A high society costume gala becomes the scene of a dramatic robbery at gunpoint when a man done up as a masked burglar brandishes a loaded revolver, then makes off in a fast car with his haul and a beautiful accomplice in tow. The man had simply walked in with an invitation and chatted amiably with the other guests. But as all the evidence points to two upstanding members of society, the motive for the crime proves elusive to the police. It falls to the reporter Hatch and the legendary detective Professor S.F.X. Van Dusen—better known as "The Thinking Machine"—to bring the criminals to justice. This 1906 novel was the first to feature the arrogant, cocaine-taking, eggheaded sleuth created by reporter, dramatist, and mystery writer Jacques Futrelle, who was last seen in the company of John Jacob Astor IV as the Titanic went down.
"At long last, [the book] has been ... reprinted as a paperback by Hesperus Press.... It's still a gorgeous yarn."—Virginian-Pilot