Saturday, 31 December 2011

Yellow Claw by Sax Rohmer

Yellow Claw by Sax Rohmer is a mystery featuring French detective Gaston Max. Henry Leroux, a novelist, is writing into the middle of the night. It is the second time somebody is disturbing by ringing his bell. His wife is away in Paris and his man is playing truant. A strange dying woman is at his doorstep. He goes to call his neighbour Dr.Cumberly to see to the woman. Before they arrive "Straight at the bare throat leapt the yellow hands; a gurgling cry rose—fell—and died away." There is a paper with the name Mr.King in her hand. Who is Mr. King? Who killed the woman? Why is Gaston Max a French detective investigating this case in London?

Then I had a brainstorm, isn't there a writer called Gaston Leroux? Here we have a writer called Henry Leroux and detective called Gaston Max. Is there any connection? Is it just coincidental or intentional? So I did some research (read googled). I learnt that Sax Rohmer and Gaston Leroux were contemporaries. Also that Sax Rohmer mainly wrote about Master Criminals and supernatural horror. I was put off by it and decided to abandon the book. I was still looking for a book with Yellow in the title. I kind of decided to read Yellow Cap or Yellow Fairy. Finally decided to give it a try and I liked it.

Rest of the story is about Chinamen and opium dens. I didn't expect to be so involved in the book. I even had a nightmare about a locked room and a golden dragon. A good thriller. Now I will have to read the next book in the series, Golden Scorpion.

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