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This irascible genius, this diminutive egghead scientist, known to the world as “The Thinking Machine,” is no less than the newly rediscovered literary link between Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolfe: Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, who—with only the power of ratiocination—unravels problems of outrageous criminous activity in dazzlingly impossible settings. He can escape from the inescapable death-row “Cell 13.” He can fathom why the young woman chopped off her own finger. He can solve the anomaly of the phone that could not speak. These twenty-three Edwardian-era adventures prove (as The Thinking Machine reiterates) that “two and two make four, not sometimes, but all the time.”

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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