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The Clue of the Twisted Candles

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Author: Edgar Wallace
Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 56,184 / 163 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 82.6
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 11,852 7214

An excellent locked-room mystery by the master of British thrillers.

Show Excerpt

"You must remember I am a Greek, and the modern Greek is no philosopher. You must remember, too, that I am a petted child of fortune, and have had everything I wanted since I was a baby."

"You are a fortunate devil," said the other, turning back to his desk, and taking up his pen.

For a moment Kara did not speak, then he made as though he would say something, checked himself, and laughed.

"I wonder if I am," he said.

And now he spoke with a sudden energy.

"What is this trouble you are having with Vassalaro?"

John rose from his chair and walked over to the fire, stood gazing down into its depths, his legs wide apart, his hands clasped behind him, and Kara took his attitude to supply an answer to the question.

"I warned you against Vassalaro," he said, stooping by the other's side to light his cigar with a spill of paper. "My dear Lexman, my fellow countrymen are unpleasant people to deal with in certain moods."

"He was so obliging at first," said Lexma

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.7 from 14 reviews: *****
Dai Alanye

A good story, in part because the super-duper detective forms a significant contrast to Sherlock Holmes, unlike so many from this period.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I really couldn't put it down. Great plot and pacing. You could tell that the author had done some research into several areas for background on the many places and people the book introduced.

Loved the dialogue. Reminded me of the kind of snappy repartee you get in 1930s/1940s films. That said, this was a very modern book and could with only slight alterations have been set at any time in the last century -- even in this one. The ending was unlikely but satisfying given everything else that had happened.


This was my first book to read by Wallace. This book was really worth the time to read! Definitely five stars! An exciting plot with a flowing story line kept me going. I didn't want to put the book down! I highly recommend this book to those who love murder mysteries.

Mike Wasoski

The villian in here was so evil, I kinda liked him. And I certainly did NOT sympathize with his murderer. Over all, the book was cool. There were a couple hard-to-believe scenes, but over all...worthy of five stars.

marian etner

I liked this story because you actually sympathize with the murderer. That doesn't happen too often. I don't wanna give away any of the plot, but it was really cool!

Kyle Zoros

Had a couple of hours to kill on a flight to Dallas, this book was amazing. I honestly had no idea who did the murder. Very good book. Take my advice and read it!

jesper reef

This was a awesome book! I give it five stars!! Can't think of anything I'd change!!


this was a 3-in-the-morning thriller! luv it!

Junia Hilldale

This book was sweetness itself. There was this one chapter where I was like, "Oh, my gosh, what's gonna happen!!" And I hardly ever get that way. Usually, I am like, "Blahdedededah. Okay, this is boring." But not with the one. I think I'm gonna check out more from this author, cuz this book was awesomeness

Linda Otto

I love T.X. Meredith! I want to read more books featuring him, but I can't find any others. I enjoyed this, chiefly because of the clever and the urbane T.X. (he has all the good dialogue!).

This is the first book I have read by Edgar Wallace, and I was a little taken aback by the viciousness of his villain--definitely painted with a black brush, no shades of grey--which gave him a one-dimensional, subhuman quality. Are all of Wallace's evildoers painted completely black? I will have to try another one of his books to find out. Enjoy.

Leah A. Zeldes

"Most people are murdered as a result of an introduction. The cases where people murder total strangers are singularly rare. That I think is due to the insularity of our national character."

That's one quotation from T.X. Meredith, the singular detective of this singular mystery. The story begins as if it were to be a procedural -- a writer friend of T.X.'s is induced to inadvertently kill another man in an evil plot -- but midway through turns into locked-room mystery.

The novel starts a bit slowly, but picks up the pace as it goes on. The villain is over the top and the women characters rather banal, but Meredith is fascinating -- even though, ultimately, someone else solves the crime.

David Lyons

A typical Edgar Wallace classic! Good characterization. It held my interest right to the end.


It is an exciting novel. The plot and the characterisation of the villain are very appealing, even to the contemporary readers. The character of TX is also well etched and memorable. A very good work, a lovely example of the early to mid 1900s british detective novels.

Leo Kudrin

Good adventure novel wich containes a cunning villain, love, revenge and locked room murder. And good author too, E. Wallace is.

They say that in tha UK in the 1920s Edgar Wallace was the second biggest seller after the Bible.

And by the way, he wrote the scenario for King Kong movie (1933).

To my surprise I encountered on some blunders and mistakes in the novel. The most blatant one: The Browning automatic pistol (the weapon that killed Vassalaro ) called here as a revolver.



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