THE INVISIBLE BULLET & OTHER STRANGE CASES OF MAGNUM, SCIENTIFIC CONSULTANT
Magnum was no mere detective, he left crime as such to the police, and would only consult when there was a truly scientific puzzle to unravel. Yet as scientific consultant he solved mysteries, foiled criminals, and protected the public interest. Distinctive in appearance (with his bushy red eyebrows and corresponding beard) and commanding in personality (with a quick temper and a high regard for his own self-importance), he maintained exacting standards for his own scientific work, balanced with a keen business sense. In Magnum, author Max Rittenberg formed the mold for the scientific detective archetype. All seventeen Magnum stories are collected here. In some, Magnum meets with impossible crimes; in others, it’s a race against time as Magnum must piece together puzzling clues. Mike Ashley introduces this collection with details of Max Rittenberg’s life and work, as well as insightful discussion of the development of the scientific detective in mystery fiction.
Nevil Monroe Hopkins, engineer and professor, set out to create a logical detective. In three novelettes, Mason Brant and his friend, Robert Dale, encounter strange mysteries that put his deductive skills to the test. This collection includes both The Strange Cases of Mason Brant (1916) and the subsequent full-length novel, The Raccoon Lake Mystery (where, unfortunately, the detective exploits are merely background to a limp romance in the wilds of Maine).
Max Carrados had an accident, leaving him blind, but he doesn't let that stop him. Using his hyper-sensitive senses and keen mind, he becomes involved in a number of mysteries (many brought to him by his private detective friend, Carlyle), bringing justice to those wronged by criminal hands.
This collection includes the original 12 stories that were first published in a U.K. newspaper in 1913. (These were later collected in the first two Max Carrados books.)
Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard's November Joe is a fantastic collection of stories involving a young man with keen investigative skills who helps the police track down thieves and murderers in the back country.
Sadly, this collection (first published in 1913) is the only one for this fascinating detective. The plotting, character development, and writing are all well done.
Hesketh-Prichard (1876-1922) was an explorer and adventurer who also co-authored stories with him mother. He also did some important work in sniper (and anti-sniper) techniques during World War I.
VOLUME 1: CLEEK, THE MAN OF FORTY FACES; CLEEK OF SCOTLAND YARD
Thomas Hanshew created the suave Hamilton Cleek: former criminal, lost heir to the throne of a small European country, and now private detective who consults with Scotland Yard. On top of that, he has the remarkable ability to change the features on his face, making him a brilliant undercover operative.
Hanshew died in 1914, but his wife, Mary, continued the series, and Cleek went on to track down thieves, murderers, and spies, with his friend Superintendent Narkom and his young assistant Dollops.
PAIN'S PUZZLE STORIES: DETECTION WITHOUT CRIME / THE PROBLEM CLUB
Detection Without Crime: From the Note-Book of the Late Horace Fish, presents four light mysteries which on the surface could indicate serious criminal activity, but as Fish investigates, it becomes clear that the answers lie elsewhere.
Barry Pain's humor comes especially to the forefront in the Problem Club stories. Each month, members are tasked with a problem or puzzle to solve. (How many things can they borrow that start with the letter Q? How many hankerchiefs can they steal from other members?) The lengths to which some members will go make these stories an enjoyable read, and a nice change of pace from cases of murder and mayhem.
Only Sherlock Holmes has had greater impact in detective fiction than G. K. Chesterton's modest but insightful Father Brown. Rather than chasing clues with his deductive skills, Father Brown uses his knowledge of the evil at the heart of man to determine the wrongs that have been done.
This volume includes the first two collections: The Innocence of Father Brown, and The Wisdom of Father Brown. It also includes the two-part Donnington Affair, co-written with Max Pemberton.
Baroness Orczy, well-known as the creator of the Scarlet Pimpernel, also wrote some wonderful detective fiction. One of her most popular sleuths was the anonymous Old Man in the Corner, who shared his theorized solutions to mysteries that baffled the police with a friendly lady journalist. He didn't share them with the authorities, though, as he felt too keen an admiration for those who had gotten away with their crimes. (And perhaps too close an affinity?)
This volume includes the stories originally collected in The Old Man in the Corner (1908) and The Case of Miss Elliott (1905). The former's stories were first published in Royal Magazine as a 13-part series. One story was not included in the book, so is reprinted here as a stand-alone story, "The Glasgow Mystery."
Melville Davisson Post created an unusual but fascinating character in the figure of Uncle Abner. Abner was a strong, courageous Virginian, set in the years prior to the Civil War. He had a strong sense of justice, and a remarkable talent for solving mysteries as he sought to aid the afflicted and bring murderers and thieves to trial.
This volume includes all 22 of Post's original Uncle Abner stories.
PROBLEMIST: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF THORNLEY COLTON, BLIND DETECTIVE
Clinton Stagg created a fascinating character in detective fiction before being killed in a car crash at the age of 26. We are left with only 8 short stories and one novel (all collected in this volume) of Thornley Colton, the well-to-do blind man who solves criminal mysteries for the sheer enjoyment of it (and calls himself a problemist, not a detective).
Along with Max Carrados, and a few one-shot mystery novels by other authors, Colton is one of an early fictional niche built around blind sleuths who use their other (often hyper-sensitive) senses to solve crimes that befuddle the police.
THORPE HAZELL MYSTERIES, AND MORE THRILLING TALES ON AND OFF THE RAILS
The Reverend Victor L. Whitechurch was both a popular fiction writer and a railroad enthusiast, so it is no surprise that he created Thorpe Hazell, an eccentric but successful amateur railway detective who solved both crimes and puzzles.
All nine of the Thorpe Hazell mysteries are included here, along with nineteen further tales of mystery and adventure (most also having to do with the railways).
CASEBOOK OF MR. CARRINGTON: SIMON / CARRINGTON'S CASES
Simon (published in 1919) involves the murder of a well-respected man, introducing the detective Mr. Carrington, who must remove the shadow of guilt that could end a romance. Following this novel, Clouston wrote a series of short stories (Carrington's Cases, from 1920) featuring this detective. (One story is of Sherlockian interest, being his meeting with Dr. Watson.)
Wang Foo, “Prince of Chinese Detectives,” is an educated, well-traveled Confucian scholar who has dedicated himself to unraveling mysteries on behalf of the Chinese people and their Western allies for justice and peace. Particularly adept at ferreting out cultural misunderstandings, Wang Foo goes undercover in search of the truth and will use both Eastern and Western methods to capture the criminals, if crime there be. He is always willing to lend a hand to the police, diplomats, and government officials.
Sidney C. Partridge, a former missionary to China and Japan, wrote five series of the Wang Foo stories for newspapers in the early 1900s. They were very popular for the appreciative insights they gave into Chinese culture (unlike the many “Yellow Peril” stories circulating at the time). This volume collects the first half of The Mysterious Ways of Wang Foo.
Two stories of crime that surround it as greed leads to treachery and revenge.
A man seeks revenge for his father, but will a beautiful woman destroy his plans?
A Machiavellian plot may destroy a man’s life, or will he discover what living truly means?
Harold MacGrath (1871-1932) was an American author who started out in journalism before publishing his first novel in 1899. He eventually wrote more than forty novels and numerous short stories. Several of his works were made into films. The two novellas making up The Blue Rajah Murder were first published in 1929, while the book compilation was published in 1930.