The Beetle

A Mystery

Cover image for


Author: Richard Marsh (Richard Bernard Heldman)
Published: 1897
Language: English
Wordcount: 114,983 / 316 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 83.4
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 8,697 4734

A fantastic creature, "born of neither god nor man," hypnotic and supernatural, stalks British politician Paul Lessingham through turn-of-the-century London. A classic tale of supernatural horror.

Show Excerpt

ouse was empty; nay, probably. It was my plain duty to knock at the door, rouse the inmates, and call attention to their oversight,--the open window. The least they could do would be to reward me for my pains. But, suppose the place was empty, what would be the use of knocking? It would be to make a useless clatter. Possibly to disturb the neighbourhood, for nothing. And, even if the people were at home, I might go unrewarded. I had learned, in a hard school, the world's ingratitude. To have caused the window to be closed--the inviting window, the tempting window, the convenient window!--and then to be no better for it after all, but still to be penniless, hopeless, hungry, out in the cold and the rain--better anything than that. In such a situation, too late, I should say to myself that mine had been the conduct of a fool. And I should say it justly too. To be sure.

Leaning over the low wall I found that I could very easily put my hand inside the room. How warm it was in there! I could feel the differ


Average Rating of 3.7 from 3 reviews: ****
Paulo Respighi

A novel that does for insect-haters what Dracula did for bat-haters. The episodes with the Beetle are quite creepy. Unfortunately, s/he doesn't pop up that often; most of the novel is upper-class English people discussing what is going on, and a formal Ball or two. I'm not awfully sympathetic to the rich British or the plight of politicians, so at times I was hoping the villain would hurry and mix things up a bit. The chase across London was good. The women characters appealed to me more than any of the men. The interminable cultivated English conversations made the book drag.


This old horror novel holds up pretty well. It was published in the same year as Bram Stoker's Dracula and was more popular in its day. A British politician is being stalked by a weird man/woman/beetle creature. The story is told from several different points of view. There is a strong heroine character. It is quite readable and moves along well. It's a pretty good book, but the ending is disappointing. Recommended nonetheless.


This is a novel somewhat in the vein of The Hound of the Baskervilles. There are a number of narrators each of whom describes events from their personal viewpoint. It is a precursor of the giant monster movie genre of the 1950's, with a touch of the mystic East/Yellow Peril works from the first part of the last century. A goood read, but had the potential to be a great read. The resolution seems to leave room for sequels.

(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for The Beetle by Richard Marsh - Free eBook

Rise of The Iron Eagle

The Iron Eagle Series Book 1
Roy A. Teel Jr.

Is The Iron Eagle a psychotic serial killer?Read more

Cover image for The Beetle by Richard Marsh - Free eBook


True Alpha 1
Alisa Woods

Shifters in Seattle Desired (True Alpha 1) Ne... Read more

Cover image for The Beetle by Richard Marsh - Free eBook

Open Minds

Mindjack Saga Book 1
Susan Kaye Quinn

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a danger... Read more

Cover image for The Beetle by Richard Marsh - Free eBook

XGeneration 1

You Don't Know Me (XGeneration Series)
Brad Magnarella

In the fall of 1984, Cold War tensions between... Read more

Cover image for The Beetle by Richard Marsh - Free eBook

Drive, Ride, Repeat

The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure
Al Macy

Author Al Macy is a character and a tightwad wi... Read more

Cover image for The Beetle by Richard Marsh - Free eBook

I Bring the Fire

Part I: Wolves (A Loki Story)
C. Gockel

In the middle of America, Amy Lewis is on her way... Read more

login | register

User ID


reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Rise of The Iron Eagle
by Roy A. Teel Jr.
The Secret Adversary
by Agatha Christie
Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Riddle of the Sands
by Erskine Childers
The Woman in White
by Wilkie Collins
Who Murdered Mr. Malone?
by Hope Callaghan
Loose Ends
by David VanDyke

See more popular titles from this genre.