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The Great Portrait Mystery, and Other Stories: A Collection of Dr. John Thorndyke and Other Stories Paperback – November 26, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Resurrected Press (November 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937022323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937022327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,299,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Austin Freeman (1862-1943) was born in London. He studied medicine at Middlesex Hospital and then entered the Colonial Service. He was assigned to a post in Accra on the Gold Coast of Africa. During his time in Africa he contracted blackwater fever which forced him to return to London. Unable to find a permanent medical position, he decided to try his hand at writing fiction. His first stories were written in collaboration with Dr. John James Pitcairn, the medical officer at Holloway Prison, using the pen name Clifford Ashdown. In 1907 the first Dr. Thorndyke novel The Red Thumb Mark was published. He served as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corp during World War I. He continued writing up until his death, writing parts of Mr. Polton Explains in a bomb shelter in 1939 at the age of 77.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This collection contains seven stories, only two of which are about Thorndyke. (The subtitle says, "A collection of Dr. John Thorndyke and Other Stories," but there are more "other" stories.) With one exception, the stories are humorous and quite enjoyable.

In "The Great Portrait Mystery," a museum guide unwittingly helps thieves smuggle a picture right out of the museum. When the picture is returned sporting one new stretcher bar, and the mortified museum guide spends the rest of the story working out why, hoping it will lead him to the thieves. In "The Bronze Parrot," a meek man finds a charm that once belonged to a mighty warrior, and suddenly he is meek no longer. "Powder Blue and Hawthorn" is a very ironic tale about thieves smuggling stolen antiques in a coffin, which when opened later contains a body and no stolen booty. In "The Attorney's Conscience," the ghost of a lawyer makes good on a wrong he committed over 150 years earlier. "The Luck of Barnabas Mudge" has a man's bad fortune turn around so completely that even when he is caught possessing 600 counterfeit sovereigns, he ends up looking like a bit of a hero.

But the two Thorndyke stories vary wildly in quality: "The Missing Mortgagee" is a so-so story with an indeterminate ending in which a killer gets away despite Thorndyke's absolutely brilliant reconstruction of the crime; whereas "Percival Bland's Proxy" is a hilarious story about a man who tries to fool the police, arson and insurance investigators -- and John Thorndyke -- using a body consisting of a dry skeleton bought at an auction, and many legs of mutton to convince the authorities that he has died in a fire.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
R. Austin Freeman is a Conan Doyle with a scientific background which he uses extensively in his detective fiction. His hero, Thorndike, is a lawyer and a doctor in medecine. If you like detailed inquests, you will enjoy the works of Freeman.
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By Mr. Garth Reid on March 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent reading for those who enjoy the deduction of Sherlock Holmes combined with the medical-scientific investigation techniques of our present day forensic sleuths on TV.
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