Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Like the previous reviewer, I had never heard of this series of mysteries written in England in the first part of the 20th century. Spending a few hours with Dr. Thorndyke as he puts logic and a certain MacGiver quality towards finding the truth hidden in crime evidence has been a joy.

I have paid much, much more for today's modern mysteries only to have them disappoint with their lack of depth. What a treat to have found these volumes. And I'm only half way through Volume 1, so I feel like I have many happy hours ahead!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2009
These are not only well written, what is most amusing is that they are the CSI of the early 1900s. All the new found scientific criminology is there as well as the racial stereotypes and fads of the day. It makes one wonder how naive we will look when we look back on CSI in 2109! But, that aside, they are well written and the love interests offer a peak in into Victorian life: almost as much change there as in criminology. I like to dip and read these between other books, as they are a little much just to sit down and wade through all at once.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
After 50+ years of reading and re-reading Sherlock Holmes, I never thought I would ever again experience the secret delights that occur in reading those classic mysteries. Then I ran across Thorndyke and Jervis. What fun! Freeman's mysteries are well thought out, well crafted, and completely entertaining. If you loved Conan Doyle's Holmes and Watson, you will love Freeman's Thorndyke and Jervis. The best part? I have more of them still to read. I can't wait.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2009
This delightful sleuth is so period and so cool. thorndyke is both a medical doctor and a lawyer. And a forensic scientist. Put this combination in the early 1900s and you have lots of interesting reading.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2011
Just wanted to put my 2 cents worth in on this wonderful gem that I was privleged enough to find here on Amazon. I was trying to find more mysteries similar to Sherlock Holmes and the Agatha Christie stuff, and stumbled across the Dr. Thorndyke mysteries. I'd never heard of them before, but I'm so glad that I have now. I'm abougt 86% of the way through this book, and I've just got to say that I would highly recommend it to people who like mysteries from early in the 20th century. Dr. Thorndyke is a character who portrays a very wonderful person, the kind of person I think we'd all like to have on our side. He's a medico-legal expert, and solves crimes from that angle. He's quite ingenious, and scientific when finding/using clues and solving crimes. Many times his services are procured by the defense for a defendant who pleads innocence, and through scientific methods, Thorndyke is able to prove him innocent of the crime. I especially enjoyed the shorter stories, but the novels are really good too. I'd recommend reading all the Dr. Thorndyke mysteries that you can get your hands on. I believe this version is well formatted and has a linked table of contents, and very few typos. For 99 cents, you just can't beat it! Again, the Thorndyke books have brought me several hours of reading enjoyment! Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries Collection, Volume One (Four Books in One Volume!)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2013
I think the most obvious thing you need to know about the Dr. John Evelyn Thorndyke stories is that they're closely modeled on Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, whose publication predates the works of this author.

We have the genius, Thorndyke, who uses science to solve crimes. He's secretive. He's brave in the face of violence.

We have a sidekick, Christopher Jervis, who tells the story. Like Watson, Jarvis is a medical doctor. He is honorable to a fault, stuffy even. He is also, despite an impressive academic history, a bit dim.

The parallels are obvious, and they extend to the narrative structure. A mystery is presented and we trail the eccentric detective, enjoying the odd crumb he throws our way until, in a grand finale, he solves the mystery.

The technical details of how the crime is solved in The Red Thumb Mark are interesting and, to me, unique. They're very detailed. I understand the author is said to have performed all the experiments himself, in real life. Whether that is true or not doesn't matter. What matters is that they are convincing. Also, I find it interesting to learn what the state of detective science was in 1907.

Alas, there the similarity to Holmes ends. In The Red Thumb Mark, the story is thin. The clues inserted for our benefit are clumsily obvious. The author, perhaps reflecting the style of his era, is verbose to a fault.

The mores of his time are sometimes jarring to our modern sensibilities. There's a Society for Paralyzed Idiots. Both the name and the concept are used for laughs. Women are "unreasoning" when gripped by emotion. Poor people, the slumdwellers, are dirty, verminous and to be avoided. It's as though they're not human and are offensive to people of good breeding. The description of Thorndyke's personal servant is an upper class fantasy, the poor man's chief attribute being his unquestioning loyalty. Pin ears and tail on him and he'd be a faithful dog.

So why read these stories? Two reasons. One, the actual detective work and the science behind it. And two, the curiosity of seeing turn-of-the-century London through the eyes of a somewhat self-satisfied, prejudiced, seemingly well-to-do male.

Why avoid these stories? The intriguing science is but a tiny nugget of goodness smothered by an orgy of unnecessary words and not very good story-telling. Also, it's possible you'll be slightly offended by the attitudes of the day.

To me, these stories are curiosities. The technical competence is a large step below that of Sherlock Holmes, which itself isn't of Nobel Prize quality. In time I shall finish this volume, but not entirely for the reasons the author intended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2012
If you like old fashion, turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) mystery novels you should enjoy this collection of stories. As with most all of these types of detective stories, the main character is a bit eccentric. But nothing outlandish. The plots are good and the author has a way of keeping your interest. Should be enjoyable reading for most all mystery readers.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2012
I enjoyed reading these mysteries because they walked you through the clues and provided opportunities to solve it along with the detective but as many books written in this time period, they were a bit long. I sometimes wanted them to just cut to the chase! Other than that (and that I didn't realize that this would be well over the equivalent of 900 pages long) I did enjoy reading these and look forward to reading Vol. 2.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2010
Never heard of this author or Dr. Thorndyke until these books showed up in my Kindle list. I have given up on modern mysteries because they concentrate on the dysfunctional detective rather than the puzzle and characters involved in it. Dr. Thorndyke may be a wee bit odd, but he is gloriously angst-free. I can see why these books faded away. They are slow and dry. But they have the charm of watching someone intelligent wrestling with techniques that seem old hat today. I have read two stories and am enjoying them.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2012
What a deal! 99 cents for a well-written, witty, engaging 4-volume compendium!
I agree with another reviewer: I would love to see these made into a BBC series.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.