Friday, October 25, 2013

"The Page Affair Presented Many Remarkable Aspects"

By Charles Edmonds Walk.
A. L. Burt Company.
Mary Reed recently entertainingly reviewed this book on the GADetection group. Excerpts:
THE PATERNOSTER RUBY may not be bang in the middle of the generally accepted dates for the Golden Age but don't let that stop you from reading this novel.
For those who like them—and I do, very much—it features a second floor plan and a reproduction of a cipher of several numbers, oh frabjous day! Not to mention colour illustrations. Can't beat such riches with a big stick!
Just over a century ago another review appeared in THE NATION (November 3, 1910), archived here (scroll down to page 418, middle bottom). The full article follows:
It is a little disheartening at the end of this detective story to find our suspicions of the ruby confirmed. It really was stolen from an Eastern temple, and the usual sly Orientals—all Orientals are born with detective powers that put Sherlock Holmes to the blush, and a memory that holds a thousand years as yesterday—are on its track.
The real protagonists in the contest, however, are two giant wheat speculators of Chicago, one of whom, a lover of rare gems, stole away the other's sweetheart in the old days and has ever since been the victim of the other's relentless vengeance.
The detective is this time a central officer—neither a wizard nor an ass, as central officers commonly are in fiction, but a man who blunders and succeeds like ordinary mortals. He falls in love, unfortunately—when will writers learn that the so-called "love interest" is almost necessarily out of place in detective fiction?
For the rest the story starts well and maintains its legitimate interest well to the end. The surprise in the denouement is justified and the game with the reader played fairly—except for the Orientals who, however, are kept in the background.
You can find THE PATERNOSTER RUBY in various formats on Project Gutenberg. And Resurrected Press has an edition as well.

Other available Walk titles include:
~ THE SILVER BLADE (1908), online here and briefly reviewed here (scroll down to page 313).
~ THE YELLOW CIRCLE (1909), online here.
~ THE TIME LOCK (1912)

Category: Detective fiction

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