"No work of Mr. Boothby's seems to us to have approached in skill his new story." --The Yorkshire Post.
he point of retiring for the night, when two men suddenly made their appearance before him, and accosted him by name. He immediately sprang to his feet with a cry of welcome.
"I had made up my mind that you were not coming," he said as they shook hands.
"The old tub didn't get in until a quarter to nine," the taller of the two new-comers replied. "When did you arrive?"
"This afternoon," said Hayle, and for a moment volunteered no further information. A good poker-player is always careful not to show his hand.
"I suppose this place is not full?" inquired the man who had last spoken.
"Full?" asked Hayle scornfully. "It's full of cockroaches and mildew, if that's what you mean?"
"The best company we could possibly have," said the taller man. "Cockroaches and blackbeetles don't talk and they don't listen at keyholes. What's more, if they trouble you, you can put your heel on them. Now let's see the landlord and see what he's got to offer us in the way of rooms. We don't w
Not a bad story at all, if the reader is able to accept the brilliant detective being out-witted again and again by the criminal, and never quite catching up. Without all the failures and near escapes, of course, it wouldn't have needed nearly so many pages to complete, nor could the romance have succeeded.
Please excuse my mild cynicism.
Quite reminiscent of A Study In Scarlet , which it was co-published with, the first one-third is the introduction. Then begins the Preface.
An interesting insight into very late Victorian serial fiction, if nothing else. BUT -- Not a bad read.
The detective has to solve the crime, of which the reader knows all, due to the introduction. His love interest is introduced and the plot becomes a case of which criminal shall out in the end.