"The Mystery of the Boule Cabinet" is not a French detective story, insasmuch as the scene is laid right in the heart of New York City; but it is worthy of the best French masters of detective fiction in its audacity of plot, in the logical and at the same time baffling manner in which the clues are unwound, in its astonishing turns and twists, its astounding dénouement, and above all in its wonderful central figure, who is one of the few really great characters in detective fiction.
down at the body, and as I followed his gaze, I noted its attitude more accurately than I had done in the first shock of discovering it.
It was lying on its right side, half on its stomach, with its right arm doubled under it, and its left hand clutching at the floor above its head. The knees were drawn up as though in a convulsion, and the face was horribly contorted, with a sort of purple tinge under the skin, as though the blood had been suddenly congealed. The eyes were wide open, and their glassy stare added not a little to the apparent terror and suffering of the face. It was not a pleasant sight, and after a moment, I turned my eyes away with a shiver of repugnance.
The coroner glanced at Simmonds.
"Not much question as to the cause," he said. "Poison of course."
"Of course," nodded Simmonds.
"But what kind?" asked Godfrey.
"It will take a post-mortem to tell that," and Goldberger bent for another close look at the distorted face. "I'm free to admit the symptoms aren't the usual ones
A worthy continuation of the Lester / Godfrey series with a feel more along the lines of \"The Marathon Mystery\" than its immediate predecessor \"That Affair at Elizabeth\". The author creatively renders the titular Boule cabinet itself an antagonist during the first part of the book, along with the master French criminal introduced later on. In fact I found there to be much more tension and interest generated in the first part of the novel than the second, after the flesh-and-blood villain appears. Nevertheless, a good read all the way through.
Such fun! I've been reading my way through the Godfrey and Lester mysteries. Manybooks has all of the previous ones--start with the Holladay Case, then the Marathon Mystery, then this one.
This is my favorite so far. A master criminal who, with becoming modesty, calls himself L'Invicible! Subtle. It was wonderful. Subterfuge after subterfuge. Godfrey and Lester are definitely worthwhile. Great escapist fare. Enjoy!
Mr. Vantine, a connoisseur of antique art objects, finds a stranger from France dead in his house. A few hours later, Mr. Vantine himself is found dead in the same place, in the same manner. Their deaths seem to have something to do with a Boule Cabinet that has been shipped to him by mistake from France.
This is a very well-written, old- fashioned thriller. The process of the mystery deepening and unravelling is charming.