Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Let the Reader Be Alert"

By Burton E. Stevenson.
Dodd, Mead & Co.
Burton Stevenson strikes again. This is the full review from THE NATION (April 10, 1913), archived here (scroll down to page 361, middle bottom):
The author retains in this tale of mystery the central characters of his rather successful story, "The Boule Cabinet"—Lester, the middle-aged lawyer, and Godfrey, the reporter, who was formerly a member of the New York Detective Bureau. Since they are modelled after Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes, they furnish an acceptable means for keeping the line of reasoning leading to a solution of the plot fresh before the reader and for spurring him on to his own best efforts.
Godfrey's dazzling inferences are always made from evidence presented to all, and never from secret information.
There is a police captain, brave as a lion and, of course, quite as dull.
In the present instance an old gentleman, living with his beautiful young daughter in a walled estate on the edge of the Bronx, has been murdered. Suspicion is cast on an Oriental and his man, who also dwell on the estate and whose religion the victim had espoused.
But the bloody fingerprints of a law student, who is in love with the daughter against the father's wishes, seem to incriminate him hopelessly, especially since it is known that he had a secret meeting with the daughter on the grounds the night of the murder.
Except at two points of the story the explanation of the crime is well concealed; let the reader be alert.
For another review and links to this story online go here. A review of another Stevenson novel is here.

Category: Detective fiction

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