Tuesday Tomes is a weekly book review of mainly vintage books. If you’ve reviewed a book recently-new or old-send me an e-mail and I will link to your post.
Cleek: The Man of Forty Faces by Thomas W. Hanshew
I’ve been in the mood for a good mystery and I found a real doozy in Cleek: The Man of Forty Faces! Detective Cleek helps Scotland Yard solve those difficult and pesky cases with his brilliance-yes, this is an old time detective story.
Not only is it a ripping good tale but it is wondrously read by Ruth Golding. I was sure she was a professional actress or reader but when I went to her website, she makes it clear that she is an amateur-an amateur reader for Librivox! How lucky for us! You can be sure I’ll be listening and reporting on other books read by Ruth Golding.
The action begins immediately and never lets up! In the prologue-which is really a prequel-we find out how Cleek changes from master criminal to master detective.
“All my life I’ve fought against the law-now let me switch over and fight with it. I’m tired of being Cleek the thief; Cleek the burglar. Make me Cleek, the detective, and let us work together, hand in hand, for a common cause and the public good. Will you Mr. Narkum? Will you?”
“Will I? Won’t I!” said Narkam, springing forward and gripping his hand. “Jove! what a detective you will make. Bully boy! Bully boy!”
The main characters are all interesting and likeable: Cleek with his amazing ability to change both his looks and mannerisms, his young Cockney assistant, Dollops, the heavenly Miss Ailsa Lome, and that kind old gent, Superintendent Maverick Narkom.
Published in 1913 this book has everything… from