The Club of Queer Trades by G. K. Chesterton
A collection of related short stories by British author G. K. Chesterton. Each story is centered on a person who is making his living by some novel and extraordinary means (a "queer trade"). To gain admittance to the Club, one must have a unique queer trade as principal source of income. "Cherub" Swinburne describes his quest for The Club of Queer Trades with his friend Basil Grant, a retired judge, and Rupert Grant, a private detective who is Basil's younger brother. Each of the stories describes their encounter with one of the trades. In the final story, Rupert Grant rescues a lady from her kidnappers but cannot understand why she refuses to be rescued. The answer leads to the unveiling of the mystery of The Club of Queer Trades.
First published by Harper & Brothers, London, 1905.