The Portrait Mystery by R. Austin Freeman, originally (c) 1918. Mystery short story collection featuring Dr. Throndyke. I read this collection in:, Volume II: Short Stories, (Part I), MX Publishing 2018 trade paper
This is the third set of stories in this omnibus volume, and it contains the two stories from this book that feature Dr. Throndye. Following those, the volume also includes what it calls “Apocryphal Material”.
Dr. John Evelyn Thorndyke is a fictional detective in a long series of 21 novels and 40 short stories by British author R. Austin Freeman (1862–1943). Thorndyke was a ‘medical jurispractitioner’: both a medical doctor and a member of the bar. His solutions were based on collecting all possible data before looking at the protagonists and motives in the crimes. It is this method which gave rise to one of Freeman’s most ingenious inventions, the inverted detective story, where the criminal act is described first and the interest lies in Thorndyke’s subsequent unravelling of it.
Only 2 of the stories feature Dr. Thorndyke, so only those are included in this complete Dr. Thorndyke omnibus:
- The Missing Mortgagee
- Percival Bland’s Proxy
The Apocryphal Materials are
- 31 New Inn (the original 1905 Thorndyke novella, which would be later expanded into the novel The Mystery of 31 New Inn, which is included in Volume I of this set of books.
- The Dead Hand, later expanded into the novel The Shadow of the Wolf (1925)
- The Art of the Detective Story, an opinion essay by the author
Since I plan to read these two novels, along with The Red Thumb Mark I chose not to read these novellas on which they are based.
As noted last week, I have received notice of the next three volumes, which will be published early in 2020, and have ordered them. I’m quite glad MX Publishing is doing these volumes.