"The first and greatest of the armchair detectives!", raves Ellery Queen!
Here is a mystery classic by the creator of the Scarlet Pimpernel—complete with all eight charming period illustrations from the 1909 first edition!
"The nameless Old Man in the Corner is able to solve complex cases without leaving his chair in a London tea shop. Polly Burton, a young reporter for the Evening Observer, brings details of apparently insoluble cases to him, and he uses his deductive powers and giant intellect to unravel them, nervously tying and untying complicated knots in a piece of string as he talks. He claims, 'There is no such thing as a mystery in connection with any crime, provided intelligence is brought to bear upon its investigation.' He solves the most baffling crimes with ease, but only when 'it resembles a clever game of chess, with many intricate moves which all tend to one solution.' Unlike most detectives, he is usually sympathetic toward the criminal; his attitude may be explained by the denouement of the last story in the volume, 'The Mysterious Death in Percy Street,' in which the anonymous Old Man attributes the murder to 'one of the most ingenious men of the age, who will never be caught,' thereby pointing a strong finger of suspicion at himself." (The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection)