Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung
Narrator: David Rintoul
Series: A. J. Raffles #1
Published by Creative Content Ltd on November 30, 2013 (first published 1898)
Source: Library
Genres: Crime Fiction
Length: 5 hrs 3 mins
Pages: 240
Format: Audiobook
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Gentleman thief Raffles is daring, debonair, devilishly handsome-and a first-rate cricketer. In these eight stories, the master burglar indulges his passion for cricket and crime: stealing jewels from a country house, outwitting the law, pilfering from the nouveau riche, and, of course, bowling like a demon-all with the assistance of his plucky sidekick, Bunny.

Encouraged by his brother-in-law, Arthur Conan Doyle, to write a series about a public school villain, and influenced by his own experiences at Uppingham, E. W. Hornung created a unique form of crime story, where, in stealing as in sport, it is playing the game that counts, and there is always honor among thieves.

I can’t remember what I was reading that mentioned Raffles, but clearly something put him on my to-read list. Raffles is a gentleman and a good cricket player. He’s also a charming jewel thief. His exploits are written up by, Bunny, his partner in crime who is never quite all in the know.

These are a fun collection of interrelated stories. Raffles is unrepentant but has a lack of seriousness that lets you root for him. The thefts are sometimes clever and Scotland Yard is mostly incompetent, of course.

About E. W. Hornung

Ernest William Hornung (7 June 1866 – 22 March 1921) was an English author and poet known for writing the A. J. Raffles series of stories about a gentleman thief in late 19th-century London. In addition to his novels and short stories, Hornung wrote some war verse, and a play based on the Raffles stories was produced successfully. He was much interested in cricket, and was “a man of large and generous nature, a delightful companion and conversationalist.”

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