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The Mystery of the Yellow Room

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The young lady had just retired to her room when sounds of a struggle ensue, and cries of "Murder!" and revolver shots ring out. When her locked door is finally broken down by her father and a servant, they find the woman on the floor, badly hurt and bleeding. No one else is in the room. There is no other exit except through a barred window. How did the attacker escape? Fir The young lady had just retired to her room when sounds of a struggle ensue, and cries of "Murder!" and revolver shots ring out. When her locked door is finally broken down by her father and a servant, they find the woman on the floor, badly hurt and bleeding. No one else is in the room. There is no other exit except through a barred window. How did the attacker escape? First published in 1907, this intriguing and baffling tale is a classic of early 20th-century detective fiction. At the heart of the novel is a perplexing mystery: How could a crime take place in a locked room which shows no sign of being entered? Nearly a century after its initial publication, Leroux's landmark tale of foul play, deception, and unbridled ambition remains a blueprint for the detective novel genre. Written by the immortal author of The Phantom of the Opera, this atmospheric thriller is still a favorite of whodunit fans everywhere. "The finest locked room tale ever written." — John Dickson Carr, author of The Hollow Man.


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The young lady had just retired to her room when sounds of a struggle ensue, and cries of "Murder!" and revolver shots ring out. When her locked door is finally broken down by her father and a servant, they find the woman on the floor, badly hurt and bleeding. No one else is in the room. There is no other exit except through a barred window. How did the attacker escape? Fir The young lady had just retired to her room when sounds of a struggle ensue, and cries of "Murder!" and revolver shots ring out. When her locked door is finally broken down by her father and a servant, they find the woman on the floor, badly hurt and bleeding. No one else is in the room. There is no other exit except through a barred window. How did the attacker escape? First published in 1907, this intriguing and baffling tale is a classic of early 20th-century detective fiction. At the heart of the novel is a perplexing mystery: How could a crime take place in a locked room which shows no sign of being entered? Nearly a century after its initial publication, Leroux's landmark tale of foul play, deception, and unbridled ambition remains a blueprint for the detective novel genre. Written by the immortal author of The Phantom of the Opera, this atmospheric thriller is still a favorite of whodunit fans everywhere. "The finest locked room tale ever written." — John Dickson Carr, author of The Hollow Man.

30 review for The Mystery of the Yellow Room

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    The Mystery of the Yellow Room, by Gaston Leroux, originally written in French as ‘Le Mystère de la Chambre Jaune’, in 1908 is the first book featuring the fictional reporter and amateur sleuth, Joseph Rouletabille. With The Mystery of the Yellow Room, Gaston Leroux – who is best known for his novel The Phantom of the Opera - popularized an entire subgenre of detective fiction named as ‘locked room mystery’ and this work is often regarded as one of the finest in this genre. The book literally tra The Mystery of the Yellow Room, by Gaston Leroux, originally written in French as ‘Le Mystère de la Chambre Jaune’, in 1908 is the first book featuring the fictional reporter and amateur sleuth, Joseph Rouletabille. With The Mystery of the Yellow Room, Gaston Leroux – who is best known for his novel The Phantom of the Opera - popularized an entire subgenre of detective fiction named as ‘locked room mystery’ and this work is often regarded as one of the finest in this genre. The book literally transport the reader into a world of mystery where a perfect crime has just happened - a crime, which is maddeningly complex and bordering on the realms of being simply impossible to commit - and Joseph Rouletabille has to use every ounce of his skills and his bravery to find how the crime was committed inside a hermetically sealed room. The way in which Leroux narrates this story of intrigue, with a level of great detail – about the events, the crime scene, and even the surroundings and layout of Château du Glandier, where the mystery unfolds - keeps the reader fully absorbed. The influence of Gaston Leroux on The Locked Room mystery detective fiction The subgenre of detective or mystery fiction in which a crime is committed in an apparently impossible scenario – usually with an airtight crime scene that is not accessible by outside entities; like a locked room – is often referred to as ‘Locked Room Mysteries’. In Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", of 1841, we can trace