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Pontifex, Son And Thorndyke (Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries #20)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  25 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
This puzzling plot is related by two different characters: messenger boy Jasper Gray, who experiences several strange adventures, and Dr Jervis, friend of Dr Thorndyke. Dr Thorndyke is investigating a terrible crime, the solving of which remains elusive because of key facts remaining unknown. He needs the facts to confirm his case: Jasper could complete the blank spaces if ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published August 30th 2001 by House of Stratus (first published 1931)
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This is one of R. Austin Freeman's most entertaining novels featuring the "scientific detective" Dr. John Thorndyke. A youth named Jasper Gray finds a seal that has fallen out of a ring, and burning to try it out, he buys a scrap of sealing wax and uses it to seal a letter that a clerk dropped on his way to the post office. In this way, Jasper Gray and Dr. Thorndyke cross paths, and Thorndyke solves a missing heir problem and a murder, and Jasper finds a life he never dreamed of. The only flaw i ...more
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Freeman tried something new again with this book, to his credit this time. Instead of just citing the crime at the beginning and leaving his protagonists to sort out the truth as the story unfolds, he used Jasper Gray as a character and narrator throughout the text, providing the main mystery and adding depth and bulk to it as the story went on. I found I rather liked Gray as a character and wished he had more chapters to himself. I was also highly amused by the wig and dress he managed to get h ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More adventure and fewer forensics than in many a Thorndyke mystery, and the great man doesn't actually appear a lot. As an earlier commentator said, we would now regard the language and attitudes as racist ("this was not an English crime") but it's of its time and must be read as such. Warning though, the end is horribly sad.
Rated at 2.5.

This book features Jasper. A young man who holds the key to the mysteries that Thorndyke is trying to solve and who is an unknowing beneficiary in the final solution to one of those mysteries. Jasper is a likable character, and of course Jervis and Thorndyke are always interesting characters.

The reason I set this book at 2.5 is that it is just too long and drawn out. My interest was flagging toward the middle of the story and only picked up again at the last third of the book.

Dec 29, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, favorites
I really enjoyed this one; the first narrator (Jasper) is such an engaging character.
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Richard Freeman was born in Soho, London on 11 April 1862 and was the son of Ann Maria (nee Dunn) and Richard Freeman, a tailor. He was originally named Richard and later added the Austin to his name.

He became a medical trainee at Middlesex Hospital Medical College and was accepted as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.

He married Annie Elizabeth Edwards in 1887 and they had two sons and aft
More about R. Austin Freeman...

Other Books in the Series

Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • The Red Thumb Mark
  • John Thorndyke's Cases
  • The Eye of Osiris
  • The Mystery of 31 New Inn
  • The Singing Bone (Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries, #5)
  • A Silent Witness
  • The Great Portrait Mystery
  • Helen Vardon's Confession
  • The Cat's Eye
  • Dr Thorndyke's Casebook

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