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The Black Box

E. Phillips Oppenheim

Book Overview: 

Sanford Quest, the master criminologist of the world, attempts to bring to justice the murderer of Lord Ashleigh's daughter. But he soon discovers that he has just entered a life-and-death struggle with a mysterious master criminal.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Even as he spoke, it disappeared. Quest took out the little gate opening apparatus from his pocket.

“We’ve got to get inside there, Lenora,” he announced, stepping forward.

She followed him silently. A few turns of the wrist and the door yielded. Keeping Lenora a little behind him, Quest gazed around eagerly. Exactly in front of him, clad only in a loin cloth, with hunched-up shoulders, a necklace around his neck, with blazing eyes and ugly gleaming teeth, crouched some unrecognisable creature, human yet inhuman, a monkey and yet a man. There were a couple of monkeys swinging by their tails from a bar, and a leopard chained to a staple in the ground, walking round and round in the far corner, snapping and snarling every time he glanced towards the new-comers. The creature in front of him stretched out a hairy hand towards a club, and gripped it. Quest drew a long breath. His eyes were set hard.

“Drop that club,” he orde. . . Read More

Community Reviews


Totally far fetched adventure story from early last century, with evil foreign characters around the world

For a master detective, Sanford Quest isn't great at his job.

It was an interesting book but quite different from any other book that I have read by E. Philips Oppenheim.
It reminded me in some ways of a Jules Verne book. It was science fiction. The lead character was able to do some
impossible things like reading people's minds and making them do things by the

This story is really daft but I'm a little embarrassed to say that I quite enjoyed it. Virtually nothing in it could have happened in real life and it was fairly obvious from the off who was the villain.

Sanford Quest, the detective, is just too good to be true and was way ahead of his time. He had