the earliest elements associated with this subgenre of the mystery/ crime/ detective fiction. When Gaston Leroux wrote The Mystery of the Yellow Room, it paved the way to a flurry of similar stories; as the ‘Golden Age of detective fiction’ was just around the corner and many of the master writers of that period were either impressed or influenced by Leroux’s work. When Edward Dentinger Hoch - the American detective fiction writer with a prolific contribution of more than nine hundred short stories and who wrote many locked room mysteries himself – edited a collection of mystery stories named ‘All But Impossible!’, in 1981, he compiled a list of top ranking detective fictions featuring impossible or hard to solve crime scenarios. In this list compiled after taking votes from well-known authors and reviewers, ‘The Mystery of the Yellow Room’ was chosen as the third ‘best locked room mystery’ story. John Dickson Carr, who wrote ‘The Hollow Man’ of 1935 – which topped this list – himself named ‘The Mystery of the Yellow Room’ as the greatest and his personal favorite work in the genre. The Mystery of the Yellow Room The story is set in Château du Glandier owned by Professor Joseph Stangerson, who is a renowned scientist and revolves around the baffling mystery surrounding a crime committed against ‘Mathilde Stangerson’, the daughter of the Professor. When Mathilde Stangerson was found unconscious inside her chamber – named the Yellow Room – after getting attacked by an unknown entity, the room was locked from inside and her assailant had vanished into thin air leaving only some signs of violence, which baffles everyone. Mathilde Stangerson, remembers nothing about the attacker. Soon Joseph Rouletabille and his lawyer friend Sainclair – the story is narrated through Sainclair – gets involved in unraveling the mysterious affairs at Château du Glandier and it’s Yellow room. With Joseph Rouletabille, investigating the crime, the story gets more intense with lots of suspicious characters, strange happenings and even a murder at the castle premises, and he painstakingly unfolds layer after layer of secrets adding to the delight of the reader. The friendly rivalry that he has with the police detective Frédéric Larsan who is officially investigating the case adds to the enjoyment of the story. This is one of those detective fiction, which will encourage the reader to take up the clues left by the author and analyze them to unravel the mystery themselves. As a reader if you have a taste for fiction from the early 1900s then this age-old original classic, which is largely forgotten these days, is well worth reading. Like all crime/ detective fiction from such a different time period, second-guessing each phases of the story with modern day police procedures and forensic investigation methodologies will totally ruin the reading experience.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Helga

    1.5 I thought this book would never finish! It was one of those stories in which there are no clues for the reader and the reader feels stupid and confused and the other characters in the book also are dense and don’t see what’s in front of them and ask stupid questions when the brilliant detective/journalist sheds light on something. Let’s say the detective says “the culprit went this way!”. His companion asks “how do you know that?” Dude, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see there are mud 1.5 I thought this book would never finish! It was one of those stories in which there are no clues for the reader and the reader feels stupid and confused and the other characters in the book also are dense and don’t see what’s in front of them and ask stupid questions when the brilliant detective/journalist sheds light on something. Let’s say the detective says “the culprit went this way!”. His companion asks “how do you know that?” Dude, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see there are muddy footprints right in front of you!!! Anyway, the very brilliant detective/journalist solves the mystery in the end. In fact from almost the beginning he knows who is the culprit and how he got out of the locked room, but for some reason he doesn’t divulge the solution, which by the way has not a hint of logic to it and makes us read all the rantings and technicalities over and over again. Maybe it had been an interesting read at the time, I don’t know, but for me it was pure torture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Piyangie

