This novella was written in 1901. Davis was a popular American writer of fiction at the turn of the century. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1864. He led quite an adventurous life after being asked to leave both Lehigh and John Hopkins Universities for neglecting his studies in favor of his social life! He became a war journalist, helped Teddy Roosevelt get elected, was arrested in Germany for spying and in between all that he wrote fiction! Go here to read about his life.
Five men have gathered at an exclusive men’s club in London. In order to keep Sir Andrew from getting to parliament and making a speech endorsing a military expenditure they are against they begin telling a ‘true’ tale of murder and mystery that Scotland Yard is currently working on. Sir Andrew is a mystery buff and can’t resist the tale. It’s a sort of Round Robin tale with each man providing a piece of the puzzle.
The setting is quite creepy, a foggy night in London. The fog is so thick you can’t see your hand in front of you. In the tale the American fellow gets turned around in the fog and doesn’t know where he is. He sees a door open and the light shining out and makes his way to it to ask for help. As he is standing there a young gentleman rushes out past him leaving the door open. He goes in and finds two murdered bodies.
The story moves at a good pace, keeps your interest and ends with a very enjoyable twist. There were very nice pencil sketch drawings throughout the book too. Good story for a cold, wet night!
I also read ‘The Clue of the Twisted Candle‘ by Edgar Wallace
and ‘The House by the Church Yard‘ by Joseph Le Fanu this last week.
No report on those though. I didn’t really care for either one.