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Molly Thynne Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dr Constantine Books

The Crime at the Noah's Ark (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in the Dentist's Chair (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
He Dies and Makes no Sign (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Uncertain Glory (1914)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Draycott Murder Mystery / The Red Dwarf (1928)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Murder on the Enriqueta / The Strangler (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Case of Sir Adam Braid (1930)Description / Buy at Amazon

Molly Thynne full name Mary Harriet “Molly Thynne” is an English mystery author who made her name with the classic crime novels of the “Dr. Constantine” series. She had a very short career as between 1928 and 1933 she authored six titles and never wrote again.

The author was born to a family with noble heritage as she was the great grandchild of the 2nd Marquess of Bath Thomas Thyne. Her family is best known as the owners of Longleat, one of the most stately homes in England.

Thynne is also the great niece of James Whistler the American artist and creator of “Black No. 1” and “Arrangement in Grey.”

Molly Thynne did not spend her childhood at her family’s stately home but rather in London where she mingled with artistic types. Her father was then His Majesty’s Customs Assistant Solicitor.

During her childhood, the author spent much of her time at the studio of Sir Frances Seymour the English etcher. It was at his studio that she met the likes of Henry James and Rudyard Kipling.

Aged thirty three, Thynne made her debut with the publishing “The Uncertain Glory” in 1914. The novel was about several affairs a young artist was having in Munich and London.

Her mystery fiction writing debut was in 1928 when she published the novel “The Red Dwarf.” She would write regularly for a time until she stopped with what is considered one of the best of the Golden Age mysteries in the novel “He Dies and Makes No Sign.”

Her debut mystery would be issued in the US as “The Draycott Murder Mystery.” The novel and what would follow it in “The Murder on the Enriquetta” are murder mysteries that implicated some high born members of the English aristocracy. “The Murder on the Enriquetta” comes with a very bold plot which makes it one of Molly Thynne’s best.

Thynne also drew on her family background to write some of her novels as is portrayed in a puzzle about the death of an artist in “The Case of Sir Adam Braid.”

With her most popular works in the “Dr. Constantine” series of novels, she introduced her lead as a Greek intellectual with a love for chess who works alongside Inspector Arkwright of Scotland Yard. The two characters were first introduced in the Christmas mystery “Noah’s Ark” that is set in a snowbound and rambling country to make for the classic enclosed location.

The two detectives would go on to solve several heinous murders in “Death in the Dentist’s Chair.” The novel foreshadowed “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” by Agatha Christie which set its murder in a dentist’s office. The title of the novel “He Dies and Makes No Sign” was inspired by “Henry VI,” the historical play by Shakespeare.

Growing up, Molly Thynne spent much of her childhood in Bovey Trace in Devon. Nonetheless, when she was an adult she loved to travel abroad and from her experiences she wrote the settings of her novel.

A proud Catholic, she declared herself a spinster while she was still twenty four. She never got married and would live at Crewy’s House in the same small village she was brought up in as a child until she died at sixty eight years in 1950. Her death came seventeen years following the publishing of “He Dies and Makes No Sign” her last work.

Molly Thynne’s “The Crime at the Noah’s Ark” opens to several friends heading for a luxurious vacation only to have to put up at a hostelry. The winter weather had suddenly changed and they started feeling the effects of a severe winter which means they will be living with Dr. Constantine the chess master for the next several days or weeks.

Other people at the hostel include Angus Stuart a bestselling novelist, a pair of spinster sisters, Ramsey a well born man and a rambunctious major whose horseplay gets him into trouble before he soon turns up dead.
On the first night at the hostel, there is a masked invader that comes in to cause such chaos. He slashed everyone’s tires and stole emeralds belonging to Mrs van Dolen. They do not know if the thief and killer are the same person.
Could they be dealing with two criminals living with them in the snowed-in hostelry. Dr. Constatine works together with two young men to investigate the murder and theft mystery to prevent any more deaths.

“Death in the Dentist’s Chair” by Molly Thynne opens to several characters sitting in the waiting room at the dentist dreading the torment. The dentist is Mr. Humphrey Davenport who comes to the office to find the surgery locked.

For a dentist it is embarrassing to be locked out of one’s surgery and he does not know what to make of the situation. Inside the locked room is Mrs. Charles Miller who is found dead with her throat slit when they finally open the door.

Dr. Constatine had been one of the patients waiting to go in to see the dentist but now finds himself a witness. Arkwright the local police detective asks for help in solving the murder from Dr. Constantine.

How did the murder happen yet the room had been locked. They are thinking that the killer may be one of the few people that were in the building at the estimated time of death. It is a traditional and very entertaining mystery that features a closed room mystery.

Molly Thynne’s “He Dies and Makes No Signs” is the last of the Dr. Constantine series following the adventures of Dr Constatine the high born chess playing aristocrat and his sidekick from Scotland Yard. In this outing, Constantine had been asked by the Duchess of Steynes to talk to her son who is about to take a wrong marriage partner.

The good doctor is back from the continent where he was attending a chess tournament. He is feeling exhausted, dismal and is not particularly eager to budge into what he deems family problems.

Once he meets the duchess and the family, he is brought up to speed on the intricate web of deceit and lies that also includes murder. He has to work alongside Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector Arkwright who has much of the information they need.
But first, they need to investigate how the father of the prospective bride went missing.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Molly Thynne

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