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Richard Austin Freeman

Dr. Richard Austin Freeman was a British writer of detective stories, mostly featuring the medico-legal forensic investigator Dr. Thorndyke. He invented the inverted detective story (a crime fiction in which the commission of the crime is described at the beginning, usually including the identity of the perpetrator, with the story then describing the detective's attempt to solve the mystery). This invention has been described as Freeman's most noticeable contribution to detective fiction. Freeman used some of his early experiences as a colonial surgeon in his novels. Many of the Dr. Thorndyke stories involve genuine, but sometimes arcane, points of scientific knowledge, from areas such as tropical medicine, metallurgy and toxicology.