Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesdays Tomes: The Uttermost Farthing by R. Austin Freeman

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of mainly vintage books.

The Uttermost Farthing by R. Austin Freeman

The Uttermost Farthing is definitely one of the strangest tales I’ve ever read. Mr. Humphrey Challoner lost his beloved wife just two years after their marriage. She surprised a burglar and was shot dead. The police can’t find the burglar/murderer and he vows to himself that he will bring the criminal to justice.

When we first meet him it is twenty years later and he has filled the time since his wife’s death amassing a strange anthropological collection.

He bequeaths his collection to his friend, Dr. Wharton, telling him that he will find the story of the collection in the Museum’s catalogues -written in diary style and telling the tale of each acquisition. We read the catalogue entries along with Dr. Wharton…

R. Austin Freeman, a British author, is one of those authors that I just knew nothing about until I read this book and wrote this review. Famed for his detective fiction featuring Dr. Thorndyke and credited with creating the reverse crime story-the first half tells you the crime (and maybe even the perpetrator) and the second half is all about how the crime is solved and the criminal caught. Sounds intriguing and I’m going to hop on over to Librivox and see if they have a Dr. Thorndyke mystery.

The Uttermost Farthing was published in the US in 1914 and in the UK 6 years later and under a different title: The Savant’s Vendetta. Perfectly read by MaryAnn Spiegel, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf. or kindle format here.


Elaine/Muddling Through said...

That sounds interesting. I do love a good mystery!

Jan said...

Wow, another title that I am unfamiliar with, although I recognize the author's name. Some of the older books are really better, aren't they?! Do you run across them randomly, or seek them out at book sales? Just curious on how you discover these.

Allie said...

Wonderful - I'll go get it, thank you Miri!

Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Very interesting. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. blessings,Kathleen