    The Mystery of the Yellow Room is a "locked room mystery" novels written by Gaston Leroux. Having read only his famous Phantom of the Opera, I was surprised to learn that he has authored books in "mystery" genre. However, knowing the Leroux's capacity to create so dark and villainous characters, I was very much inclined to read this work which is the first novel introducing the reporter/detective Joseph Rouletabille. A murder was attempted in a closed room and the perpetrator has fled leaving fe The Mystery of the Yellow Room is a "locked room mystery" novels written by Gaston Leroux. Having read only his famous Phantom of the Opera, I was surprised to learn that he has authored books in "mystery" genre. However, knowing the Leroux's capacity to create so dark and villainous characters, I was very much inclined to read this work which is the first novel introducing the reporter/detective Joseph Rouletabille. A murder was attempted in a closed room and the perpetrator has fled leaving few traces and evidence. An inquiry is set immediately, but the nature of the circumstantial evidence leads it nowhere. In join the young reporter with his genius mind and slowly and steadily he works his way up to unravel the baffling mystery and to unmask the murderer. The story was quite intriguing and it captured and held my attention from the first chapter. The author has laid the plot so well that it was impossible to guess who the perpetrator was; at least that was the case for me, although I did entertain certain notion of my own as to who would it be. But the truth when revealed it was a little too good to be true. I understand that the author created such a surprising ending to heighten Rouletabille's genius mind and power of reasoning, but it didn't sit well with me. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the read. I wished the ending were a little more realistic.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux is hailed as one of the first locked room crime novels. It has been named by some as the third best locked room mystery of all time. John Dickson Carr, master of the locked room and impossible crime himself, has sung its praises. And it is credited with inspiring Agatha Christie to try her hand at her very first mystery. So--what do I, a mere book-blogger, have to say about it? Well, it's a decent mystery. It's got some interesting elements. But I The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux is hailed as one of the first locked room crime novels. It has been named by some as the third best locked room mystery of all time. John Dickson Carr, master of the locked room and impossible crime himself, has sung its praises. And it is credited with inspiring Agatha Christie to try her hand at her very first mystery. So--what do I, a mere book-blogger, have to say about it? Well, it's a decent mystery. It's got some interesting elements. But I can't say that it knocked my socks off--it may have done so a hundred years ago. But I've read too many more recent novels for that. I see other detectives and stories in it. There is the shadow of Holmes--the intelligent, rational amateur taking on the established detective. There is the scrambling of the Holmes-like detective all over the scene of the crime--making patterns of footprints. There is the insistence (of Larsan) that the assailant was not wounded in the hand, but was bleeding from the nose (reminiscent of A Study in Scarlet). There is the echo of Lord Peter Wimsey--rushing into the court room at the eleventh hour to save an innocent man (Clouds of Witness, anyone?). And, yes, I suppose I should say that Wimsey reminds me of Rouletabille and not the other way 'round. But, you see, I read Sayers first. And, truth be told, I find Lord Peter to be a much more engaging character than Joseph Rouletabille. The book starts out strong. Leroux sets up everything very nicely--explaining how our narrator and Rouletabille become involved in the mystery. The descriptions of the attack on Mlle. Stangerson, the mystery of the locked room and the investigations immediately following are wonderful. In fact, everything perks along quite nicely until Leroux abandons Sinclair as our narrator for a time and presents certain events through the lens of Rouletabille's journal entries. Rouletabille's voice does not ring true in those entries and the switch in narrative voice was a bit jarring. And when our familiar narrator picks up again, the rhythm never quite gets back on track. One last quibble--although the explanation given for the locked room does work--it seems a bit contrived. As if Leroux had painted himself into a corner and he couldn't provide a more clever explanation. I don't think John Dickson Carr would have resorted to such a convenient solution. Over all, a quite decent mystery from the time period. I would have liked to have liked the characters more...that would have pushed this three star outing into the four star range. Favorite Quote: Coincidences are the worst enemies to truth. (Rouletabille, p. 87) {This review is mine and was first posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting any portion. Thanks.}

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jess Penhallow

