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A Master of Mysteries (Librivox Audiobook)

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“It so happened that the circumstances of fate allowed me to follow my own bent in the choice of a profession. From my earliest youth the weird, the mysterious had an irresistible fascination for me. Having private means, I resolved to follow my unique inclinations, and I am now well known to all my friends as a professional exposer of ghosts, and one who can clear away th “It so happened that the circumstances of fate allowed me to follow my own bent in the choice of a profession. From my earliest youth the weird, the mysterious had an irresistible fascination for me. Having private means, I resolved to follow my unique inclinations, and I am now well known to all my friends as a professional exposer of ghosts, and one who can clear away the mysteries of most haunted houses….I propose in these pages to relate the histories of certain queer events, enveloped at first in mystery, and apparently dark with portent, but, nevertheless, when grappled with in the true spirit of science, capable of explanation.” – from the Introduction to “A Master of Mysteries”


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“It so happened that the circumstances of fate allowed me to follow my own bent in the choice of a profession. From my earliest youth the weird, the mysterious had an irresistible fascination for me. Having private means, I resolved to follow my unique inclinations, and I am now well known to all my friends as a professional exposer of ghosts, and one who can clear away th “It so happened that the circumstances of fate allowed me to follow my own bent in the choice of a profession. From my earliest youth the weird, the mysterious had an irresistible fascination for me. Having private means, I resolved to follow my unique inclinations, and I am now well known to all my friends as a professional exposer of ghosts, and one who can clear away the mysteries of most haunted houses….I propose in these pages to relate the histories of certain queer events, enveloped at first in mystery, and apparently dark with portent, but, nevertheless, when grappled with in the true spirit of science, capable of explanation.” – from the Introduction to “A Master of Mysteries”

49 review for A Master of Mysteries (Librivox Audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    J. Boo

    A collection of short thrillers, with a detective who specializes in Scooby-Doo style debunking of supernatural mysteries. Dialogue's a bit wooden, but it's still a good read. I see that I've read another book by her, A Sister of the Red Cross: A Tale of the South African War. "A Master of Mysteries" is a lot better, but Meade also had a co-author in this one, Robert Eustace. Oddly, Eustace -- a practicing medical doctor -- seemed to specialize as a co-author. More than two thirds of his Wikipedi A collection of short thrillers, with a detective who specializes in Scooby-Doo style debunking of supernatural mysteries. Dialogue's a bit wooden, but it's still a good read. I see that I've read another book by her, A Sister of the Red Cross: A Tale of the South African War. "A Master of Mysteries" is a lot better, but Meade also had a co-author in this one, Robert Eustace. Oddly, Eustace -- a practicing medical doctor -- seemed to specialize as a co-author. More than two thirds of his Wikipedia credits are collaborations, most famously one with Dorothy Sayers, The Documents in the Case.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    Another LibriVox (librivox.org) selection to help my busy workday along ... this is a series of stories told by a "ghost hunter" who goes from mystery to mystery debunking tales of hauntings. I am about halfway through and liking it well enough, but it is not a match for Carnackie Ghost Finder where the author leaves open the possibility of true ghostly activity. Thus far, each mystery has an absolutely human solution. The stories are still enjoyable and well read. UPDATE: finished it up and want Another LibriVox (librivox.org) selection to help my busy workday along ... this is a series of stories told by a "ghost hunter" who goes from mystery to mystery debunking tales of hauntings. I am about halfway through and liking it well enough, but it is not a match for Carnackie Ghost Finder where the author leaves open the possibility of true ghostly activity. Thus far, each mystery has an absolutely human solution. The stories are still enjoyable and well read. UPDATE: finished it up and wanted to add that the last story is extremely gripping and exciting in a way that the previous stories weren't. Although I enjoyed them all, just the rest were more predictable since in the last 100 years we have heard a lot of those plot twists already.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Intriguing. Each chapters a different story. Each worth reading. Well read by J.M. Smallheer. (LibriVox version). Recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Whistlers Mom

