Friday, August 8, 2014

The International Society of Infallible Detectives

Just the other day we were discussing Carolyn Wells, an author with uncertain and variable abilities when it came to detective fiction. Wells was widely known for her involvement in humorous verse, and her sense of fun overflowed into parodies of then-popular poets; apparently she just couldn't resist taking a swipe at the most well-known detectives in prose of her era, the result being several spoofs known collectively as "The International Society of Infallible Detectives" series:
The International Society of Infallible Detectives (L-to-R): Dupin, The Thinking Machine (seated), Lecocq, Lupin (seated), Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson (seated), Luther Trant, and Raffles (seated). Drawn by R. B. Birch.
(1) "The Adventure of the Mona Lisa," The Century, January 1912.
- This one can be found online in several places: HERE, HERE, and HERE [pages 18-24] and in audio format [14 minutes 26 seconds] HERE.

(2) "Sure Way to Catch Every Criminal," Hearst Sunday newspapers, July 11, 1912.
- This one doesn't seem to be online anywhere.

(3) "The Adventure of the Clothes-Line," The Century, May 1915.
- Online HERE and HERE [pages 25-30].

(4) "Cherchez la Femme," The Green Book Magazine, February 1917.
- Not online either.

Jacques Futrelle, creator of The Thinking Machine, is credited with a story dealing with The Society of Infallible Detectives . . .

~ "The Great Suitcase Mystery," Boston American, October 5-8, 1905.

. . . but we're unsure how, or even if, it relates to Wells's stories.

Resource:
- More about The Thinking Machine is HERE.

Category: Detective fiction

5 comments:

  1. A fifth story called The Adventure of the lost baby has been published.
    The five stories can be found here : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VD9SUVS

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    1. Thanks very much for that, miniman. We will definitely investigate it.

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    3. "Sure Way" is so hard to find online because the date is wrong -- it was actually published at least as far back as March of that year, but I don't have the exact date with me. I collected them all, along with their illustrations, here: http://www.amazon.com/Sherlock-International-Society-Infallible-Detectives-ebook/dp/B01BT1P3W8

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    4. Thanks, Cisco, for collecting those stories all in one place. I've just purchased it.

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