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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ss the little table in her direction.

"Try one of these, Margaret," he said. "They are great, and will quite drown the unpleasant odor of which you complain."

Whereupon the observant Seton saw a quick change take place in the girl's expression. She had the same clear coloring as her cousin, and now this freshness deserted her cheeks, and her pretty face became quite pale. She was staring at the brown packet. "Where did you get them?" she asked quietly.

A smile faded from Gray's lips. Those five words had translated him in spirit to that green-draped room in which Sir Lucien Pyne was lying dead. He glanced at Seton in the appealing way which sometimes made him appear so boyish.

"Er—from Pyne," he replied. "I must tell you, Margaret—"

"Sir Lucien Pyne?" she interrupted.

"Yes."

"Not from Rita Irvin?"

Quentin Gray started upright in his chair.

"No! But why do you. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Rohmer's account of the girls descent into drug addiction that makes up the books second section is surprisingly truthful for the times and for Rohmer. However the book in it's last half is more typical of Rohmer as the police chase down yet another villainous Chinaman, although Rohmer has to gai...more

guilty pleasure ;)

1910 novel of British upper class, opium dens and murder. (This author wrote all the Dr. Fu Manchu books.) Fun froth.

(First read Jan 2012]

the racism can be tough to stomach. and I imagine many people would have no reason or wish to do so! I like crime/adventure stories like this, and in a few ways Rohmer is pretty good at it. I love the sense of place in all the locations near or on the river. and the fog.

Interesting history but not very well written.

The first appearance of New Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Red Kerry, a two-fisted policeman in post WWI London. A minor Lord is killed and a rich socialite is missing, and they are both tied to the enigmatic Kazmah the Dream Reader, who has also disappeared. Kerry scours London of 1919 looking fo...more

A better read than the Fu Manchu series in that this story was considerably more plausible. The beautiful people turn out to be not so beautiful after all. I would say that this could apply to today, but there isn't even an attempt to conceal anything now.

cons: Most overused word: Savagely. And...more

From a literary point of view, this is most certainly no master piece. It's a sensationalist "mystery", not very well executed, and full of the absolutely worst kinds of stereotypical and xenophobic character depictions (remember, this IS a book by Sax Rohmer). But as a source on the contemporary...more

There are lots of things wrong with this story, but there is a fun bit of mystery to be had in the end.

It's set in London, roughly a century ago. The main characters are society types who are mixed up with drugs and a fierce cop who is trying to get to the bottom of the matter.

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