Those who have found their way to Ashton-Kirk's door have been of many races and interests. Men of science have often been surprised to find him in touch with the latest discoveries, scholars searching among strange tongues and dialects, and others deep in tattered scrolls, ancient tablets and forgotten books have been his frequent visitors. But among them come many who seek his help in solving problems in crime.
ays been"--here he hesitated for an instant--"well, rather friendly. Last night we happened to meet at Upton's, and I took her in to dinner. Edyth is a nice girl, but I've noticed of late that she's not had a great deal to say. Sort of quiet and big-eyed and all that, you know. Seems healthy enough, but does a great deal of thinking and looking away at nothing. I've talked to her for ten minutes straight, only to find that she hadn't heard a word I'd said.
"So, as you will understand, I did not expect a great deal of her at dinner. But directly across from us was young Cartwright--"
"Employed in the Treasury Department?"
"That's the man. Well, he began to talk departmental affairs with some one well down the table--you know how some of these serious kids are--and as there seemed to be nothing else to do, I gave my whole attention to the interesting performance of Mrs. Upton's cook. I must have been falling into a dreamy rapture; but at any rate I suddenly awoke, so to speak. To my surpris
(1910) Mystery / Detective
Ashton-Kirk is a frank imitation of Sherlock Holmes, but not without interest. Like Holmes he has an interest in arcane subjects and the finer things of life and like Holmes he is a "gifted amateur" at solving mysteries, and well-known to both the public and the police for his "powers." His Watson is his friend, Pendleton, who stands ready to be amazed by his deductions and to applaud his success.
What is missing here is the atmosphere of the Holmes stories. The puzzle is fine enough, but there is no London fog.
Now here is an author of detective stories still undiscovered by manybooks readers that created another Sherlock Holmes-like protagonist. Ashton-Kirk, on first glance, is mighty above mere trivial footwork and solves it all in the head. But this impression is deceiving, fortunately, and both this and the "Criminologist" are deep cases where he or his friends has to take part in the action. The writing is fine and the book quality above average. The books do not depend on each other. Highly recommended.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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