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Maria Lectrix

Public domain audiobooks, six days a week, for folks with a Catholic taste in literature. Enjoy! Clan Honor Mondays: Fitz-James O'Brien works. Lit Tuesdays: Short stories, novels, or poems. Acts of the Wednesdays: Early Christian works. Mystery Thursdays: Mystery short stories or novels. Lit Fridays: Short stories, novels, or poems. Saintly Saturdays: Later Christian works.

Mary reading to ChristA Vatican Library catalog page, 1518

Thursday, October 13, 2005

#16: The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman, Part 2

When is a fingerprint not proof? Thorndyke and Jervis' investigation (for the defense of Reuben Hornby against the charge of diamond theft) continues. Meanwhile, both Walter Hornby and Miss Juliet Gibson seem to be strangely interested in finding out what the investigators are finding out.

As every other American page about Freeman remarks, it is astonishing how unfair Julian Symons' remarks about him have proved to be, at least from the pre-war books on Gutenberg. I find that Freeman is a remarkably fun writer so far, and doesn't seem to have the mordant and cynical bite that today's forensic mystery writers seem obliged to adopt. Also, I really enjoy the "newness" (to me) of a lawyer/doctor.

(Although Fitz-James O'Brien's dad was apparently also called to the bar and the Hippocratic oath, so it couldn't have been totally unusual in the UK. And I gather that it also happens in the US occasionally. A lot more expensive study today than in Victorian days, though, I bet.)

If you are too torn by suspense, you can always read ahead on Gutenberg.

Chapter 5: The "Thumbograph"
Chapter 6: Committed for Trial
Chapter 7: Shoals and Quicksands
Chapter 8: A Suspicious Accident
66 min.


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