    This was a fun short mystery book. After reading this I am surprised that Gaston Leroux is mainly known for The Phantom of the Opera because this book is much better. His detached writing style with reports, transcripts and diary entries works much better in the mystery genre than in the horror genre where it just took away from the suspense. Here it is appropriate in that it sets out the facts plainly for the reader to interpret and try and solve the mystery. Joseph Routabille is an endearing pr This was a fun short mystery book. After reading this I am surprised that Gaston Leroux is mainly known for The Phantom of the Opera because this book is much better. His detached writing style with reports, transcripts and diary entries works much better in the mystery genre than in the horror genre where it just took away from the suspense. Here it is appropriate in that it sets out the facts plainly for the reader to interpret and try and solve the mystery. Joseph Routabille is an endearing protagonist and I would happily read more books featuring him. The mystery itself was a little confusing at times as I didn't feel like the characters were sufficiently distinct however, that may be due to the unfamiliar French names and titles. Is calling old men 'Daddy' a thing in France? The translation was mostly good (view spoiler)[ although I did get a bit annoyed with them constantly referring to the assailant as the 'murderer' when the victim survived. (hide spoiler)] . All in all this was some good old mystery fun!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Finally I brought myself to finish the lauded short novel 'The Mystery of the Yellow Room' by Gaston Leroux. It is hailed as one of the most original works of mystery fiction written and has been named as one of the pioneers of the locked room genre. We are introduced to the young journalist Joseph Rouletabille who throws himself into the investigation of a mysterious murder at Chateau du Glandier. A murder that takes place in a room that has been locked from the inside with no possible means of Finally I brought myself to finish the lauded short novel 'The Mystery of the Yellow Room' by Gaston Leroux. It is hailed as one of the most original works of mystery fiction written and has been named as one of the pioneers of the locked room genre. We are introduced to the young journalist Joseph Rouletabille who throws himself into the investigation of a mysterious murder at Chateau du Glandier. A murder that takes place in a room that has been locked from the inside with no possible means of escape. Right away we are introduced to one of the many plot holes in the novel. There is no murder. Miss Stangerson who is the target of the attack and who is discovered with a bump on her head in the room after she screams murder, isn't actually killed. In fact she is assaulted no less than three times in various forms and by the end of the novel she has gone quite insane but is still alive. Not once in the novel is poor Miss Stangerson properly interviewed and asked what happened. Furthermore she seems to never actually say anything anywhere in the novel. As the most prominent piece of evidence she is blatantly ignored, something even the most mysoginistic Victorian didn't do. The Mystery of the Yellow Room was first published as a novel in 1908, 40 years after Wilkie Collins published his mystery: The Moontone. I'm comparing Leroux's work to that of Collins because even though Collins was clearly experimenting with the genre, he had a much firmer grasp than Leroux ever did. Leroux breaks one of the most important rules in the mystery business: you have to give the reader all the information that is available to the detective before the reveal. In the case of the Yellow Room we are given everything we need to know, which is a large amount of information, after the explanation of the plot. Even though the mechanism by which the 'murder' is committed appears to be very mature and innovating, it relies on so many assumptions and improbable events that it loses much of it's entertainment value when it is finally revealed. It took me three weeks to finish this book. Most of that was spent trying to figure out who all the characters in the novel are and where they are at various times (the novel includes maps and diagrams that don't help). For someone who wrote the very human The Phantom of the Opera, the Yellow Room one has very few real people in it. Not only does the over enthusiastic detective not feel very human, he's not even remotely likable. Unlike Sherlock Holmes who was quite the unpleasant character who fascinates readers to this day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    A locked room mystery which does not involve a murder, this 1907 French novel was written by the writer who gave The Phantom of the Opera to the world. It contains red herrings aplenty and a rather annoying detective: a smart-alecky 18 year old pipe-smoking genius who works as a journalist. The narrator is Dr Watson to his Sherlock Holmes - a stand-in for the reader who is there to have plot points explained in a way that the most obtuse can understand. There is little to no character developmen A locked room mystery which does not involve a murder, this 1907 French novel was written by the writer who gave The Phantom of the Opera to the world. It contains red herrings aplenty and a rather annoying detective: a smart-alecky 18 year old pipe-smoking genius who works