By popular request, I have rearranged the novels and short stories featuring the forensic investigator "Dr Thorndyke" into 7 volumes, with the books arranged in order of publication date. A number of books have not yet been released - I have put a "placeholder" for these in the appropriate volumes, and will add them as and when they are released. These unreleased books are marked with a "*" in the following list.
The books are:
The Red Thumb Mark (1907)
John Hornby is the proud owner of a dazzling diamond business and when his nephews go into business with him, they are determined to be given their full share of responsibility. A consignment of diamonds is entrusted to the nephews who place their precious hoard in a safe overnight. But come the morning, the diamonds are missing and incredibly, the safe has been left untouched, all except for two blood smeared thumb prints and the inevitable presence of a mysterious Mr X. In one of Freeman's finest, will Dr Thorndyke, the erudite master of insight, solve the enigma of the red thumb mark?
John Thordyke's Cases (1909)
aka Dr Thorndyke's Cases
In this intriguing collection of detective stories, Richard Austin Freeman presents yet another batch of entertaining, clever mysteries to tempt and tease the curious mind. From robbery and murder to mayhem, Freeman takes the reader through a myriad of beguiling scenarios and asks whodunit, with the aid of the erudite Dr Thorndyke.
The Eye of Osiris (1911)
aka The Vanishing Man
"...I strolled down to the Embankment, and, leaning on the parapet, contemplated the view across the river; the grey stone bridge with its perspective of arches, the picturesque pile of the shot-towers, and, beyond, the shadowy shapes of the Abbey and St. Stephen's. It was a pleasant scene . . . a barge swept down through the middle arch of the bridge with a lugsail hoisted to a jury mast and a white-aproned woman at the tiller. Dreamily I watched the craft creep by upon the moving tide, noted the low freeboard, almost awash, the careful helmswoman, and the dog on the forecastle yapping at the distant shore - and thought of Ruth Bellingham."
First published in 1911, The Eye of Osiris adds the charm of Old London to this fine detective story by R. Austin Freeman.
The Mystery of 31 New Inn (1912)
When a Doctor is called to the bedside of a mysterious sick man by the name of Graves, a strange and sinister plot involving poisoning is uncovered. But who is this Graves; a man well travelled who seems to have such a fear of doctors? And who is the villainous Mr Weiss into whose care Graves has been assigned? Doctor Thorndyke is summoned to help solve the mystery.
The Singing Bone (1912)
aka The Adventures of Dr Thorndyke
In the topsy turvy world of The Singing Bone
, Richard Austin Freeman presents us with a solution. The reader is asked to deduce how different mysteries were solved rather than whodunit. Freeman introduces five distinct tales of intrigue, romance, mutiny and murder. The ingenuity of these detective stories lies in their fresh and original approach in what amounts to a tantalising read.
A Silent Witness (1914)
On a wet and windy silent night in the sleeping city of London, the body of a man is found sprawled across Millfield Lane. So begins an ill wind and the puzzle of an intriguing stranger in this enchanting Dr Thorndyke mystery.
The Great Portrait Mystery and Other Stories (1918)
The National Portrait Gallery is the opening setting for this delightful mystery of theft and fraud. A painter copies diligently from a watercolour one morning when an enigmatic musician suddenly appears and causes mayhem with his musical interludes, hopping from one picture to another and giving a remarkable rendition of different songs. But while the curator follows him around trying to call a halt to the musical spectacle, the copyist replaces a watercolour masterpiece and makes an infamous escape. Who is the mysterious musician? Who is the mysterious copyist? And what has happened to the priceless watercolour?
Helen Vardon's Confession (1922)
Through the open door of a library, Helen Vardon hears an argument that changes her life forever. Helen's father and a man called Otway argue over missing funds in a trust one night. Otway proposes a marriage between him and Helen in exchange for his cooperation and silence. What transpires is a captivating tale of blackmail, fraud and death. Dr Thorndyke is left to piece together the clues in this enticing mystery.
The Cat's Eye (1923)
When Andrew Drayton, a collector of jewellery, is found stabbed to death and the young woman who tried to stop the murderer is wounded, Dr Thorndyke is called in to investigate. But although the scene of the crime seems awash with the fingerprints of the attacker, there may be good reason why the police can't trace the killer. But not only are the facts of the case proving to be vexing but the discovery of a secret chamber and its sinister contents help to reveal that this is no ordinary murder and no ordinary murderer is behind it.
