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Old 02-19-2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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Groner, Augusta: Joe Muller Detective Omnibus, v.1, 20 Feb 2008.

‘Being the Account of Some Adventures in the Professional Experience of a Member of the Imperial Austrian Police.’

This detective observes human behaviour closely and absorbs atmosphere to draw his conclusions but is also capable of using disguise and subterfuge. There is some slight similarity with the detective novels of Friedrich Glauser and a distant resemblance to Simenon’s Maigret.

By Frau Augusta Groner, née Koppalik (1850-1929), who was a Viennese author who sometimes appeared under the more masculine pseudonym of August or Auguste Groner.
Frau Groner’s work has been translated and adapted by Grace Isabel Colbron (1869-1948). Her contribution seems to include removing every single umlaut from the text, including that in the detective’s surname.

I came across these titles in PG, thought that they looked interesting, so collected them in an omnibus because they are relatively short pieces. (They have also been published in print as an omnibus according to Google Books.) The PG text is rather faulty and I have made a number of corrections.

Contents:
Introduction
The Case of the Lamp That Went Out
The Case of the Registered Letter
The Case of the Pocket Diary Found In the Snow
The Case of the Pool of Blood in the Pastor’s Study
The Case of the Golden Bullet
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Last edited by Patricia; 12-13-2009 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:57 PM   #2
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This is terrific stuff, thanks! Joe Muller, and Augusta Groner, are terrific finds. Originally published in English in 1910, and given a fine review by the New York Times Saturday Review of Books, it could be that WWI got in the way of the Austrian detective's future literary career. Pity. The Case of the Golden Bullet, a typical locked room who-done-it is delightful.

Here's what was said about the Omnibus in 1910:

New York Times, 28 May 1910 - Section Saturday Review of Books, Pg BR11

AN AUSTRIAN DETECTIVE

ANOTHER detective of genius has made his bow in literature. He belongs to the Imperial Austrian police and his creator is Frau Augusta Groner, an Austrian novelist. Several instances of his cleverness in ferreting out the doers of evil are translated into English, with some adaptation, by Grace Isabel Colbron, author, literary critic, and single-tax lecturer. The volume bears the title, "Joe Muller: Detective" (Duffield & Co., $1.50). He differs so much, in personality and endowments, from other famous detectives of fiction that Frau Groner must be credited with the creation of a new character. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, he does not reason out his conclusions, but seems rather to be forced into them by instinct, to be impelled along his course from one discovery to another by inspiration. Unlike Monsieur Lecocq, in his methods he is neither brilliant, startling or melodramatic. He is just a quiet, plain little man, unduly humble, who edges his way along the precarious path of a secret-service detective, and only on rare occasions feeling pride in his powers and achievements. Frau Groner gives him a number of apparently simple cases to unravel, which his genius soon finds to be anything but simple. But having set his nose to the trail, his hound's instinct leads him through twisting and complicated ways to surprising ends. The stories have surprising cleverness, both in the portrayal of Muller's character and methods and in the complications and slow revelations of incidents and motives. But the detective's superiors in the police department seem to be unnecessarily stupid.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:02 AM   #3
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Yes, I enjoyed reading these too, SP. I usually enjoy a good locked room mystery.
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