A railroad Vice President and and his chauffeur have sudden and mysterious seizures on the way to work; a family in New York city undergoes an epidemic of beri-beri; the American consul in the Virgin Islands collapses and dies for no apparent reason; a Wall Street speculator is apparently stabbed to death--with a rubber dagger. Who other than Craig Kennedy, armed with his knowledge of chemistry, technology and Freudian psychology could solve these mysteries? (Summary by Richard Bohan)
moglobin absorption." I looked as he indicated and saw the dark bands. "Now," he went on, "I add some of this other liquid."
He picked up a bottle of something with a faint greenish tinge.
"See the bands gradually fade?"
I watched, and indeed they did diminish in intensity and finally disappear, leaving an uninterrupted and brilliant spectrum.
"My spectroscope," he said, simply, "shows that the blood-crystals of Barnes are colorless. Barnes was poisoned--by some gas, I think. I wish I had time to hunt along the road where the accident took place." As he said it, he walked over and drew from a cabinet several peculiar arrangements made of gauze.
He was about to say something more when there came a knock at the door. Kennedy shoved the gauze arrangements into his pocket and opened it. It was Maude Euston, breathless and agitated.
"Oh, Mr. Kennedy, have you heard?" she cried. "You asked me to keep a watch whether anything more happened to Mr. Barnes. So I asked some frie
A railroad Vice President and and his chauffeur have sudden and mysterious seizures on the way to work; a family in New York city undergoes an epidemic of beri-beri; the American consul in the Virgin Islands collapses and dies for no apparent reason; a Wall Street speculator is apparently stabbed to death--with a rubber dagger. Who other than Craig Kennedy, armed with his knowledge of chemistry, technology and Freudian psychology could solve these mysteries.
This is another colloction of Craig Kennedy short story, most of them well up to Reeve's standard. The author goes a little beyond the practical science of the period (for example in his creation of a World War I version of a stealth bomber. But there is no doubt that sceintists at the time were trying to create such a machine, probably along the lines that Reeve inicates.
One of the things which strikes one in these stories is growing cynicism of the author. Thus Kennedy allows some criminals to escape justice, sometimes apparently on the grounds of true love, sometimes possibly on the grounds that a conviction could not be obtained. Thus a railroad president remains untarnished and a prominent doctor goes free. Murder, of course, Kennedy never pardons. This is not a bad collection with plenty of action as Kennedy thwarts spurious doctors, gun runners, fanatical pacifists and playboy lotharios.
Note to Agatha Chrisite fans. You might be interested in the title story, since Christie used the basic plot elements (her story involves a steamer rather than a train) in one of her stories a few years after this was published. Don't worry. In terms of plot complexity, lower level of violence and overall writing ability, Christie comes out clearly better in the comparison.
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