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Cosmopolitan Crimes - Foreign Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Paperback – November 30, 1972
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Hugh Greene compiled these mysteries, all written between 1891, the year Holmes first appeared in the Strand Magazine, and the outbreak of war in 1914.
My favorites were the seven clever, amusing stories by Grant Allen - 2, Robert Barr - 1, Jacques Futrelle - 2, and Maurice Leblanc - 2. I have occasionally encountered Futrelle's quirky genius, oddly called the Thinking Machine, and Leblanc's brilliant (and unscrupulous) Arsene Lupin, but Allen's Sir Charles Vandrift and his nemesis Colonel Clay were entirely new to me. Also new was Robert Barr's creation, Monsieur Valmont, the audacious investigator that I mentioned earlier.
Two stories were translated into English for this collection: the delightful Danish tale, A Sensible Course of Action by Baron Palle Rosenkrantz, and a German mystery, Anonymous Letters by Balduin Groller. While not my favorite, The Murder at the Duck Club wins the award for most unexpected investigator, November Joe, a Canadian backwoodsman.
The thirteen stories include: The Episode of the Mexican Seer and The Episode of the Diamond Links (Grant Allen), Five Hundred Carats (George Griffith), A Bracelet at Bruges (Arnold Bennett), The Absent-Minded Coterie (Robert Barr), The Problem of Cell 13 and The Superfluous Finger (Jacques Futrelle), Arsene Lupin in Prison and The Red Silk Scarf (Maurice Leblanc), A Sensible Course of Action (Baron Palle Rosenkrantz), Anonymous Letters (Balduin Groller), The Secret of the Magnifique (E. Phillips Oppenheim), and The Murder at the Duck Club (H. Hesketh Prichard).
This collection is the second of three companion volumes. Greene's first collection, titled The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (Penguin Books, 1971), includes only detectives that have identifiable addresses in the London, not unlike No. 221b Baker Street. I have yet to read the third collection, The Further Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (Penguin Books, 1973).
A rose by any name: For those searching for a copy of Cosmopolitan Crimes: Foreign Rivals of Sherlock Holmes it might help to know that it was also published under another title, More Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: Cosmopolitan Crimes, in 1971 in Great Britain.