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The Man from Tibet: A Theocritus Lucius Westborough Mystery (Anglais) Broché – janvier 1998


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Book by Clason Clyde B Clayson Clyde B

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x963112d0) étoiles sur 5 2 commentaires
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x961da6d8) étoiles sur 5 Mystical Lore in the Service of a "Perfect" Murder 12 avril 2000
Par E. T. Veal - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In unskilled literary hands, a stolen Tibetan manuscript would be no more than a macguffin, the monk who seeks to recover it a stereotyped Oriental and the exotic background of lamaistic Buddhism a mere swatch of distracting "color". What makes this "fair play" detective novel exceptional - well worth reading six decades after its original publication - is its use of all of these elements as integral parts of an expertly constructed story.
Clason's detective, Prof. Theocritus Lucius Westborough, is perfectly matched to this case. A fussy, unworldly scholar - when we first meet him, he is correcting proofs of his new monograph and puzzling over the publisher's decision to title it "Heliogabalus: Rome's Most Degenerate Emperor" - he is believably capable of tackling the mystical teachings of an Eighth Century sage and discerning their role in a Twentieth Century murder. In a more mundane setting, he might be a bit of a caricature; here, he shines.
The central plot is strong enough to withstand weaknesses of a kind not unexpected in a genre novel of its era. Westborough's police detective friend is more than a bit of a caricature. An insipid romantic subplot serves no apparent purpose except to give the one young female among the dramatis personae something to do. The mechanism by which the foul deed is carried out makes Rube Goldberg look like a master of simplicity. And the ending comes abruptly as soon as the murderer is unmasked, leaving the reader to wonder (it is a tribute to the book's qualities that the reader does wonder) what afterwards befell the lama Tsongpun Bonbo and the alluring but dangerous writings of Padma Sambhava.
Clason wrote half a dozen other detective novels before abandoning the field to concentrate primarily on nonfiction. According to the publisher's afterword, he has continued to hold a high reputation among a very small segment of mystery readership. On the evidence of "The Man from Tibet", that segment deserves speedy enlargement.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x961da99c) étoiles sur 5 Exotic locked room mystery of 1938 8 février 2013
Par Patto - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Clyde B. Clason was a master of the classic locked room mystery. He carefully followed the rules of "fair detection" advocated by his contemporary crime writers, so the reader has a fair chance to guess whodunit.

Clason liked doing research, and The Man from Tibet is enthusiastically researched. This novel abounds in descriptions of wrathful Buddhist images and their exotic iconography. There's also a gripping story within the story of an American who slips across the border of Tibet (much like Alexandra David Néel), with wonderful descriptions of desolate Tibetan landscapes.

Readers in1938, when this book was published, must have been fascinated. At the time Tibet was closed to foreigners, the literature on Tibet was very limited, and Tibetan religion was a mystery. I enjoyed this view from 1938 of the mysteries of Tibet. And I was charmed by Clason's scholarly amateur detective.

Professor Westborough is an elderly historian who's "deeply interested in the history of all races." His logical mind, subtle powers of observation and encyclopedic knowledge make him a great help to the official detective, the brash Lieutenant Mack.

The plot centers on an ancient Tibetan manuscript of magic incantations by Padmasambhava - demon-destroyer, sorcerer, and transmitter of tantra to Tibet. It's stolen from a lama, bought by a millionaire collector in Chicago.

There are actually two men from Tibet in the story, a rebel priest turned servant to the millionaire and a high lama from Tibet who's in search of the stolen manuscript. A variety of other characters circulate in the household of the millionaire and provide us with lots of suspects, when murder is done.

The plot is engaging and clever, and the exotic ambience a definite plus. I also got a kick out of Lieutenant Mack's thirties slang.

Any lover of vintage mysteries should enjoy this book. As Mack says, "I'll bet forty donuts on it!"
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x962eeb10) étoiles sur 5 Classic from Mystery's "Golden Age" 24 juin 2011
Par Hong Kong Phooey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Admittedly, this was my first venture into the writings of Clyde Clason, a master of the mystery genre from the 1930's and 40's. His detective, Theocritus Lucius Westborough, has often been compared to S.S. Van Dine's Philo Vance. Although both are intellectuals, the comparison was somewhat lost on me. While Vance is a snobbish, almost effeminate intellectual, Westborough is more professorial and self-effacing. The plot of The Man from Tibet is somewhat simplistic, but the solution is anything but. A priceless, stolen Tibetian manuscript is sold to Adam Merriweather and then both he and the manuscript's seller are promptly murdered. Whodunnit? The ungrateful son, the famous brother, the visiting Tibetian Holy Man, the suspicious manservant, or was it someone else? Professor Westborough succeeds in embedding himself into the Merriweather household and uses his deductive reasoning to uncover the solution. An outlandish solution, but one that was fun and unbelievable (which made it even more endearing if that makes sense). The book is somewhat wordy and tangential in places (again evoking comparisons to Van Dine) but is worth the humdrum. As I said, this was my first Clason, but it won't be my last.
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