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The Casebooks of Mr J. G. Reeder: Book 1

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The Casebooks of Mr J. G. Reeder: Book 1
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Author(s): Edgar Wallace
Date Published: 2008/08
Page Count: 472
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-1-84677-515-4
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-84677-516-1

Edgar Wallace's famous-though inconspicuous detective

This is the first volume of the complete collected stories featuring Mr. J G Reeder of the Department of Public Prosecutions. Edgar Wallace's sleuth—whose territory is the London of the 1920s—is an unlikely figure, more bank clerk than detective in appearance, ever wearing his square topped bowler, frock coat, cravat and muffler, Mr Reeder is usually inseparable from his umbrella. With his thin mournful face many might mistake him for an undertaker, but appearances can be deceiving. It is the mind of Mr J G Reeder that his greatest asset and that which the criminal fraternity have most to fear. Although—on occasions—he is not averse to substituting his umbrella for a long barrelled automatic pistol when the situation demands it! In this first volume you will find Room 13, The Mind of Mr J. G. Reeder and Terror Keep—a veritable feast for detective fiction enthusiasts.

He was back at the window, and he had seen a man turn out of Lewisham
High Road. He had crossed the road and was coming straight to Daffodil
House--which frolicsome name appeared on the door-posts of Mr. Reeder's
residence. A tall, straight man, with a sombre brown face, he came to
the front gate, passed through and beyond the watcher's range of vision.<br>
'Dear me!' said Mr. Reeder, as he heard the tinkle of a bell.<br>
A few minutes later his housekeeper tapped on the door.<br>
'Will you see Mr. Kohl, sir?' she asked.<br>
Mr. J. G. Reeder nodded.<br>
Lew Kohl walked into the room to find a middle-aged man in a flamboyant
dressing-gown sitting at his desk, a pair of pince-nez set crookedly on
his nose.<br>
'Good morning. Kohl.'<br>
Lew Kohl looked at the man who had sent him to seven and a half years of
hell, and the corner of his thin lips curled.<br>
'Morning, Mr. Reeder.' His eyes flashed across the almost bare surface
of the writing-desk on which Reeder's hands were lightly clasped. 'You
didn't expect to see me, I guess?'<br>
'Not so early,' said Reeder in his hushed voice, 'but I should have
remembered that early rising is one of the good habits which are
inculcated by penal servitude.'<br>
He said this in the manner of one bestowing praise for good conduct.<br>
'I suppose you've got a pretty good idea of why I have come, eh? I'm a
bad forgetter, Reeder, and a man in Dartmoor has time to think.'<br>
The older man lifted his sandy eyebrows, the steel-rimmed glasses on his
nose slipped further askew.<br>
'That phrase seems familiar,' he said, and the eyebrows lowered in a
frown. 'Now let me think--it was in a melodrama, of course, but was it
"Souls in Harness" or "The Marriage Vow"?'<br>
He appeared genuinely anxious for assistance in solving this problem.<br>
'This is going to be a different kind of play,' said the long-faced Lew
through his teeth. 'I'm going to get you, Reeder--you can go along and
tell your boss, the Public Prosecutor. But I'll get you sweet! There
will be no evidence to swing me. And I'll get that nice little stocking
of yours, Reeder!'<br>
The legend of Reeder's fortune was accepted even by so intelligent a man
as Kohl.<br>
'You'll get my stocking! Dear me, I shall have to go barefooted,' said
Mr. Reeder, with a faint show of humour.<br>
'You know what I mean--think that over. Some hour and day you'll go out,
and all Scotland Yard won't catch me for the killing! I've thought it
'One has time to think in Dartmoor,' murmured Mr. J. G. Reeder
encouragingly. 'You're becoming one of the world's thinkers, Kohl. Do
you know Rodin's masterpiece--a beautiful statue throbbing with life--'<br>
'That's all.' Lew Kohl rose, the smile still trembling at the corner of
his mouth. 'Maybe you'll turn this over in your mind, and in a day or
two you won't be feeling so gay.'<br>
Reeder's face was pathetic in its sadness. His untidy sandy-grey hair
seemed to be standing on end; the large ears, that stood out at right
angles to his face, gave the illusion of quivering movement.<br>
Lew Kohl's hand was on the door-knob.<br>
It was the sound of a dull weight striking a board; something winged
past his cheek, before his eyes a deep hole showed in the wall, and his
face was stung by flying grains of plaster. He spun round with a whine
of rage. <br>
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