as a journalist. The narrator is Dr Watson to his Sherlock Holmes - a stand-in for the reader who is there to have plot points explained in a way that the most obtuse can understand. There is little to no character development and the identity of the perpetrator comes out of left field. Sure, the clues are there, as the detective painstakingly points out to the narrator after the big reveal and I daresay a smart reader could work out the solution. However, I didn't work it out, which made for a more enjoyable reading experience. I read this in French, which means that I read it more slowly than otherwise would have been the case. This is because when I read in French I feel the need to look up every unfamiliar word in the dictionary. I don't do this when I listen to a French audiobook. Rather, I work out the meaning of words I don't know from the context and manage just fine. I only wish I could leave the dictionary alone when I read! One advantage of reading in French is that it reacquaints me with the wonders of French verb tenses. I particularly love the literary simple past tense, which is not generally used in speech. Indeed, reading all those lovely verbs took me back to school, where my favourite reference book was L'Art de Conjuguer. This is a competent example of the locked room mystery genre. It's not something I'll want to read again, but I'm glad to have read it once, particularly in the company of my friend Jemidar.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia

    Amazing story! Dense, but ingenious. I really enjoyed it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    First written in 1908, The Mystery of the Yellow Room is considered one of the classics of the "locked-room"/impossible crime genre. Believe me, by the time you finish reading about the crime (never mind the rest of the book), you'll be scratching your head saying "how on earth did this just happen?" It seems that one Mathilde Stangerson goes off to her room (called The Yellow Room) in a pavilion where she and her father work at scientific experiments. The door is locked -- then she is heard to First written in 1908, The Mystery of the Yellow Room is considered one of the classics of the "locked-room"/impossible crime genre. Believe me, by the time you finish reading about the crime (never mind the rest of the book), you'll be scratching your head saying "how on earth did this just happen?" It seems that one Mathilde Stangerson goes off to her room (called The Yellow Room) in a pavilion where she and her father work at scientific experiments. The door is locked -- then she is heard to scream, followed by 2 gun shots. As her father and one of the servants rush to the door, they break it open and find only Mathilde, with fresh strangulation marks, a lump on the head and bloody handprints on the walls. But that's it. There's no one else there, and there's no way in the world whoever did this could have possibly escaped. Thus begins a very strange mystery. I can't say any more about it because I will totally wreck it if anyone's interested in reading it. The characters are rather interesting, especially the main character, young (18) journalist with the paper "L'Epoque" -- a journalist with a detective bent. He shares his information with a M. Sinclair, the narrator of the story. Mathilde Stangerson is a woman with many secrets, and nothing is revealed until the end, keeping you hanging on. There are several suspects, many red herrings and multiple clues, so if you are okay with a somewhat rambling narrative (I think it can be excused given the date the book was written), you'll probably find this one to be quite well done. It's likely that modern readers may find this one a bit tedious since we often like to get to the point quickly. In this book, the who, how and why are not divulged until the last minute. Overall, it's a bit rambly, but it's still a fine mystery and you're really just dying by the end to find out everything. Recommended for people who enjoy classic mysteries and locked-room mysteries.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Brilliantly baffling... Mademoiselle Mathilde Stangerson is attacked in her yellow bedroom by a murderer wielding a mutton-bone. When her father and the other people in the house break down the door, Mlle S is on the floor and her murderer is nowhere to be found. There are three exceedingly strange things about this – one: how did the murderer get out of a room in which the only door and window were securely locked; and two: why does everyone keep calling him a murderer when Mlle S is still alive Brilliantly baffling... Mademoiselle Mathilde Stangerson is attacked in her yellow bedroom by a murderer wielding a mutton-bone. When her father and the other people in the house break down the door, Mlle S is on the floor and her murderer is nowhere to be found. There are three exceedingly strange things about this – one: how did the murderer get out of a room in which the only door and window were securely locked; and two: why does everyone keep calling him a