Throughout the month of August, we've been talking about great (if no longer very well-known) short stories, which - to my mind, at least - make great beach reading. Let's close out the series today with one of the more unusual detectives who was popular in the early decades of the 20th century.
Max Carrados, the creation of writer Ernest Bramah, carries out his detective work despite being blind. As he explains, in a number of stories, that blindness has been liberating to him, because it has forced him to sharpen his other senses while avoiding the danger of leaping to conclusions because of something he has seen. In other words, even if a clever killer has staged the scene of his crime in such a way that it would misdirect someone who saw the false clues...Carrados is impervious to that kind of misdirection. The Max Carrados stories are the subject of this week's Classic Mysteries podcast, and you can listen to the full review by clicking here.
In the very first Max Carrados story, "The Coin of Dionysius," the blind detective immediately recognizes the voice of an old college friend - even though that friend has carefully created a completely different identity and appearance for himself. That friend, Mr. Carlyle, goes on to become a frequent assistant to Carrados in his investigations - a Watson to Carrados's Holmes.
There are a lot of different collections which include a variety of Max Carrados stories, and they vary pretty widely in terms of price - The ones on Amazon.com, for example, range in price from zero (free) to nearly $600. Most of the stories are out of copyright, and there are some collections which are free, at least in electronic editions. Max Carrados is another of those classic detectives with whom you really ought to be more familiar.