#33: The Killing Needle (1871) by Henry Cauvin [trans. John Pugmire 2014]

Killing NeedleIt is difficult to believe that Arthur Conan Doyle ever intended for his Sherlock Holmes stories to be as influential as they have proven to be.  Not only are we still churning out variations on his characters in print and on radio, television and film but such is the fascination with his detective that something published before Conan Doyle even put pen to paper can achieve retrospective interest because of the similarities between the two.   And so Locked Room International published this translation of Henry Cauvin’s debut novel The Killing Needle, wherein a skeleton-thin genius master of disguise who shuns social norms, declares “In my case, the brain dominates everything and is continually boiling over.  This fire is eating me up and doesn’t leave a moment’s peace.  The mind!  The mind is a vulture that’s eating me alive” and takes opium (though in this case “to help me get some much-needed sleep”) has his adventures in crime-solving related by a doctor who becomes his confidant after being introduced by a mutual friend …yeah, okay, that’s a lot of overlap right there.

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