Volume II contains roughly the first half of the Thorndyke Short Stories. In all, there are over forty Thorndyke short stories, spread over six books. This volume contains the fifteen short stories from the first three, John Thorndyke's Cases, The Singing Bone, and The Great Portrait Mystery.
Some of the stories in this book are especially famous, as they were the first use of the "inverted" mystery, in which the criminal (and how he did it) are identified from the first, and the second half of the narrative shows how Thorndyke solves it, in spite of the criminal's every effort. (The "inverted" crime story was later used to great success by Columbo, as well as other detectives.)
In addition to these fifteen stories, this book also contains a couple of Apocrypal Thorndyke tales:
- The original novella of "31, New Inn" from 1905, which became The Mystery of 31 New Inn, the third Thorndyke novel from 1912. This is the doctor's true first appearance - written and published several years before the appearance of The Red Thumb Mark (1907), which is commonly believed to be Thorndyke's first published adventure; and
- "The Dead Hand" (1912), which later became the revised and expanded Thorndyke novel The Shadow of the Wolf (1925).
Join us as these handsome new editions bring back one of the truly great detectives who has been neglected for far too long.
"Freeman was eminently successful in creating, in Thorndyke, a noble, highly convincing and thoroughly consistent character who was precisely fitted to his role." - Norman Donaldson, Thorndyke Scholar, In Search of Dr. Thorndyke (1971)
You know Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street. Now meet Dr. John Thorndyke of 5A Kings Bench Walk, London.
When Sherlock Holmes began his practice as a "Consulting Detective", his ideas of scientific criminal investigations caused the London police to look upon him as a mere "theorist". And yet, through his work, the science behind catching criminals became so important that it's hard to now imagine the world without them.
Many famous Great Detectives followed in Holmes's footsteps - Nero Wolfe and Ellery Queen, Hercule Poirot and Solar Pons - but before they began their careers, and while Holmes was still in practice in Baker Street, another London consultant - Dr. John Thorndyke - opened his doors, using the scientific methods developed and perfected by Holmes and taking them to a whole new level of brilliance.
Between 1905, with his first appearance in a nearly forgotten novella (see below), to 1942, and through the course of twenty-one novels and over forty short stories, Dr. Thorndyke, often with the assistance of his friend Dr. Christopher Jervis, unraveled some incredibly complex puzzles. Besides providing very satisfying mysteries - some of which turned the literary form inside out - these adventures present vivid pictures of England in the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras, ranging from the doctor's own vividly drawn chambers at 5A Kings Bench Walk in the Temple to the surrounding London streets, and beyond into the villages and towns of the countryside.
Many of the Thorndyke volumes have been difficult to obtain for decades. MX Publishing is proud to announce the return of Dr. Thorndyke in a collection of omnibus editions, bringing these masterful adventures of one of the world's greatest detectives together in an easily available format for modern readers.
"Thorndyke will cheerfully show you all the facts. You will be none the wiser... " - Dorothy L. Sayers, Chronicler of Lord Peter Wimsey
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