Meantime, young Dr Paul Berkeley, our narrator, has fallen in love with Ruth Bellingham, the missing man's niece, whose father is one of the potential heirs. He persuades Ruth's father, Godfrey Bellingham, to allow Dr John Thorndyke, an expert in medical jurisprudence, to look into the case. But this novel is laid out as a traditional mystery and is full of wit, with a charming romance between Berkeley and Ruth to give it warmth. In his discussion of this story in The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, Martin Edwards says that the 'love interest' did not appeal to every reader; even Dorothy L Sayers a fervent admirer of Freeman deplored it. It appears I have to disagree with both Sayers and Edwards I loved the elegance of the prose, which reminded me quite a lot of Conan Doyle's easy style, and the wit in Berkeley's observations of the other characters made me chuckle aloud several times. Horrible discovery in a watercress-bed! Horrible discovery in a watercress-bed!
The story starts as Dr. Jervis (Thorndyke's sidekick), who is filling in for a vacationing physician, gets word that there is a man who needs his attention. I really enjoyed reading this book; Thorndyke's detection is scientifically based so he's not a detective in the "flatfoot" sense but it doesn't detract from the story.
I'm sure that some readers will find the mass of detail that Freeman creates around Thorndyke a bit tiresome.
Freeman makes the interesting choice of having the book written from the point of view of Paul Berkeley, a recently qualified doctor and former student of Thorndyke. In addition to providing the reader with an excellent story of deduction and reasoning Freeman also writes one of the few believable and sympathetic love stories this reviewer has come across in the detective and mystery stories written at this time. This reader regretted the moment when the last page was turned and the story ended but then was cheered by the knowledge that there is another Thorndyke book on the to read shelf.
When the story appears in the newspaper, Dr. Thorndyke, the medical/legal detecting wizard, points out to his medical jurisprudence students that, should the question of proving Bellingham's death ever arise, much will depend on when officials can fix the last moment he was alive. IF the scarab was noticed on the watch-chain by anyone at the cousin's house, then there would be reason to assume that Bellingham had gone to his brother's afterwards. You see, Bellingham was never heard from again after he apparently walked out of his cousin's house, and now Hurst and the family lawyer, Mr. Jellicoe, want Godfrey to allow them to have him declared deceased and put the will forward for probate. It would seem that John Bellingham wanted his brother Godfrey to inherit, but then set conditions that made it virtually impossible for him to do so--which means that Hurst will inherit instead. Berkeley has taken a fancy to Godfrey's daughter Ruth and he convinces the Bellinghams to allow him to give Dr. Thorndyke all information on the case. There are several things to prove: Is John Bellingham dead--and, if so, was he murdered? Thorndyke is perhaps a little long-winded in his scientific lectures, but all is forgiven when the reader gets to enjoy the comic scenes in the coroner's inquest (where it is to be decided if the bones are Bellingham and, if so, how he met his death) and the probate court.
(Ch hai chng cui thôi y.) thêm na ó còn là mt cái kt bt ng. Thm chí khi mà ã c khá nhiu các th loi trinh thám các kiu ri, thì v yu t pháp y, suy din, tôi vn khen. Sau ây là chê này: Có nhng cun sách tht là hoàn ho, chng có tý li nào, riêng mng này thì Nhã Nam, Ph n, IPM làm khá lm. Nhng cng thông cm cho dch gi khá nhiu bi l: các thiên tài trinh thám c in vit vn thng rt t, tính vn chng trong tác phm ca h gn nh chng có gì: t agatha n queen và gi thêm c R.austin freeman. À nhng làm th nó cng có lý do c, còn là cái c hình thành mu cht tác phm luôn y ch. Thêm na là nhng bn quen vi seri hành ng, hoành tá tràng các kiu, trinh thám hin i y mà, Queen các y còn c c ch cun này các y mà mun c thì gian nan pht.
Austin Freemans many Dr Thorndyke mystery novels. R. Austin Freeman (1862-1943) is unfortunately little know today except to devotees of vintage crime but this English writer was one of the masters of the detective story and Dr Thorndyke was his greatest creation. The Eye of Osiris is concerned with the mysterious disappearance of Mr John Bellingham. Two years later the mystery is still involved and Dr Berkeley finds himself having a chance (but momentous for all concerned) encounter with the Bellingham family. Godfrey is a proud man, unwilling to accept help that he cannot pay for, but Dr Berkeley eventually persuades him that if his old mentor Dr Thorndyke were to accept the case it would not be charity since the case is so complex and so likely to produce interesting legal precedents that he would actually be doing Dr Thorndyke a favour by allowing him to become involved. Freeman manages to combine a classic puzzle mystery novel (the Thorndyke novels can in some ways be seen as launching the golden age of detective fiction) with a love story.
He married Annie Elizabeth Edwards in 1887 and they had two sons and after a few weeks of married life the couple found themselves in Accra on the Gold Coast where he was assistant surgeon. His time in Africa produced plenty of hard work, very little money and ill health, so much so that after seven years he was invalided out of the service in 1891. Thereafter he used some of his early experiences as a colonial surgeon in his novels.