Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book Review: John Thorndyke's Cases

John Thorndyke's Cases by R. Austin Freeman (1909)

This book is, as the title indicates, a collection of Thorndyke’s cases. Freeman seems to be “trying out” different approaches to writing detective fiction and so the cases vary from almost painfully complex to straightforward. The degree to which Jervis, and the reader, are included in the process of detection also varies from story to story. It would be tempting to presume that the more complex the method of crime the more the reader would be excluded from the ability to at least share in some of Thorndyke’s suspicions however this proves not to be the case. Although not all the stories are equally successful at mixing ingenuity and charm with serious detection this reader was left with the urge to immediate pick up the next Thorndyke book and start reading it.

 Rating: 3 stars

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