Cops and Robbers

Posted on September 1, 2021 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, mystery, News | Comments: Comments Off on Cops and Robbers

These days, summer is on the way out and we’re on the way back to work. Every day, criminals and detectives work against each other on different sides of the law. Let’s look at both sides with 10 gems from our catalogue.

A great and very bloody start is the German saga Das Nibelungenlied. It tells the story of Siegfried the dragon slayer who is murdered because of jealousy. His wife Kriemhild swears revenge, no matter the cost… This translation into modern German is by Karl Simrock. We also have this book in English and in Spanish.

If Cesare Lambroso had lived then, what would he have thought about the case? The Italian criminologist looks into Crime, its Causes and Remedies and in the end questions the real value of prisons.

As far as Karl Lomnitz is concerned, his jail time was not very effective. Despite his best intentions, his criminal past soon catches up with him. In Falsches Geld by Arthur Zapp we follow the police as they try to find evidence to arrest him again.

Criminal Investigation as a science is a relatively new field. The Austrian criminal jurist Hans Gross was a pioneer in defining rules for police officers and best practices to gather evidence.

What if there is plenty of evidence, but you can’t see it? Ernest Bramah created the world’s first blind detective, who nevertheless blows the criminals – and the competition – out of the water. Read 4 Max Carrados Detective Stories and judge for yourself.

Judgement was swift in the case of Dick Brewster, who is accused of murder. But his aunt Sarah – Alias Miss Sherlock – is ready to take matters into her own hands in the energetic play by Arthur L. Tubbs.

And so did Lizzy Borden – or did she? In 1892, her father and stepmother were killed and Lizzy was suspect #1. But she was aquitted in a spectacular trial. Read all about The Fall River Tragedy in the book by police reporter Edwin H. Porter.

Writing about crime surely is exciting, but it doesn’t pay much. Such is the realisation of a young novelist, who decides to put his knowledge to use and become Anthony Trent, Master Criminal. Wyndham Martyn’s novel tells what happens next.

What happened before is the topic of Les Confidences d’Arsène Lupin. Maurice Leblanc shares nine episodes from the life of the famous gentleman thief from Paris. We also have this book in an English translation.

What happened is clear: A teenage girl was shot with an arrow. But why? And by whom? And what is the victim’s family hiding? Detective Mr. Gryce tries to solve The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow in another masterful novel by Anna Katharine Green.

Enjoy – and stay good!


Mysterious March

Posted on February 28, 2011 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Monthly Picks, mystery, News | Comments: 3 Comments on Mysterious March

March 2nd is National Reading Day in the US. A perfect excuse – as if we needed any – to present 10 old and new gems from our mysterious catalog.

Let’s start by celebrating World Math’s Day on the first Wednesday in March. Henri Poincaré explains logic and mathematics in his book Science and Hypothesis quite plainly and without seven seals.

Sealed, however, is the room in which Miss Stangerson is found, heavily injured. Detective Rouletabille tries to solve the Mystery of the Yellow Room: How did the attacker leave – after locking the room from the inside? This novel by Gaston Leroux is also available in French.

Let’s change colors: The world is clad in green on March 17, and maybe there is some quiet time in the parades to listen to the Collected Works of Saint Patrick. After all, he’s the reason for the party!

One more celebration to have a round number: 175 years of Colt revolvers! That’s a great occasion to read 32 Caliber by Donald McGibney, where a lawyer turns detective when an accident first becomes suspicious and finally turns out to be murder.

Parties, cenotaphs, quiet streets,… all of them can be found in The Farmer’s Bride, poems that run the spectrum from loss and sorrow to love tinged with urgency by Charlotte Mew. It is very sad that she chose to end her talented life on March 24, 1928.

Death is the boundary we can only cross once, so the Return of Sherlock Holmes causes quite some unrest – mainly among criminals, of course. Read 13 stories about the master sleuth by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – the master of mysteries.

The mystery that demands a solution in The Crevice by William J. Burns and Isabel Ostrander is where all the money of Pennington Lawton disappeared with his death. And, of course, finding out whether it was really a heart attack or cold blooded murder.

No such doubts exist regarding the end of Julius Caesar in the Ides of March 44 BC. The deed was first considered a public service and the murderers heroes. Find out what turned the public opinion around in our production of Shakespeare’s classic drama.

Equally clear is the culprit when an old man is found dead at his desk: it must have been one of the daughters. Both assure their innocence, but why then do they refuse to help solving The Leavenworth Case in any way? Follow the twists of Anna Katharine Green’s excellent murder-mystery to the final solution.

Not solved any time soon will be the one mystery that has puzzled and fascinated mankind for generations: “Are we alone in the universe?” Edward J. Ruppelt, Air Force officer, puts together the facts of 4 years in The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. Find out for yourself in which direction the evidence points – and whether it’s convincing…

Enjoy – and sharpen your logic skills!


Our Readers’ Favourites – Old and New

Posted on March 18, 2010 by | Posted in For Volunteers, mystery, News, Uncategorized, Weekly Picks | Comments: 37 Comments on Our Readers’ Favourites – Old and New

Here are some suggestions from the heart of our LibriVox community – audio books which have given our readers particular pleasure to listen to.

We have three versions of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in our catalogue, with two more recordings in progress. It is clearly a book which many readers want to record. Our first version, which was a collaborative project with over a dozen different readers, was released only 6 months after LibriVox started, and is still one of our most popular downloads.

John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps has been adapted for several films and television productions, but in a member’s view none measure up to the original book. Here we offer you Adrian Praetzellis’ recording. As a reviewer says: “His voice characterisations were first class…

All you mathematicians out there will know that it was Pi Day on March 14th, but have you heard our ground-breaking The First Fifty Digits of Pi? A true feast – the first 50 digits served up by 56 readers each to his/her own recipe.

March 14th was also the birthday of Albert Einstein, and you can hear an introduction to Einstein’s space-bending, time-stretching theory of Relativity, written by the master himself at Relativity: The Special and General Theory.

If that is rather heavy fare, how about a light snack of short stories? The Parenticide Club by Ambrose Bierce, read by Peter Yearsley, consists of four grotesque short stories about murder within the family.

Not to be missed is The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer, superbly read by Elaine Tweddle.

Also highly recommended is J. M. Smallheer’s reading of a top ten bestseller of 1906, The House of a Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson. If you like mystery, adventure and romance, you will love this.

If you prefer science fiction, The Door Through Space, an early work of Marion Zimmer Bradley, may be to your taste. When the door swings open, erstwhile Terran Intelligence agent Race Cargill finds himself facing a plot designed to destroy the Terran Empire. Read by Christie Nowak and Clive Catterall.

Notable for its vivid descriptions of the eponymous hero (no mean feat!) The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells is a classic of science fiction. This version from 2006 is read by Alex Foster.

H. P. Lovecraft lists among his greatest influences works by William Hope Hodgson including The House on the Borderland. This recording, by Alan Winterrowd, has been highly recommended by aficionados of the horror and fantasy genres.

And for a little bonne bouche at the end of this banquet of fine things, here is some delicious poetry: Selected Poems by Christina & Dante Gabriel Rossetti, read for you by Leonard Wilson.

All previous listening suggestions may also be found on the Recommended Listening List in the LibriVox Wiki.

If you have a favourite recording you would like me to include next time, feel free to leave a comment here or visit us on this forum thread What are your favourite recordings? and tell us about it.


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