When Professor Van Dusen sits back in his chair, when he turns his head upward and squints through his spectacles, when he presses his fingers together tip to tip, it means that the Thinking Machine, as he has come to be known, is applying his impeccable logic to another baffling case. And no one--no one--ever manages to escape it.
In this fourth book in the Fingerprints Classics series, JourneyForth brings you ten separate mystery stories by American author Jacques Futrelle, who perished in the first and only voyage of the ill-fated cruise ship Titanic. Whether it involves escaping from and ironclad cell, finding a bank robber's hidden stash, or dousing a flaming phantom, monumental dilemmas shrink to gnat-sized proportions in the wake of the reasoning power of Futrelles eccentric Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen--the Thinking Machine. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Can logic solve any problem? Professor Van Dusen thinks so. In this collection of stories, he sets out to prove the infallibility of logic in some most extraordinary ways.
Each story features the classic elements of an apparently unsolvable problem. Yet, Professor Van Dusen remains calm and collected as he puts his thinking skills to work. Readers will enjoy the variety of dilemmas he encounters, and will marvel at the solutions! Whether he is finding something that is stolen or escaping from a prison cell, each tale takes some unexpected turns before arriving at a perfectly logical conclusion.
The journey of this book from the author to its current publication is just as interesting as the stories. Jacques Futrelle developed the character of Van Dusen, The Thinking Machine, during the early 1900s. Many of these stories appeared in serial form in magazines. In 1912, Futrelle traveled to Europe to seek a wider audience for his work. His return trip to America was on board the Titanic. Although Futrelle perished, these wonderful tales remain available for todays readers.
The target audience is young adult, but anyone who loves a good mystery will enjoy this book. The writing is clear and direct, and the predicaments are cleverly constructed. Each story features a different set of circumstances, but all have the principle of logic at its center. The character of Professor Van Dusen is both annoyingly ill-tempered and amazingly intelligent. This unique combination creates a different type of hero, but one that will certainly gain the admiration of readers. -- Joyce Handzo, Christian Book Previews.com