Mystery Books

  • Missing Susan (Elizabeth MacPherson)

    Edgar Award winner Sharyn McCrumb brings you her sixth Elizabeh MacPherson mystery novel.The unsinkable Elizabeth is on tour o

  • The Deer Leap

    In a village plagued by missing pets, Scotland Yard's Richard Jury and sidekick Melrose Plant face the worst of human natu

  • Blue Light

    The human race has just begun. In the Bay Area in the mid-1960s, several people are struck by a cosmic blue light that "quickens"

  • Once Were Cops

    Michael O'Shea is a member of Ireland's police force, known as The Guards. He's also a sociopath who walks a knife ed

  • The 5th Horseman (Women's Murder Club)

    Dare to face the most terrifying heights of suspense. From hospital murders to explosive court battles, the Women's Murde

  • As You Wish

    Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—for someone to love her again and, mo

  • The Firm: A Novel

    When Mitch McDeere signed on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thought that he and his beautiful wife, Abby, were on th

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Mystery Movies

  • The Negotiator

    Negotiator, The (DVD)Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominee Samuel L. Jackson ("Snakes on a Plane," the second

  • Memento

    Point blank in the head a man shoots another. In flashbacks, each one earlier in time than what we've just seen, the two men's pas

  • The Arrival

    Calling this 1996 science fiction thriller "a glorified B movie," isn't a criticism. Writer-director David Twohy managed to get in

  • Devil's Advocate

    Hotshot attorney accepts tempting offer from an elite New York law firm only to find himself fighting for his soul.Genre:

  • Fallen (Snap Case Packaging)

    A homicide cop, Denzel Washington, hunts a satanic force that shifts from one human host to another in this taut, terrific superna

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Mystery Authors

R. Austin Freeman biography

Freeman

 

 

R. Austin Freeman

(1862 - 1943)

R.Austin Freeman was born in London in 1862 and died in 1943, in Gravesend, Kent. Freeman began medical training at Middlesex Hospital at the age of eighteen. After being House Physician at Middlesex Hospital, went to the Gold Coast in 1887 as Assistand Colonial Surgeon. He joined a medical expedition to Ashanti and Bontuku in 1889, in which he served as doctor, navigator and naturalist. Nine years later he published his experiences in Travels and Life in Ashanti and Jaman. In 1921 he also published a medico-sociological study entitled Social decay and Regeneration.


Freeman had a distinguished career in Africa before being invalided out of the service following a bout of blackwater fever. For a time he was Medical Officer at Holloway gaol, worked for the Port of London Authority and had a private practice as an ear, nose and throat specialist.

His first Thorndyke story, The Red Thumb Mark, was published in 1907 and shortly afterwards he pioneered the inverted detective story, in which the identity of the criminal is shown from the beginning: some short stories with this feature were collected in The Singing Bone in 1912.

Freeman's breadth of knowledge was reflected in his work; as well as being a medical man he was a keen Egyptologist, geologist and sailor. ("A medical jurist must take all knowledge as his province.") He was also a competent draughtsman, as is shown by the illustrations he made for some of his stories. Many of the stories involve problems of survivorship - who died first? - and forged identity. Hugh Greene wrote, "Always Thorndyke and Jervis seem to be walking through the gas-lit streets of a timeless Edwardian London, though by the time their creator died bombs were falling on the Temple" (Preface to The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes).Some people say that Freeman's writings do not "play fair" with readers, because they do not have Thorndyke's scientific expertise, and therefore do not have the ability to anticipate his deductions and solve the mystery.

Most of Freeman's best and most influential fiction was published during 1909-1912, a four-year period. This includes the superb puzzle plot works "31 New Inn" and The Eye of Osiris, both perhaps founding examples of the Golden Age of Mystery Fiction.

Some of Freeman's early work was published under the pseudonym Clifford Ashdown. A collaborator, Dr John I. Pitcairn, is now thought by some to have been another pseudonym.

 

Information source: wikipedia