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5156RE: SHSI Raffles -The Amateur Cracksman

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  • Philip K Jones
    Apr 18, 2017
      My friends:

      For those who are interested, Hornung published four volumes about Raffles: "The Amateur Cracksman," "Raffles; More tales of the Amateur Cracksman", "A Thief in the Night" and "Mr. Justice Raffles." In addition, there were a number of pastiches written by a variety of authors. Adam Corres wrote "Raffles and the Match-Fixing Syndicate." Graham Greene wrote "The Return of A. J. Raffles." David Fletcher wrote "Raffles." John Hall wrote a short story published in the "Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine" in 1999 and Peter Tremayne wrote two volumes of Raffles tales, titled "The Return of Raffles" and "Raffles in Pursuit." There may have been other authors as well, but these are the only ones I know of.

      However, all of those contributions pale beside the output of Barry Perowne, who, with the agreement of the Hornung estate, began writing a steady stream of Raffles tales in 1932. These included at least twenty five volumes that I know of as well as eighteen or more short stories in "The Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine" and "The Saint Mystery Magazine. Most of the Ellery Queen tales were included in Perowne's last three anthologies; "Raffles Revisited," "Raffles of the Albany" and "Raffles of the MCC."

      Ron is quite correct about the quality of the pastiches. Some are definitely forgettable. Many of the early Perowne volumes were written for the 1930s pulp paperback press and seem to have been more concerned with word count than with fidelity to the originals. On the other hand, some of his other efforts show much better qualities. As with Sherlockian pastiches, the quality varies from author to author as well as over time with individual authors. The problem is that with almost 12,000 Sherlockian pastiches available from hundreds of different authors, the quality runs from abysmally bad up to really great. In fact, there are a several Sherlockian pastiches available that I feel are even better than most of the Canonical tales. For those who doubt my opinion, I offer the MX Publishing series of "New Sherlock Holmes Stories," volumes 1 through 5 or is it 6, now? The Raffles pastiches run from poor through pretty good, at least in my opinion.


      Philip K. Jones

      An Illdressed Vagabond


      From: SherlockHolmesSocietyofIndia@... [mailto:SherlockHolmesSocietyofIndia@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 8:28 AM
      To: SherlockHolmesSocietyofIndia@...
      Subject: Re: SHSI Raffles -The Amateur Cracksman

      Dear, Sumalsn, I have the book you talked about. I read so long ago I do not remember too much of it. I do remember I liked it better then the pastiches about Raffles I have read. I had developed an affection for Raffles and i was sorry about the ending. I was hoping to read more. Ron aka the Game is Afoot. I am glad to be talking with a brother member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of India. I hope you and the society are doing well and enjoying good health. Ron aka One for whom is always Afoot.

      On 4/18/2017 12:30 AM, sumalsn wrote:

      Dear Holmesians,

      Have your read any books by EW Hornung, who is best known for writing the A.J. Raffles series about the “gentleman thief”?

      In 1893,EW Hornung also became the brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when he married Constance Doyle, the sister of Arthur Conan Doyle.

      In 1899, "The Amateur Cracksman" was published, a series of short stories about A.J. Raffles.

      The book was dedicated to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: “To A.C.D. This form of flattery”.



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