Joseph Muller is a small, slight, plain-looking man, of indefinite age, and of much humbleness of mien, and one of the great experts in his profession: Secret Service detective of the Imperial Austrian police...
to let you in."
Horn and Muller both looked the young man over very carefully. He seemed perfectly innocent, and their suspicion that he might have turned the key in pretense only, soon vanished. It would have been a foolish suspicion anyway. If he were in league with the murderer, he could have let the latter escape with much more safety during the night. Horn let his eyes wander about the rooms again, and said slowly: "Then the murderer is still here--or else--"
"Or else?" asked the doctor.
"Or else we have a strange riddle to solve."
Johann had laid the pistol down again. Muller stretched forth his hand and took it up. He looked at it a moment, then handed it to the commissioner. "We have to do with a murder here. There was not a shot fired from this revolver, for every chamber is still loaded. And there is no other weapon in sight," said the detective quietly.
"Yes, he was murdered. This revolver is fully loaded. Let us begin the search at once." Horn was more excited th
Golden Bullet and its two companion short stories, Pool of Blood and Registered Letter, won't appeal to every taste but are distinctive in breaking away from the Sherlock Holmes personality that that so many mysteries of this period utilize.
Delightful -- and part of the five part omnibus originally published in 1910. This one's a "locked murder room mystery" and shows off Joe Muller's deductions and methods with great charm. Perhaps WWI hampered the future acceptance of this unexpectedly curious character.
This is what was said of the full omnibus in its original publication 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.
This is an enjoyable short story with good portrayal of the main character.