- first published 1915
- first book in the Gaston Max series
- source/format: Amazon, Kindle
- Crime Fiction of the Year Challenge @ Past Offences
An illusive Chinese mastermind and his henchman have already killed one socialite and they hold a mysterious sway over many of London's elite. What is the secret of their power? Follow the trail with Sax Rohmer's famous detectives Gaston Max and Inspector Dunbar as they chase the international gang of hoodlums and their leader, the evil Dr. King.
This novel has an antiquarian almost "penny dreadful" feel about it. Gaston Max is a renowned French detective who has come to London on the trail of a Chinese syndicate who are setting up opium dens around the world. They have snared would be socialites and people who have acquired the opium habit while on diplomatic service in China. The French Surete has established that a considerable sum of money has come into the Paris opium den through a bank cheque drawn on the account of Henry Leroux, in whose London flat a woman has died.
It is also a book for the 2015 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge.
My rating: 4.0
About the author (1883-1959)
Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward, better known as Sax Rohmer, was a prolific English novelist. He is most remembered for his series of novels featuring the master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu. Born in Birmingham he had an entirely working class education and early career before beginning to write. His first published work was in 1903, the short story The Mysterious Mummy for Pearson's Weekly. He made his early living writing comedy sketches for music hall performers and short stories and serials for magazines.
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