Dr Thorndyke's Casebook (1923)
aka The Blue Scarab
A compelling collection of Dr Thorndyke mysteries is presented here in a bumper crop of Richard Austin Freeman's fiction. Opening with The Case of the White Footprints
, revealing the secrets of The Blue Scarab
and teasing all that read The Stolen Ingots
, Freeman introduces some extraordinary detective stories to bamboozle the most able of minds. Once you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down.
The Mystery of Angelina Frood (1924)
A beautiful young woman is in shock. She calls John Strangeways, a doctor who must piece together the strange disparate facts of her case and in turn, becomes fearful for her life. Only Dr Thorndyke, a master of detection, may be able to solve the baffling mystery of Angelina Frood.
The Shadow of the Wolf (1925)
Another "inverted" detective story - the genre which Freeman invented, in which the reader knows all the details of the crime in advance. Varney is an engraver who is being blackmailed into producing forged bank-notes by Purcell. On a yachting trip, Varney shoots Purcell and dumps his body overboard. Can Dr. Thorndyke solve the crime? One of the best Dr. Thorndyke stories in terms of showing the process of scientific detection.
The D'Arblay Mystery (1926)
When a man is found floating beneath the skin of a green-skimmed pond one morning, Dr Thorndyke becomes embroiled in an astonishing case.
A Certain Dr Thorndyke (1927)
A winding adventure that begins in an exotic, teasing location. Richard Austin Freeman introduces the reader to the delights of an extraordinary jewel heist. Hollis is a retired soap manufacturer, richer than Croesus and some say mad. Obsessed with amassing wondrous jewels, precious stones and bullion, Hollis chooses a strong room to deposit his dazzling hoard. But when he discovers that he's the victim of an elaborate and enigmatic robbery, even though the room was never broken into, Dr Thorndyke is summoned to bring his unrivalled knowledge to bear on a remarkable mystery.
The Magic Casket (1927)
On a misty November night in London, Dr Thorndyke comes across an abandoned handbag in an old church. From examining the contents an address is found and so begins a mysterious trail leading to the owner and a violent murder. Enter into the world of Mr Ponting's Alibi where threats are made when a will is made known, and meet the gang of cosmopolitan revolutionaries who harbour and explosive truth at The Golomite Works. This delightful collection of crime stories has been written to amuse and perplex the most ardent of crime aficionados.
The Puzzle Lock (1927)
Another collection of short stories.
As a Thief in the Night (1928)
Harold Monkhouse is usually such an uncomplaining patient so when his brother Amos calls in one night, what he doesn't expect is to see him at Death's door. Suspicions aroused, he demands an urgent second opinion. And when Harold is later found dead from arsenic poisoning, Amos is left in no doubt that foul play is afoot. The inquiry begins and Barbara Monkhouse is soon singled out as the prime suspect. What ensues is a roller coaster ride into crime fiction at its best as the truth of the fateful night eludes even the best of detective minds. Could it be a simple case of wife poisoning husband - or is it just possible that another shadowy figure stole into Harold's room, as a thief in the night, to rid the world of an innocent man?
Dr Thorndyke Investigates (1930)
A collection of 5 previously-published short stories, all of which are contained in earlier volumes in the series. I've simply included the table of contents for this book, and referred the reader back to the books in which the stories originally appeared.
Mr. Pottermack's Oversight (1930)
Mr Pottermack is a law abiding, settled homebody who has nothing to hide until the appearance of the shadowy Lewison, a gambler and blackmailer with an incredible story. It appears that Pottermack is in fact a run away prisoner, convicted of fraud and Lewison is about to spill the beans unless he receives a large bribe in return for his silence. But Pottermack protests his innocence, and resolves to shut Lewison up once and for all. Will he do it? And if he does, will he get away with it?
Pontifex, Son and Thorndyke (1931)
This puzzling plot is related by two different characters: messenger boy Jasper Gray, who experiences several strange adventures, and Dr Jervis, friend of Dr Thorndyke. Dr Thorndyke is investigating a terrible crime, the solving of which remains elusive because of key facts remaining unknown. He needs the facts to confirm his case: Jasper could complete the blank spaces if only Thorndyke were aware of his existence.
