#944: Little Fictions – Four Corners, Volume 1: ‘He Took Richmond’ (1937) by Theodore Roscoe

I had intended to read and review the stories in Four Corners, Volume 1 (2015) — written for pulp story magazine Argosy between 1937 and 1941 — on Tuesdays last month, but was operating under a fatal misapprehension: that eponymous “Four” refers to the town, not the number of stories in the volume, of which there are five. Thankfully, August 2022 came to the rescue, and here we go,

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#934: “It was surprising what a change the last minute or two had wrought…” – The Great Portrait Mystery [ss] (1918) by R. Austin Freeman

The short story collection The Great Portrait Mystery (1918) occupies an odd position in the oeuvre of R. Austin Freeman. Five of the seven stories herein have almost nothing to do with each other — tonally, thematically, genre-wise — and the other two are inverted tales of detection featuring his famous medical jurist character Dr. John Evelyn Thorndyke. So were Freeman’s publishers simply fancying up some of his B-material by including a couple of Thorndyke tales to draw otherwise-uninterested readers to this collection? Let’s find out.

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