Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace

The Clue of the Twisted CandleThe Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When mystery writer, John Lexman, is convicted of murdering a dangerous moneylender, his best friend, T. X. Meredith of Scotland Yard believes his story that he didn’t do it and searches for the evidence that would free him from prison. But before news of his exoneration can reach him, John is helped to escape from his prison work crew and secretly spirited away by the mysterious Remington Kara, a despised acquaintance of John’s wife from before their marriage. John and his wife, Grace, disappear never to be seen or heard from.

As the years pass and no word comes from John, Kara who returned to London continues to live the high-life under the watchful eye of Scotland Yard. He has an unsavory reputation for blackmail, a shadowy involvement with the underbelly of society, and is in constant fear of death from those he wronged back in his native Albania. T. X. continues to wonder and worry about John and Grace and maintains his vigil for any sign of his old friends.

During his latest check-up on Kara at his home in town, T. X. encounters and is instantly attracted to the man’s new private secretary, Miss Holland. However, just like her boss, she is hiding secrets of her own. When Kara is found stabbed to death inside his locked and impregnable bedroom and both Miss Holland and the manservant go missing, T. X. is compelled to investigate.

Although originally published in 1918, this locked-room mystery was still entertaining after over 100 years. The plot is solid and the dialogue surprisingly crisp and modern. T. X. is charming and capable and quite delightful as he falls for Miss Holland who is a feisty, competent young woman, and probably the most surprising character in the entire story considering the times.

I recommend The Clue of the Twisted Candle to mystery readers that enjoy a vintage feel and the locked-room device, in general.

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