Sunday, November 29, 2015

Review: The Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace

by Mary

Assistant Commissioner of Police T. X. Meredith, a man of unorthodox though successful methods of detection and best friend of mystery writer John Lexman, has been investigating Remington Kara, an extremely rich Greek with something of a turbulent history and a former suitor for the hand of Lexman's wife.

Kara was almost murdered years ago, and such is his fear of another attempt being made his bedroom is “practically a safe.” It features burglar-proof walls, reinforced concrete roof and floor, an unreachable window, and its sole door has in addition to a lock “a sort of steel latch which he lets down when he retires for the night and which he opens himself personally in the morning”.

Of course Kara is eventually found dead, locked in this safe-like room. How was Kara’s murder accomplished, why did his secretary disappear and his manservant run away, and for that matter who killed the dog in the basement of his house? Was Kara killed by the men he has feared for years or someone else, and if so, who was it and why?

Answers to these conundrums are revealed at a gathering at the end of the book in which All Is Explained, including how the challenge presented by the locked room was overcome.

My verdict: On the negative side I felt there were perhaps one too many coincidences and the identity of the murderer was not as well hidden as it might have been. On the other hand, the locked room explanation is ingenious, clues to how it was accomplished are revealed in a fair fashion in the narrative, and I confess I did not foresee one of the final twists. I would sum it up as a diverting, light read.

Etext: The Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace


  1. I love detective stories where a Greek is included - ever since I read A. Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter"! I have to confess, though, that in all my life I never came across a Greek whose first name was Remington. The closest thing I can think of is one called Edison...

  2. I read this when I was about thirteen - quite a good age for it, really! Thanks for reminding me of a fun book from the distant past.