From the category archives:

Freeman, R. Austin

The Penrose Mystery

Daniel Penrose, an eccentric collector of antiquities and jewelry has gone missing. The police position is that he is on the run because of his involvement in the death of an elderly woman while driving intoxicated on sherry. Dr. John Thorndyke, noted expert in forensic medicine and medical jurisprudence, is not so sure.

A daring daylight art theft from a crowded museum, a secret document centuries old, and a hidden treasure, these are the elements of the title story in this collection of tales by R. Austin Freeman. Though best known for his famous forensic sleuth, Dr. John Thorndyke, Freeman also on occasion wrote stories featuring other characters.

The Stoneware Monkey

Two distinct and separate crimes, the murder of a police constable in pursuit of a burglar who had just stolen some ten thousand pounds worth of diamonds, and the attempted poisoning of an avant garde potter. Seemingly, the point in common between the two is the attending physician, one Dr. Oldfield. But that learned gentleman, the eminent expert in Medical Jurisprudence, Dr. John Thorndyke, has his suspicions centered on a crude piece of modernist pottery.

The Singing Bone

A German folk story tells of a peasant who fashioned a flute from the bone of a murdered man but when he tried to play it, it burst into a song identifying the murderer. In this collection of seven cases, that eminent lecturer on medical jurisprudence, Dr. John Thorndyke, makes bones, and blood, fingerprints, and tobacco sing out to proclaim the guilt or innocence of those involved.

Dr. Thorndyke Intervenes

Dr. John Thorndyke, the renowned expert in medical jurisprudence and forensic investigation faces not one, but three mysteries: the claim of a rich American to an English title and estates, the theft of a small fortune in platinum, and most puzzling of all, the strange head found in a box in the baggage room of a railway station. The good doctor must solve these seemingly unrelated cases using his usual bag of forensic tricks and a few new ones for good measure.

Mr. Pottermack's Oversight

Mr. Pottermack had thought of everything. He had disposed of the body in a place where no one would ever find it. He carefully, and ingeniously created a false trail to lead attention away from himself. He had even managed, though with some element of luck, to make it appear as if the dead man had been miles away days after he had died. He had thought of everything…

As a Thief in the Night

When Harold Monkhouse died in his sleep no one was greatly surprised. He had suffered chronic illness for some time. But when massive amounts of arsenic were discovered at the autopsy, it was clearly a case of murder.

Young Helen Vardon contracts marriage with a man many years her senior in the mistaken believe that it was the only way to prevent her father from being sent to prison. By doing so, she unleashes a chain of events that ultimately leads to suspicion falling on her in the case of her husband’s death. As usual, it falls to Dr. John Thorndyke, the eminent forensic expert, to unravel the facts and find the truth behind… Helen Vardon’s Confession!

When Robert Anstey, KC happens upon a robbery and murder it is only natural that his employer, Dr. John Thorndyke, should be called in to solve the case. That it should require such a famous forensic expert is evident as the crime presents a puzzle. The objects of the theft were baubles of no intrinsic value. The one real clue soon proves worthless. It will require all of Thorndyke’s skill and knowledge to find the murderer, and in the process protect the life of a young woman who is the only witness. To catch the criminals he must decode a mystery a century and a half old and solve the puzzle of… The Cat’s Eye!

When the wife of Humphrey Challoner, criminal anthropologist, is senselessly murdered during a robbery, he chooses a most unusual means of seeking vengeance. R. Austin Freeman, author of the Dr. John Thorndyke series, turns to the macabre in this story of the lengths a man will go to obtain justice, even to the Utterrmost Farthing.