A pipe mystery with a 'rival of sherlock Holmes'

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Aug 31, 2011
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Piedmont of NC
I first became aware of the character of Dr Thorndyke back in the 70s with a British import to PBS called 'The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.' I'm reading/rereading the early Dr Thorndyke stories, and one of the short stories might be of interest to pipers. The author, R. Austin Freeman, was apparently the first major mystery writer to use the 'inverted' mystery (popularized for many by Columbo -- you see the murder committed, and then see the detective figure things out). 'The Singing Bone' is one such story, and solving the case involves primarily noticing the state of two pipes and the differences between shag cut and the shavings off of a plug of 'hard'. The story was the title story of original collection of early short stories, but it has also been anthologized elsewhere.
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