As I wrote earlier, I was going to read Bramah and Sheckley over Christmas, which I have. I also suggested that Bramah’s Kai Lung may have influenced Terry Pratchett; but I read a book from that other series of Ernest Bramah, so I won’t be able to compare the authors. Yet.
Max Carrados is yet another soldier in that large army of super-detectives that was so popular during the late 19th and early 20th century: Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, Hercule Poirot, The Thinking Machine, Bill Clifford, and of course the granddaddy of them all, Dupin.
The four Carrados stories are neither better nor worse than their contemporaries. If anything, the story type is starting to grate a little. Still, great escapist stuff.
Max Carrados is, like Poirot and Holmes claim to be, a consulting detective. They listen to your story, and then, solely based on what you told them, the mud on the gold watch you inherited from your father and the fact that the queen’s stable boy has a cold, solve your “case” using nothing but deduction. Carrados is “aided,” so to speak, by his losing sight in his younger years, sharpening his deductive facilities. (Father Brown’s deductive facilities are aided by extreme bigotry.)
Ernest Bramah, Four Max Carrados Detective Stories, 6/10.
(Bill Clifford, by the way, is like Sherlock Holmes a parody of these types of detectives, written by Dutchman Godfried Bomans, and unfortunately won’t return to the public domain for a long time to come.)