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7. The Red Thumb Mark
Author: R. Austin Freeman
Publisher: n/a
Number of Pages: Kindle e-book (print length: 172 pages)
My Rating: 4/5
Reading Challenge: Vintage Mystery Challenge

Review: The Red Thumb Mark introduces Dr. John Thorndyke and his friend Christopher Jervis to the reader. If you immediately think 'Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson', you're not totally wrong as Mr. Freeman explains in Meet Dr. Thorndyke. I have to admit, though, that I prefer Dr. Thorndyke. He is more, I don't know, accessible.

Dr. John Thorndyke is a medical practitioner who works as a medical/scientific expert. Sort of like an Edwardian Quincy, M. E. :D Anyway, in this case Dr. Thorndyke is asked to help with the defense of a young man accused of stealing a packet of diamonds from his uncle. The only evidence against the young man is his bloody thumb mark on a piece of paper.

"Not our natural enemies, doctor," protested Mr. Singleton. "We work for a conviction, of course, but we don't throw obstacles in the way of the defence. You know that perfectly well."

"Of course I do, my dear sir," replied Thorndyke, shaking the official by the hand. "Haven't I benefited by your help a score of times? But I am greatly obliged all the same. Good-bye."

Although the story reads a bit old-fashioned, I really enjoyed it a lot, especially since most of today's books seem to be about serial killers and lots of blood. I'm just a bit surprised that Freeman's books and Dr. Thorndyke aren't more popular since a lot of people seem to love Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes.

Recommended if you like vintage crime fiction and Sherlock Holmes.
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October 2012


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