When Rogues Fall Out (1932)
aka Dr Thorndyke's Discovery
Meet Mr Toke, a dubious connoisseur of fine antiques who deals in fabulous objets d'art and doesn't mind how he acquires them. From stealing bejewelled necklaces to rare antique clocks, Mr Toke cons a host of gullible individuals out of priceless heirlooms. But then he meets Mr Arthur Hughes and before long, the scam spirals out of control. Then there's the case of the murdered Inspector Badger. Will Dr Thorndyke be able to solve the crime with his legendary incisive rationale? When Rogues Fall Out incorporates some wonderful conundrums to hoodwink and hinder the most clued of crime readers.
Dr Thorndyke Intervenes (1933)
In DR. THORNDYKE INTERVENES, the famous medico-legal sleuth, Dr. Thorndyke, unravels one of the most intricate and thrilling cases of his entire career. It all started in a comparatively innocuous manner. Mr. Christopher Pippet, an American gentleman, is bringing suit to presume the death of the Earl of Winsborough, to whose title and estates he claims to be heir presumptive. But Mr. Pippet is unfortunate in his choice of a legal advisor and falls into the hands of a shady lawyer who tries to fake the evidence and thereby exposes himself to a criminal charge. Dr. Thorndyke is consulted. He suspects the lawyer's intentions, but finds more than he expected. He is looking for a fraud, and not only detects this, but also discovers a clue to a notorious robbery, and later, to a mysterious murder. Meanwhile, the peerage claim is settled; but, afterward, there is a further and more thrilling surprise for the reader.
For the Defence: Dr Thorndyke (1934)
This is the story of Andrew, a handsome artist living with his beautiful wife. Andrew witnesses a man being shot one night by two masked assailants and on the advice of his wife, decides to remain silent about what he has seen. But when a meeting with his cousin Ronald proves to be fatal, Andrew finds himself suspecting foul play, as Ronald lies crushed on beach sands. And soon, Andrew is a suspect himself.
The Penrose Mystery (1936)
Penrose is an eccentric old man in possession of some dazzling gems, which he won't insure. When Dr Thorndyke is alerted to a burglary at his house, a scrap of paper is found with the word 'lobster' on it and two Latin words, and Penrose has fled in panic after a car accident. The police are clearly mystified but Thorndyke in his indelible style is on track, hunting down a fugitive, testing a theory and getting to the bottom of a tantalising, complex mystery.
Felo De Se? (1937)
aka Murder at the Inn
John Gillam was a gambler. John Gillam faced financial ruin and was the victim of a sinister blackmail attempt. John Gillam is now dead. In this exceptional mystery, Dr Thorndyke is brought in to untangle the secrecy surrounding the death of John Gillam, a man not known for insanity and thoughts of suicide.
The Stoneware Monkey (1938)
A novel of two halves, this story opens with Dr James Oldfield who finds himself caught one night in a police hunt. When he stumbles upon a policeman, struck dead by an unknown assailant, Oldfield determines to piece together what happened, and who Mr Kempster, (a man who turns up at the scene of the crime) may be. What unravels is a story of ingenious theft involving diamonds and the remains of an artist's body found in a kiln. In the second part, Oldfield engages the help of Dr Thorndyke and together they trace the work of the artist and a valuable stoneware monkey that hides an incredible secret. In the back streets of London amongst colonies of silk weavers, cabinet-makers and craftsmen, Freeman deftly entwines a cunning story infused with palpable suspense. From the father of forensic crime fiction, this plot is chock full of vivid detail.
Mr. Polton Explains (1940)
Told through the eyes of a watchmaker, Dr Thorndyke is once again faced with a mystery involving a mysterious fire in a Soho house filled with supposedly inflammable objects. What transpires is an entertaining and amazing twist thanks to the eagle eyes of the Doctor and his friend the watchmaker, Mr Polton.
The Jacob Street Mystery (1942)
aka The Unconscious Witness
Freeman's final novel. A painter is wrongly accused of murder - Dr Thorndyke investigates. Freeman breaks new ground here by introducing a sympathetic and non stereotyped African character, a lawyer from Ghana visiting England.
