The Master of Mysteries (Library of Congress Crime Classics) (Paperback)
"In this exemplary Library of Congress Crime Classics reissue…those seeking quality Sherlock Holmes pastiches in a humorous vein will be well rewarded."— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Packed with two dozen stories, The Master of Mysteries offers a twentieth-century, mystical twist on the classic consulting detective genre made popular by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. With Astro, the self-proclaimed "seer of secrets," author Gelett Burgess gives us a detective just as observant and brilliant as Sherlock Holmes—but with feelings.
Astro, the Seer of Secrets, and his lovely assistant, Valeska, sound more like a magic act than a private detection team.
Astro hides his powers of observation and reasoning beneath a turban and a cape, pretending to read palms and consult crystals while in fact keenly observing details that most people—police included—miss. Valeska, his beautiful blonde protégé, assists Astro with his investigations, all the while honing her own skills.
Called upon by believers and skeptics both, they adeptly recover what is missing—a rare Shakespeare folio, a missing husband, a kidnapped child—while also solving actual murders. But it is their burgeoning romance, and their mutual zeal to work pro bono where matters of the heart are at stake, that set this crime-solving duo apart.
"First published in book form in 1912, the 24 short stories by humorist Burgess (1866–1951) in this exemplary Library of Congress Crime Classics reissue feature Astro the Seer, whose intellect allows him to make Holmesian deductions. Those seeking quality Sherlock Holmes pastiches in a humorous vein will be well rewarded." — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Astro and Valeska are also superior detectives, uncovering mysteries major and minor among the moneyed classes. What’s hidden from them — but not the reader — is their growing attraction. The resolution is equal parts dated and sweet, but also earned." — New York Times