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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
200 pages
Sep 2005
Journey Forth

Professor Van Dusen: The Thinking Machine

by Jacques Futrelle

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Can logic solve any problem? Professor Van Dusen thinks so. In this collection of stories, he sets out to prove the infallibility of logic in some most extraordinary ways.

Each story features the classic elements of an apparently unsolvable problem. Yet, Professor Van Dusen remains calm and collected as he puts his thinking skills to work. Readers will enjoy the variety of dilemmas he encounters, and will marvel at the solutions! Whether he is finding something that is stolen or escaping from a prison cell, each tale takes some unexpected turns before arriving at a perfectly logical conclusion.

The journey of this book from the author to its current publication is just as interesting as the stories. Jacques Futrelle developed the character of Van Dusen, “The Thinking Machine,” during the early 1900’s. Many of these stories appeared in serial form in magazines. In 1912, Futrelle traveled to Europe to seek a wider audience for his work. His return trip to America was on board the Titanic. Although Futrelle perished, these wonderful tales remain available for today’s readers.

The target audience is young adult, but anyone who loves a good mystery will enjoy this book. The writing is clear and direct, and the predicaments are cleverly constructed. Each story features a different set of circumstances, but all have the principle of logic at its center. The character of Professor Van Dusen is both annoyingly ill-tempered and amazingly intelligent. This unique combination creates a different type of hero, but one that will certainly gain the admiration of readers. -- Joyce Handzo, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

With his determined, often impatient, and self-absorbed persona, Professor Van Dusen, a.k.a. The Thinking Machine, insists that “Logic will solve any problem—not most of them, but any problem.”

In this collection of ten stories, he more than proves his assertion. Whether he is playing his very first game of chess ever and beating a world champion, or cracking a coded message to prevent a high-stakes jewelry heist, or retrieving a stolen painting from a wholly unsuspected house guest, the escapades of The Thinking Machine provide a splendid romp for all lovers of traditional mysteries.