Meet Dr. Thorndyke (Essay)
An essay on the origin and development of the character of Dr. Thorndyke.
The Art of the Detective Story (Essay)
An essay about what makes a good detective story.
5A King's Bench Walk (Essay)
As I said at the start, this is a "work in progress" and hopefully the "gaps" will be filled in as more books are released by PG. It's worth checking back here every so often to see if there have been any additions.
EDIT: 30 Jun 07
Added "As a Thief in the Night" to Vol 5. Uploaded v2 of Vol 5.
EDIT: 1 Jan 08
Added "The D'Arblay Mystery" to Vol 4. Reformatted vols 3-7 to preserve dashes, etc. Uploaded new versions of vols 3-7.
EDIT: 4 Jan 08
Uploaded new version of vol 1 with dashes preserved, etc.
EDIT: 10 Jan 08
Added "Mr. Pottermack's Oversight" to Vol 5. Uploaded a new version of Vol 5.
EDIT: 20 Apr 08
Uploaded an improved version of Vol 1.
EDIT: 21 Apr 08
Uploaded improved versions of Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4.
EDIT: 23 Apr 08
Uploaded improved versions of Vols 5, 6, 7.
EDIT: 7 Sep 2008
Several typos fixed in Vol 1. Thanks to Sparrow for reporting these.
EDIT: 2 Jan 09
Thoroughly proof-read "The Eye of Osiris" in Vol 1 against a Google page scan, and fixed dozens of errors as a result, as well as adding in all the missing italics, and an image of a Greek inscription not previously included. Uploaded a new version of Vol 1 as a result.
EDIT: 5 Jan 09
Read "The Mystery of 31 New Inn" in Vol 1 and corrected a number of minor formatting errors as a result. Uploaded a new version of Vol 1. This will be the final version of Vol 1 unless any subsequent errors are found.
EDIT: 24 May 09
Proof-read Vol 2 and uploaded a new version. Several hundred errors corrected.
EDIT: 28 Feb 10
Added "The Mystery of Angelina Frood" to Vol 3 (very kindly scanned and proofed by MR user "sstaley"). Corrected the HTML errors in all volumes, and added new cover images. Uploaded new versions of all volumes.
EDIT: 19 Mar 10
The "missing" book from Vol 5, "Dr. Thorndyke Investigates", is nothing more than a compilation of short stories from earlier books. I've included the table of contents for the book, and referred the reader to the original source for each of the stories. Uploaded a new version of Vol 5.
EDIT: 22 Mar 10
Added "Dr. Thorndyke Intervenes" to Vol 6; this was the last "missing" book, although a number of essays and short stories still remain to be added. Thanks to MR user "sstaley" for scanning the book, and Conor for helping to proof-read it. Uploaded a new version of Vol 6.
EDIT: 22 Mar 10
Added the essays "Meet Dr. Thorndyke" and "The Art of the Detective Story" to Vol 7. This makes the omnibus complete, with one minor exception - a further essay titled "5A King's Bench Walk", which I've left a "placeholder" for in Vol 7. Uploaded a new version of Vol 7.
EDIT: 5 Apr 10
Completely proof-read all four books in Vol 3, and corrected many hundreds of errors. Uploaded a new version of Vol 3. Vol 3 is now in a good state, so please let me know if any errors remain in it.
EDIT: 21 Jul 10
Completely proof-read all four books in Vol 4, and corrected many hundreds of errors. There were a great many missing words in this volume; in the vast majority of cases the correct word was obvious, but in a few instances I've had to make an intelligent guess as to what the word should be. Please let me know if you find any remaining errors in Vol 4.
EDIT: 30 Dec 10
Completely proof-read the books in Vol 5. Numerous errors corrected. Please let me know if you find any remaining errors in Vol 5.
EDIT: 29 Jul 11
Completely proof-read the books in Vol 6, and corrected a very large number of errors. Once again, please let me know if you find any remaining errors in Vol 6.
EDIT: 7 Aug 11
Completely proof-read Vol 7 and corrected several hundred errors. This book is still missing the essay "5A King's Bench Walk", but is now otherwise complete. Please let me know if you find any remaining errors in this, or, indeed, any of the other volumes.
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