THE ANGEL FACES
Hugesson Gastrell had accepted Lord Easterton's invitation to dine at the club, and the three men were seated near the fire as I entered, Easterton and Jack Osborne on one of the large settees, their visitor facing them in an arm-chair, with his back to me. I went towards them across the big room, apologizing for my unpunctuality, for I was nearly ten minutes late. To my surprise they remained silent; even Easterton did not rise, or greet me in any way. He looked strangely serious, and so did Jack, as a rule the cheeriest of mortals.
"I am dreadfully sorry for being so late," I exclaimed, thinking that my unpunctuality must have given them offence. I was about to invent some elaborate excuse to account for my "delay," when the man seated with his back to me suddenly rose
A good fanciful story of mystery/adventures/romance (in this order), somewhat remindful of Rocambole and Fântomas.
Set in London and Paris, has a distinct French taste.
Strange happenings, mysterious and artful personages, aristocracy, jewels, very bad guys versus very good guys but not too sweet, and a great variety of action.
You won't lose sleep reading it but you also won't quit until you get to the last page.