The Singing Bone - R. Austin Freeman 1912 - Hodder and Stoughton, London - First Edition A lauded and listed collection of five stories, beginning with The Case of Oscar Brodski, by the ‘true and undoubted ‘parent’ of the scientific detective story in the highest meaning of the phrase.’ (Haycraft, Murder for Pleasure.) First edition, with misprinted quotation mark on the title-page.

Symons in
Murder for Pleasure stresses the originality of this collection of short stories, in which we see a crime committed, and then watch Dr. John Thorndyke discover and follow clues that lead to the criminal, a concept known as the ‘inverted tale’. Symons also admired Freeman’s accuracy in detail, a result of Freeman’s medical training and perhaps his work as a medical advisor at Holloway Prison, and Haycraft points out that no other literary criminologist has been paid tribute of having his fictional methods put into use by the real police.

These ‘Freeman 'inverted' tales were a monumental contribution to the development of the detective story, and from them have stemmed some of the great modern masterpieces of crime writing.’ – Ellery Queen,
Queen’s Quorum.
  Richard Austin Freeman (1862-1943), expert bookbinder, a capable wax and clay modeller, and an amateur painter of the academic school, as well as his own laboratory technician. To prospective interviews he invariably replies: ‘I have no desire for personal publicity’. By all accounts, something of a cross between a genius and a nutcase, he built a bunker in his own back garden as a hobby, and was an innovator of forensic technique. He is best known for his John Thorndyke novels and short stories.

Provenance: Early owner’s name and address of E. Nieman.

References: Symons,
Bloody Murder, 87. Haycraft, Murder for Pleasure, 68. Cooper & Pike, Detective Fiction 137. Ellery Queen, Queen’s Quorum, 52.

Octavo. pp. vi [2] 312. In publisher’s red cloth, spine lettered in gilt, front board lettered in black.
  Condition: Very good, numerous spots of wear to cloth, inner hinges starting, light foxing to endpapers and foredge.   Ref: 109104   Price: HK$ 1,100