(#170179) RAPHAEL M. D. Augustus Muir.

RAPHAEL M. D. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., [1935]. Octavo, pp. [i-vi] vii [viii] 1-242 [243-246: ads] [247: blank] [248: printer's imprint] + 8-page publisher's catalogue dated "135" on page 8 inserted at rear, original red cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black. First edition. Cases related by the secretary of a young doctor who gave up his good practice in the West End and retired to study forensic medicine and became an "unofficial" adviser to Scotland Yard. "RAPHAEL, M.D. collects twelve stories of Dr. Louis Raphael and his private secretary, Meredith, who investigate seemingly unsolvable mysteries for Scotland Yard. A combination of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Thorndyke, Raphael is a scientific detective whose London home on the edge of the Temple Gardens features an extensive library and a state-of-the-art forensics laboratory. An expert fencer who plays the piano late at night while he's considering specific elements of various cases, Raphael, when not engaged in investigations, devotes his energy to writing his multi-volume 'treatise on the scientific aspect of crime.' His ability to solve baffling mysteries that confound the authorities resides in his knowledge of modern forensics and chemistry, particularly obscure drugs and chemical compounds. He examines slides of blood samples taken at the scenes of murders and employs devices of his own creation, such as an infrared camera with extensive x-ray capabilities. Like Holmes, Raphael matches wits with a rogues' gallery of criminal masterminds, including the Baron, a notorious jewel thief who has eluded Scotland Yard for years, and Silver-Mask, an armed robber who preys on upper-class social events. While Muir's stories are clearly derivative, they are well written, and Muir himself displays a knack for effective twist endings. The best stories are 'The Kestar Diamond Case,' 'Silver-Mask,' 'Raphael's Secret Ray,' 'The Condemning Eye,' and 'The Terror of the Purple Room,' the latter a fine weird thriller involving the murderous Lestrange siblings, their dwarfish valet, and a supposedly haunted chamber at Westwood Abbey" (Boyd White). Hubin (1994), p. 590. Queen, The Detective Short Story, p. 76. Penciled signature of early owner on the front free endpaper. First two leaves lightly foxed, a bright, tight, very good copy. (#170179).

Price: $350.00

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Printing identification statement for this book:
First published in 1935" on copyright page.