    Who needs ghosts? Humans are scary enough. I read several of Meade's "Madame Sara" stories in anthologies and have been hoping to find more by her. I'm fascinated by the idea of a woman born in Ireland in 1844 who moved to London with the determination to become a writer. She certainly succeeded, with over 300 published books. Most were for children, but she wrote some wonderful mysteries, usually collaborating with one of two doctor/writers. Maybe she wanted help with medical details or maybe sh Who needs ghosts? Humans are scary enough. I read several of Meade's "Madame Sara" stories in anthologies and have been hoping to find more by her. I'm fascinated by the idea of a woman born in Ireland in 1844 who moved to London with the determination to become a writer. She certainly succeeded, with over 300 published books. Most were for children, but she wrote some wonderful mysteries, usually collaborating with one of two doctor/writers. Maybe she wanted help with medical details or maybe she felt having a man's name on her mysteries would make them more appealing. She was a shrewd marketer. This one appeared in 1898 and was co-authored by Robert Eustace. It contains six stories narrated by "ghost-hunter" John Bell. He's a wealthy man who investigates paranormal activity. Maybe he's found some real ghosts in the course of his career, but in these six stories human ingenuity and greed drive the plot. Although I've read a lot of Victorian mysteries, these are all new to me. Before the advent of epublishing, most work from that era was out of print and only a few of the very best were available in anthologies. I think it's a testament to Meade's talent that these very good stories aren't even considered to be her best. I couldn't really pick out a favorite of these stories. Bell is an excellent story-teller and a likeable man. It's interesting that I had pictured him as a young (or youngish) man and was surprised to find him giving advice to another character on the basis of being twice as old. Since the other man couldn't be less than thirty, apparently Bell is in his sixties. Highly unusual for a Victorian Era detective. The closing story ("To Prove an Alibi") uses a device that sounded very familiar to me. Wilkie Collins (the father of the Victorian mystery) used the idea in his story "A Terribly Strange Bed." I don't know when that one was published, but Collins died in 1889. Did Mrs. Meade and Dr. Eustace intentionally steal an idea from Collins? Epublishing is said to have set up fertile ground for literary theft, but maybe it's not a new phenomenon at all. The three authors involved are all long since with the angels, so I think we can enjoy their stories without any guilt.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Ferguson

    Does this remind anyone else of Johnathan Creek? It's similar, in that there's a man who debunks supernatural murders. Generally the villains are dab hands at engineering. One of these stars is for the good recording (Librivox). Does this remind anyone else of Johnathan Creek? It's similar, in that there's a man who debunks supernatural murders. Generally the villains are dab hands at engineering. One of these stars is for the good recording (Librivox).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    I was disappointed to realise that I'd come to the end of this book. I enjoyed the stories (despite them being heavily contrived) and the ghost-busting approach of John Bell. Entertaining and an enjoyable glimpse into the past. I was disappointed to realise that I'd come to the end of this book. I enjoyed the stories (despite them being heavily contrived) and the ghost-busting approach of John Bell. Entertaining and an enjoyable glimpse into the past.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Enjoyable obscurity, with a skeptical investigator going after "supernatural" occurances that always have scientific explanations. The science is usually pretty wobbly but inventively used. Available as a free download from the internet. Enjoyable obscurity, with a skeptical investigator going after "supernatural" occurances that always have scientific explanations. The science is usually pretty wobbly but inventively used. Available as a free download from the internet.

  8. 4 out of 5

    arg/machine

    A nice collection of... well, mysteries. In the public domain with a free electronic copy available here. A nice collection of... well, mysteries. In the public domain with a free electronic copy available here.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yibbie

    This is the only style of ghost story I like. They start out spooky and are finally solved by a super sleuth. Oh, he's a normal enough detective just super in the same manner as Holmes, Poirot, etc. This is a fun collection of puzzlers. This is the only style of ghost story I like. They start out spooky and are finally solved by a super sleuth. Oh, he's a normal enough detective just super in the same manner as Holmes, Poirot, etc. This is a fun collection of puzzlers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marts (Thinker)

    A collection of exciting classic mystery short stories... John Bell solves some of the most unusual mysteries, discovering the secrets of haunted houses and other occurrances of unknown entities...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sem

    There's not a shred of mystery about any of these stories. There's not a shred of mystery about any of these stories.

  12. 4 out of 5

    James

    Some nice mysteries.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Scientific, if simple explanations to so-called ghost stories. It was entertaining and a librivox free audio. I enjoyed listeneing to this on my daily walks.

  14. 4 out of 5

    The Docta

    I read the Mystery at Felwyn Tunnel

  15. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Margarita Emerson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Frank Miller

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lexxnet

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  20. 5 out of 5

    Craig Pursell

  21. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  23. 4 out of 5

    Yesenia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Ruppel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather Wade

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kaiser

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carl

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  30. 4 out of 5

    Id Davidovich

  31. 5 out of 5

    Becky

  32. 4 out of 5

    Stephan Köhler

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  34. 4 out of 5

    Hippystick

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ema R

  36. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

  37. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Fontana

  38. 5 out of 5

    Vira

  39. 4 out of 5

    Beiwei23

  40. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Ellis

  41. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  42. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

  43. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  44. 4 out of 5

    Malak

  45. 5 out of 5

    Gary Vassallo

  46. 4 out of 5

    semsma

  47. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Joosten

  48. 4 out of 5

    Thefuninfuneral

  49. 4 out of 5

    Cardinal

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