The Master Mystery


Read by Roger Melin

(3.8 stars; 72 reviews)

While Harry Houdini didn't rise to fame as a screen actor, silent film makers of the day sought to capitalize on his fame. The Master Mystery was Houdini's first such attempt, and it was embraced by the viewing public, leading to other screen roles following.

The hero (or superhero) is Quentin Locke, scientist, agent of the U.S. Justice Department, and not surprisingly, an escape artist extraordinaire.

The Master Mystery follows agent Locke through many pitfalls, in true serial fashion, as he is tasked with uncovering a band of thugs and a peculiar metal robot (reportedly the first robot in film) with a brain, called an automaton, which has been robbing potential inventors of their patent rights.

All in good fun by today's standards, we find our hero escaping a straitjacket, a diver's suit, and an electric chair to name but a few, and of course winning the hand of the daughter of one of the industrialists along the way. (Summary by Roger Melin) (7 hr 51 min)

Chapters

Chapter 1 10:08 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 2 12:36 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 3 12:14 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 4 11:44 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 5 18:40 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 6 23:11 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 7 15:09 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 8 13:38 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 9 18:56 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 10 13:43 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 11 16:11 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 12 23:54 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 13 27:21 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 14 21:07 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 15 13:55 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 16 12:35 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 17 16:31 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 18 23:34 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 19 19:08 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 20 17:34 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 21 20:40 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 22 27:18 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 23 25:18 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 24 28:34 Read by Roger Melin
Chapter 25 28:19 Read by Roger Melin

Reviews

serial story


(4 stars)

to understand why there are so many action packed, almost comic book style drama, you must know that this was probably a newspaper serial, so every chapter had to contain action, peril, damsels in distress, heroes amazingly escaping by the skin of his teeth, etc. but, making literary allowances for these repetitious, sometimes fantastical and plentiful scenes, this is a really fun story to listen to, and it offers a glimpse into the development of science fiction and newspaper serials in the early part of the 20th century. Thanks to the reader, who does an exquisite job, as always.

The Master Mystery


(5 stars)

Well Read, Fun listen and recommended... Thanks!

great reader


(3 stars)

As mentioned, this is a serial story. repetition of drama in each chapter got to be too much. About halfway through the book I had to skip to the last two chapters. The ending was OK with predictable plot twists. Perhaps it would have been different if I had listened to a chapter each week but two chapters a day on my commute was a bit too much hoaky drama. As always, Roger was a great reader.

A Caricature of Serials


(2 stars)

I really enjoyed other works of Reeve, like "The Silent Bullet" here at IA http://www.archive.org/details/silent_bullet_1010_librivox which are clever crime mysteries, for the most part more believable IMHO than Sherlock Holmes. I enjoy Sherlock Holmes, but I think Holmes' sleuthing in general lies on the outskirts of fantasy. Having reread the description, I see it appears to be the basis for a Harry Houdini silent flick. That explains why the protagonist heads straight for every trap set for him, and gets tied up, locked up or ensnared two or three times in every chapter (okay, I exaggerate...), and against a thousand to one odds, (SURPRISE!!!) manages to extricate himself every time. There are so many ridiculous and unbelievable situations, that I shook my head and considered to stop listening, but I wanted to hear the solution and had to listen to the end. I can't recommend this story, but I enjoyed other stories by Reeve. This was co-written with John Grey, so maybe we can blame the shortcomings on him! Thanks to Mr Roger Melin for offering his talents! As always, he gives a great performance!

Oh dear......


(3 stars)

Roger Melin is the true master of this mystery. How he kept it together after reading "the girl swooned as the Automaton lurched ever closer as Quentin Locke is bound hand and foot and strapped into one slow-working death trap or another" (not an exact quote), in eVeRy SINgle CHaPter, is just beyond me. And my deepest apologies to every person of the Eastern hemisphere for every book written in this era by silly white people. OH Myyyyyyyyyy Just read the review by the person who explained that this book was probably published in a newspaper one chapter at a time. Each chapter had to end with a damsel in distress and a hero in peril. That explains so much. Picturing these hard-working people of the past waiting patiently for the next episode to be published makes me acutely embarrassed for binging entire series of shows on Netflix.

its a SERIAL


(4 stars)

This story keeps getting bad reviews, like that it has a lot of stupid situations, and they constantly get into new danger, but this is a serial. It was released every week along side the film, so they had to do that to keep people interested in the story. They only published one chapter a week. I've watched the film this goes with. An interesting story, especially seeing Houdini acting. parts of it are missing, so this book fills in the holes. I was very happy to find this. I would recommend it to anyone who can appreciate stories like this, with the counterpart film. I will say, to people not used to these stories, it will mostlikely seem weird and unnatural, but if you appreciate stories of this kind, you'll like this one.

its a SERIAL


(4 stars)

This story keeps getting bad reviews, like that it has a lot of stupid situations, and they constantly get into new danger, but this is a serial. It was released every week along side the film, so they had to do that to keep people interested in the story. They only published one chapter a week. I've watched the film this goes with. An interesting story, especially seeing Houdini acting. parts of it are missing, so this book fills in the holes. I was very happy to find this. I would recommend it to anyone who can appreciate stories like this, with the counterpart film. I will say, to people not used to these stories, it will mostlikely seem weird and unnatural, but if you appreciate stories of this kind, you'll like this one.

BACK AT THE SATURDAY MOVIES


(3.5 stars)

Reminiscent of the old Saturday serials. As others have commented, it was written in serialized form. Understanding that, the tale makes sense. I sincerely hope that Quentin is happy with Ava, but she has to be one of the most naive and capricious of women.