Saturday, June 21, 2014

"These Stories Are Good"

MORTMAIN.
By Arthur Train (1875-1945).
D. Appleton and Company.
1907. 314 pages.
Collection: 8 stories.
Online HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Contents:
(1) "Mortmain"
(2) "The Rescue of Theophilus Newbegin"
(3) "The Vagabond"
(4) "The Man Hunt"
(5) "Not at Home"
(6) "A Study in Sociology"
(7) "The Little Feller"
(8) "Randolph, '64"

The critics of his day thought more highly of Arthur Train's style than his content:
Mr. Train's books always appear to come under the heading of detective fiction; that is their quality . . . Within their obvious limits, these stories are good. They are quick, lively, ingenious, better written than the majority of their class, more competently worked out, less childish.  . . . — "Current Fiction," THE NATION (November 21, 1907)
[SPOILER ALERT: The following review discusses the first story in great detail.] Mr. Arthur Train's recent volume of short stories, which takes its title from the opening story, "Mortmain," are of such excellent average quality that one naturally makes a mental note to keep a watchful eye upon this author's future productions.  . . . — Frederic Taber Cooper, "The Romantic Creed and Some Recent Books," THE BOOKMAN (February 1908; go to page 671, left center )
Resource:
- Our previous encounter with Train is HERE.

Categories: Science fiction, Detective fiction, General fiction

1 comment:

  1. I've never read Mortmain but I have read with great pleasure many of Train's tales about Mr. Tutt, who is a most ingenious lawyer. These are generally concerned with crime but are not truly mysteries. Rather they tend to involve Mr. Tutt in redressing social ills or using the law on behalf of some underdog in much the same way as Perry Mason might do although without solving a murder case.

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