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The Sign of Silence

William Le Queux

Book Overview: 

Edward Royle is the head of a well-known chemical manufacturer in England, which he has inherited. He is engaged to the daughter of his father’s former partner, Phrida Shand, who lives with her mother. One night he is asked by his friend, Sir Digby Kemsley – a very famous railroad engineer, to come to his flat to discuss something although Kemsley is quite mysterious on the telephone. Royle visits, then returns home only to be summoned again by Kemsley, this time imploring him to return at once. Royle finds a gentleman in Kemsley’s place who is clearly not Kemsley, or is he? Kemsley asks Royle to trust him but that night, a young woman is murdered at Kemsley’s flat. Kemsley has disappeared. Royle discovers that his fiancé was in Kemsley’s flat at the time of the murder and is obviously hiding something. Once again, Le Queux takes us through a maze of intrigue and locations in Europe.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .And then my well-beloved rang off.

When I got down to Cromwell Road just before four o'clock, the darkness had not lifted.

My feelings as I passed along the big, old-fashioned hall and up the thickly-carpeted stairs to the[Pg 65] drawing-room were mixed ones of doubt, and yet of deep affection.

Ah, I loved Phrida—loved her better than my own life—and yet——?

Fresh in my memory was the doctor's evidence that the crime in Harrington Gardens had been committed with a thin, triangular knife—a knife such as that I had often seen lying upon the old-fashioned, walnut what-not in the corner of the room I was just about to enter. I had known it lying in the same place for years.

Was it still there?

Purposely, because I felt that it could no longer be there, I had refrained from calling upon my love, and now, when I paused and turned the handle of the drawing-room door, I hardly dared to cast m. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I really enjoy murder mysteries. But the modern day versions are usually to to violent,(real graphic) & have horrible language. So I have recently found authors & books from eariler days. Like William LeQueux who wrote from 1895 to 1930s.. I have read 2 of his books so far & they are...more

I quite enjoyed this book but it was all a bit far fetched and daft. I don't think there was any way the reader could have figured out what it was all about. Quite nicely written although the language was very dated even for its period.

back when i bought this, thought it was an educational sign language book judging by a few reviews i came across. infact it is a mystery story publish around 1917. was amusing, fast paced, so intriguing you dont want to put it down. kind of reminded me of dark shadows tv/movie soap opra mystery....more

It all starts with the mysterious disappearance of Sir Digby Kemsley and a murdered woman. Or was it really Sir Digby who disappeared? His friend, Mr. Royle, starts to investigate and the more he does the more he fears the involvement of his betrothed. He continues to figure out the case with the...more

It was a decent murder mystery for the period. It definitely was written in the style of the late 1800's. So, if you aren't a fan of formal language and social norms of the time, you might find it a bit tedious.