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The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman

The Red Thumb Mark

The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman

How a Doctor Became a Detective: A Review of The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman

Introduction

If you’re a fan of detective fiction, you’ve probably read or heard of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, or Arthur Conan Doyle. But have you ever read or heard of R. Austin Freeman? He was a doctor who became a writer and created one of the most original and influential characters in detective fiction: Dr. John Thorndyke. Thorndyke was a medical jurist, a scientist who applied his knowledge of medicine and forensics to solve crimes. He was the pioneer of the scientific detective story, the precursor of CSI and other modern crime shows.

The Red Thumb Mark is the first novel in the Dr. Thorndyke series by R. Austin Freeman. It was published in 1907, and it introduced the character and the method of Thorndyke to the world. The novel tells the story of a mysterious case involving a missing diamond necklace, a bloody thumbprint on a document, and an innocent suspect who is accused of theft and murder. Thorndyke is hired by the suspect’s lawyer to prove his innocence and find the real culprit.

The novel is a masterpiece of detective fiction, full of suspense, mystery, logic, and science. It showcases Freeman’s skill as a writer and his knowledge as a doctor. It also reflects the social and historical context of the early 20th century England, such as the development of science, technology, law, and media.

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 R. Austin Freeman

Why You Should Read The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman

You might be wondering why you should read a book that was written over a hundred years ago, about a doctor who became a detective. Well, there are many reasons why The Red Thumb Mark is still a classic in detective fiction. Here are some of them:

  • It’s thrilling and captivating. The book is full of twists and turns, clues and red herrings, puzzles and solutions. It will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow Thorndyke’s investigation and reasoning. You will be amazed by how he uses his scientific knowledge and methods to uncover the truth and expose the lies.
  • It’s original and innovative. The book is one of the first examples of the scientific detective story, a genre that combines science and fiction to create realistic and rational mysteries. It introduces Thorndyke’s signature technique of the “inverted detective story”, where the reader knows who the criminal is from the start, but not how or why he committed the crime. It also features Thorndyke’s loyal assistant, Dr. Jervis, who acts as his Watson and narrator.
  • It’s informative and educational. The book is not only entertaining, but also enlightening. It teaches you a lot about the science, technology, medicine, and forensics of the early 20th century England. You will learn about fingerprinting, blood analysis, microscopy, photography, cryptography, and other topics that were relevant and cutting-edge at that time.
  • It’s historical and cultural. The book is not only scientific, but also social. It reflects the history, culture, and society of the Edwardian era, such as the class system, the legal system, the media system, and the moral system. It also portrays the characters and settings of that period, such as the lawyers, the police, the criminals, the courts, the prisons, and the London streets.

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How to Read The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman

If you’re interested in reading The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman, you might be wondering how to read it. Here are some tips and suggestions that can help you enjoy the book more:

  • Read it online or offline. You can find the book online for free on various websites, such as Project Gutenberg or Internet Archive. You can also buy a physical copy or an e-book version from various online or offline stores, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Choose the format that suits your preference and convenience.
  • Read it in order or out of order. You can read the book in the order that it was published, starting from Chapter 1 and ending with Chapter 18. You can also read the book in any order that you like, skipping or jumping from one chapter to another. Each chapter is self-contained and independent, so you don’t have to worry about missing any continuity or connection.
  • Read it with or without annotations. You can read the book as it is, without any additional explanation or commentary. You can also read the book with some annotations or notes that can help you understand the context and the meaning of the book better. You can find some annotations online, such as on Wikipedia or Shmoop. You can also make your own annotations as you read along.
  • Read it alone or with others. You can read the book by yourself, at your own pace and time. You can also read the book with others, such as your friends or family members. You can share your thoughts and opinions about the book with them, and listen to theirs. You can also join a book club or an online forum that discusses the book with other readers from around the world.

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FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about The Red Thumb Mark :

  • Q: Who is R. Austin Freeman?
  • A: R. Austin Freeman was an English writer and doctor who lived from 1862 to 1943. He was best known for his Dr. Thorndyke series of detective stories, which he wrote from 1907 to 1942.
  • Q: Who is Dr. John Thorndyke?
  • A: Dr. John Thorndyke is the protagonist of the Dr. Thorndyke series by R. Austin Freeman. He is a medical jurist, a scientist who applies his knowledge of medicine and forensics to solve crimes.
  • Q: What is a medical jurist?
  • A: A medical jurist is a person who specializes in medical jurisprudence, which is the application of medical science to legal issues.
  • Q: What is an inverted detective story?
  • A: An inverted detective story is a type of detective story where the reader knows who the criminal is from the start, but not how or why he committed the crime.
  • Q: How many books are there in the Dr. Thorndyke series?
  • A: There are 21 books in the Dr. Thorndyke series. They are:
    • The Red Thumb Mark (1907)
    • The Eye of Osiris (1911)
    • The Mystery of 31 New Inn (1912)
    • The Vanishing Man (1914)
    • The Uttermost Farthing (1914)
    • The Exploits of Danby Croker (1916)
    • A Silent Witness (1917)
    • Helen Vardon’s Confession (1922)
    • The Cat’s Eye (1923)
    • The Mystery of Angelina Frood (1924)
    • The Shadow of the Wolf (1925)
    • The D’Arblay Mystery (1926)
    • A Certain Dr. Thorndyke (1927)
    • As a Thief in the Night (1928)
    • Mr. Pottermack’s Oversight (1930)
    • Pontifex, Son and Thorndyke (1931)
    • When Rogues Fall Out (1932)
    • Dr. Thorndyke Intervenes (1933)
    • For the Defence: Dr. Thorndyke (1934)
    • The Penrose Mystery (1936)
    • Felo de Se? (1937)

Conclusion

The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman is the first novel in the Dr. Thorndyke series, which features a medical jurist who uses science and forensics to solve crimes. It is a book that is thrilling, original, informative, and historical. It is a book that you should read if you love detective fiction, or if you want to learn more about the science, technology, medicine, and forensics of the early 20th century England. It is a book that you can read online or offline, in order or out of order, with or without annotations, alone or with others. It is a book that will fascinate, educate, and inspire you.

I hope you liked this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments about the book or the article, feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading! 😊

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