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R. Austin Freeman Books In Order

Publication Order of Dr Thorndyke Books

The Red Thumb Mark (1907) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
John Thorndyke's Cases aka Dr Thorndyke's Cases (1909) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Eye of Osiris aka The Vanishing Man (1911) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Mystery of 31 New Inn (1912) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Singing Bone aka The Adventures of Dr Thorndyke (1912) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Silent Witness (1914) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Great Portrait Mystery (1918) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Helen Vardon's Confession (1922) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cat's Eye (1923) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dr Thorndyke's Case Book aka The Blue Scarab (1923) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Mystery of Angelina Frood (1924) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shadow of the Wolf (1925) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The D'Arblay Mystery (1926) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Certain Dr Thorndyke (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Magic Casket (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Puzzle Lock (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
As a Thief in the Night (1928) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Famous Cases of Dr Thorndyke aka The Dr Thorndyke Omnibus (1929) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dr Thorndyke Investigates (1930) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mr Pottermack's Oversight (1930) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pontifex, Son and Thorndyke (1931) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dr Thorndyke Intervenes (1933) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
For the Defence (1934) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Penrose Mystery (1936) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Felo De Se? aka Death At the Inn (1937) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stoneware Monkey (1938) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mr Polton Explains (1940) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Jacob Street Mystery aka The Unconscious Witness (1942) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Best Dr. Thorndyke Detective Stories (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Golden Pool (1905) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Unwilling Adventurer (1913) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Savant's Vendetta aka The Uttermost Farthing (1914) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Flighty Phyllis (1928) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
When Rogues Fall Out aka Dr. Thorndyke's Discovery (1932) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Queen's Treasure (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

R. Austin Freeman was a great novelist from The United Kingdom, who was famous for writing mystery, thriller, fiction, and travel genre novels. He was particularly popular for writing the Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries book series. Freeman was born as Richard Austin Freeman on April 11, 1862, in Soho, London. Throughout the course of his writing career, he achieved great popularity as an author of detective stories. Most of these books featured the chief protagonist Dr. Thorndyke, who he described as a medico legal forensic investigator. Author Freeman is claimed to have done the invention of the inverted detective-story, in which crime is featured during the initial sequences with the perpetrator’s identity that is followed by the attempt of detective in solving the mystery. Freeman used to make use of his experiences as a colonial surgeon for developing his novels. A number of Thorndyke novels are believed to involve arcane and genuine scientific knowledge points that are derived from areas including metallurgy, toxicology, and tropical medicine. Author Freeman had 4 siblings, all elder to him. He started by getting trained in apothecary, and later started studying medicine. Freeman earned his medical degree from Middlesex Hospital in 1887. Immediately after this, he got married to Annie Elizabeth. Freeman followed it up by entering the Colonial Service, with his first duty in Accra.

Author Freeman made a return to London in 1891 after getting contacted with Blackwater fever. Following his treatment, he could not find a medical position on a permanent basis. So, he decided to move to Gravesend, and earn his livelihood by writing fiction stories. He continued with his medicine practice on the sides. Freeman penned his first few stories in partnership with John Pitcairn, who was a medical officer. The two used to write under the pseudonym of Clifford Ashdown. Then, Freeman thought of writing under his original name and subsequently published the first Thorndyke book in 1907. And with the much required success instantly, he went on to develop multiple stories with Thorndyke in the main lead. Author Freeman also came up with several short stories in 1912 and included them in the collection The Singing Bone. At the time of the World War One, Freeman joined the RAMC and served in the post of captain. When the war ended, he continued writing his Thorndyke mysteries and published one book each year until his demise in 1943. Author Freeman’s political views were highly conservative. He believed that Britain was flooded by mechanization and was producing poor quality goods. He also believed that the mechanization led to the creation of a homogenized, unionized, and restless working class. Freeman was critical of the British government for allowing the immigrants to settle down in Britain. Freeman’s marriage to Annie Elizabeth in 1887 gave him 2 sons. As soon as his married life had started, Freeman moved with his family to Accra for Colonial Service. There, he had to go through a lot of hard work without getting much in return. This forced him to come back to London and start working full time as a writer. Author Freeman’s death occurred on September 28, 1943. Many of his works have been used as the basis for television and radio adaptations. The BBC had produced a short series in 1964 with the title Thorndyke. It featured a veteran actor Britain named Peter Copley in the role of Dr. Thorndyke. The BBC also produced a couple of the radio series of Thorndyke, which were read by Jim Norton and William Gaminara.

The Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries series written by author R Austin Freeman is comprised of 28 books in total, which were released between the years 1907 and 1942. The debut book of the series is entitled ‘The Red Thumb Mark’. It was first released in 1907 and then re-released by the Dodo Press in 2008. The book consists of the main characters as Dr. John Evelyn Thorndyke, John Hornby, Walter Hornby, Reuben Hornby, Dr.Jervis, Juliet Gibson, etc. At the start of the book’s story, it is shown that Dr. Thorndyke is a doctor-turned-lawyer specializing in forensic evidence. The first case that comes his way involved a jewelry firm owned by John Horby. When some precious jewels disappear from John’s safe, he suspects that his younger brothers Walter and Reuben are the culprits. The reason being they are the only ones with duplicate keys to the safe other than John. The investigation leads to Reuben as the prime suspect for which he gets imprisoned. However, Thorndyke seems rather unconvinced. He and Jervis think that there is more in this case than what meets the naked eyes. He begins investigating on his own with the hope of finding important evidences for proving the innocence of Reuben. Juliet Gibson, who is a close friend of the Hornbys, asks to assist Thorndyke in the investigation as she looks worried about Reuben. Thorndyke goes on to make use of an instrument called Thumbograph, which records the thumb impressions of the people involved in the case. With this crucial evidence, Thorndyke succeeds in convincing the justice system that Reuben is innocent and that the culprit is someone else.

The next installment of the mystery series is called ‘John Thorndyke’s Cases’. It was published in 2005 by the Wildside Press, after its initial release in 1909. This book depicts the seven cases that Thorndyke works on simultaneously and solves each one of them with the help of his wit, intelligence, and forensic expertise. Thorndyke solves the first by deducing the outcome from the footprints left by the culprit at the crime scene. The second case, Strangers Latchkey, shows him solving a case of a mysterious abduction. This is followed by another case in which Thorndyke helps an art collector get back his stolen art collection. In Moabite Cipher, Dr. Thorndyke comes up with the solution to a jewelry heist by deciphering a cryptic message. And after solving a couple more mysteries, Thorndyke finally helps the police catch a brutal murderer by collecting sands at the scene of crime and tracing it to the killer. All the stories in this book were liked by the readers and well appreciated by the critics as well. With great reviews and ratings, the book succeeded in doing a great business all across the globe and becoming an immensely successful mystery book.

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