Richard Austin Freeman

The Eye of Osiris

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The Eye of Osiris (1911) is a novel by R. Austin Freeman. Dr. John Thorndyke, a medical jurispractitioner bases his solutions on his method of collecting all possible data (including dust and pond weed) and making inferences from them before looking at any of the protagonists and motives in the crimes. It is this method which gave rise to one of Freeman's most ingenious inventions, the inverted detective story, where the criminal act is described first and the interest lies in Thorndyke's subsequent unraveling of it. In this novel Thorndyke is after the disappeared Mr. John Bellingham, "a man well known in archeological circles. He recently returned from Egypt, bringing with him a very fine collection of antiquities—some of which, by the way, he has presented to the British Museum, where they are now on view—and having made this presentation, he appears to have gone to Paris on business. I may mention that the gift consisted of a very fine mummy and a complete set of tomb-furniture."
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