy uses newly discovered science from his time period, which we take for granted today. The first story, The Silent Bullet, has everyone wondering how a bullet could kill someone with no noise. Today, silencers on guns are commonplace in movies and on TV. Or as in "The Deadly Tube" featuring the story of a doctor causing his patients much harm with evil x-rays, or the development of the gyroscope for airplanes in "The Terror in the Air".

Each story features a fascinating look at life in the early 20th century, and even includes some action along the way.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . station-agent reluctantly yielded; especially as a small green banknote figured in the transaction. Craig and I tenderly lifted the big bottles in their cases into our trap and drove back to our rooms in the hotel. It quite excited the hangers-on to see us drive up with a lot of empty five-gallon bottles and carry them up-stairs, but I had long ago given up having any fear of public opinion in carrying out anything Craig wanted.

In our room we worked far into the night. Craig carefully swabbed out the bottom and sides of each bottle by inserting a little piece of cotton on the end of a long wire. Then he squeezed the water out of the cotton swab on small glass slides coated with agar-agar, or Japanese seaweed, a medium in which germ-cultures multiply rapidly. He put the slides away in a little oven with an alcohol-lamp which he had brought along, leaving them to remain overnight at blood heat.

I had noticed all this time that he was very particular . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a very engaging set of short stories about a scientist-detective Kennedy, set in 1920s New York. Much like his British namesake Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur Reeve has a remarkable way of unraveling the plot of a mystery through the eyes of the narrator, Walter Jameson. Kennedy, much like Holme

I wavered on this rating. As a rule, I like Sherlockian-type mysteries and since these were also supposed to be the "first type of criminal investigation based on scientific methods", I thought I would really enjoy them. First this is a set of 11 (?) mini mysteries based on a professor who thinks th

It is interesting to see what was cutting edge technology in the years before WWI. Ricin, radium, thermite, electric drills and furnaces, gyroscopes and aircraft. Electronic eavesdropping was possible, but not recording, and I'm not sure it would be accepted as evidence in court.

This one was a lot of fun, and if you've read my Sherlock reviews, you'll know I love short story mysteries! The last short story in this one brought the rating down a little bit for me. It was by no means bad, but the middle had so much mathematical theory that distracted from the mystery that it w

This was an enjoyable read. Are there outdated terms and science? Yes. Are there not socially acceptable phrases, words, and sentiments? Also yes. I expected these things based on when these stories were written, but they weren't overwhelming for me. Of course, your mileage may vary there.

I put this

Silent Bullet is a series of short stories by Arthur Reeves that focuses on two roommates: Walter Jameson, the first-person narrator, and Craig Kennedy, the main detective. Jameson is a newspaper reporter, and Kennedy a professor of chemistry at Columbia University. The two have a repartee a bit lik

When I picked this up, I did not realize it is a collection of 12 short stories originally published as a series for Cosmopolitan. As is my usual practice with short stories, I started to read them interspersed with other readings. It wasn't long before I realized they could be read one after the ot

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