The Darrow Enigma

The Darrow Enigma

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2.5
(2 Reviews)
The Darrow Enigma by Melvin L. Severy

Pages:

175

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4,274

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The Darrow Enigma

By

2.5
(2 Reviews)
A scientific medical mystery, consisting of five episodes:The Episode of the Darkened RoomThe Episode of the Sealed DocumentThe Episode of Rama RagobahThe Episode of the Parallel ReadersThe Episode of the Taletale Thumb

Book Excerpt

th whom personally I had but a slight acquaintance, although I knew them somewhat by reputation. The younger one, Clinton Browne, is a young artist whose landscapes were beginning to attract wide attention in Boston, and the elder, Charles Herne, a Western gentleman of some literary attainments, but comparatively unknown here in the East. There is nothing about Mr. Herne that would challenge more than passing attention. If you had said of him, "He is well-fleshed, well-groomed, and intellectually well-thatched," you would have voiced the opinion of most of his acquaintances.

This somewhat elaborately upholstered old world has a deal of mere filling of one kind and another, and Mr. Herne is a part of it. To be sure, he leaves the category of excelsior very far behind and approaches very nearly to the best grade of curled hair, but, in spite of all this, he is simply a sort of social filling.

Mr. Browne, on the other hand, is a very different personage. Of medium height, closely knit, with the lat

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Written in 1904, a meandering and slightly incoherent mystery thriller. They sometimes speak of a "slow third act," well the third act of this drama is composed mostly of irrelevant digressions which the author states in so many words have nothing whatever to do with the plot, including a discourse on how to carry on a stage presentation of Uncle Tom's Cabin with an insufficient number of actors which is one of the damnedest things I have ever read. In fact, the majority of the book is irrelevant to the actual solving of the mystery which really only begins to progress three quarters of the way through the book. It is almost as if he simply needed to get the manuscript up to size and so inserts a couple of poems and some extra stuff he had just been pondering on to fill it out. The author is excessively verbose and often seems to intentionally lessen the impact of potentially exciting events by preliminary overexplanation. There were times I wanted to say, "Good God man, will you JUST GET ON WITH IT!" If you are looking for a straightforward easy-reading vintage mystery thriller, this is not it. This is more on the Ed Wood side of things, seemingly the work of an enthusiastic but untalented amateur. It is a unique production and an unusual experience but in my opinion not very good reading at all. Two stars only because it is so crazy it does not merely stink.
An exciting romp with an excess of scientific detectives, one French and one American. Full of red herrings and wild chases, with one huge missed clue that sends the hero half-way round the world. Not the most logical detecting tale, and with a boring narrator who inserts himself too readily into the plot, but fairly entertaining.