murderer when Mlle S is still alive...; and three: a mutton-bone??? OK, to my great disappointment I discovered a mutton-bone is actually the name given to a club-like weapon much used by villains of the day, so that solves number three. Number 2 – the murderer with the living victim – becomes progressively more hysterical as the book goes on and Mlle S stubbornly refuses to die. I couldn’t help wondering what she felt every time a newspaper or one of the characters talked about her murder. The real meat of the thing, though, is not on the mutton-bone, but in the question of how the murderer got out of the room. Enter our hero, Joseph Rouletabille, (a nickname meaning “Roll Your Marble”, given to him, presumably, on account of his large round red head), a young journalist who at the age of eighteen has already acquired a reputation as an inspired amateur detective. He is introduced to us by our narrator, Jean Sainclair, a young lawyer and friend who acts as Rouletabille’s sidekick. Off they go to the Château du Glandier, where they will meet Mathilde and her father, her fiance, her loyal and devoted servant, and various assorted estate workers and villagers, all with or without alibis and motives, and all behaving suspiciously in one way or another. Even Frédéric Larsan, famed investigator of the Sûreté, will find himself hard put to it to come up with a solution to this baffling mystery, and when he does, it will be entirely different from Rouletabille’s solution. Who will prove to be right? And how will he (the one who’s right) prove he’s right? And will they catch the murderer before the murder victim is finally murdered??? This is a fabulous little romp that is more and more fun as it goes along. First published in French in 1907, I can’t find anything to tell me who the translator was. At first, I felt the language was quite stilted and thought it could do with a modern update. But as the book’s general mildly melodramatic tone began to come through, I realised the style of the translation is actually perfect for it. It makes it feel terribly French and very old-fashioned – both things which add considerably to its charm. The plotting is great, enhanced by a couple of detailed floor plans allowing the reader to try to get to the solution before Rouletabille. (I failed miserably!) The initial mystery of the locked room is only one of the “impossible crime” features – there is another halfway through which is not only baffling but quite spooky, and there are other sections where Leroux creates a beautifully tense atmosphere. But overall the book leans more towards entertainment with lots of humour, especially in the rivalry between Rouletabille and Larsan. I love that the title of the first chapter is In Which We Begin Not to Understand – sets the light-hearted tone superbly before the book even begins. The villagers are about as welcoming as the ones in The Wicker Man, complete with a surly publican and a witchy old crone with an exceptionally scary cat called Bête du Bon Dieu, so some lovely almost Gothic touches sprinkled into the story. Rouletabille’s ability to see through the fog of confusion to the truth that eludes all others is well-nigh miraculous, enhanced by Sainclair’s supreme admiration for his young friend. Rouletabille is the master of the enigmatic utterance, throwing suspects into terror while keeping Sainclair (and me) totally befuddled. But when all is revealed, we see that we have indeed had all the clues all along – well, all the important ones anyway – and it’s only our inferior brain-power that has left us trailing in Rouletabille’s brilliant wake... Hercule Poirot wasn’t baffled, of course, when he read this book. He talks about it in The Clocks, saying... “And here is The Mystery of the Yellow Room. That – that really is a classic! I approve of it from start to finish. Such a logical approach!... All through there is truth, concealed with a careful and cunning use of words... Definitely a masterpiece...” … and Poirot (and Ms Christie) knew a thing or two about crime fiction. Poirot is not Rouletabille’s only admirer among the fictional detective classes – John Dickson Carr’s Gideon Fell refers to the book as “the best detective tale ever written”. I must say the physical book from the Collins Crime Club series is gorgeous too, with a great cover, including quotes from Poirot and Fell where normally there would be puffs from fellow writers. Made me laugh with delight before I even opened it. I’m so glad to have had the chance to read this one, since I’ve seen it referred to often in my recent travels through vintage crime. And I’m even more glad to be able to say that I feel it fully deserves its reputation, both for the skill in the plotting and for the entertainment value in the storytelling. An essential read for vintage crime fans! NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Collins Crime Club. www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dagny

    This classic locked room mystery is by the author of The Phantom of the Opera. The Mystery of the Yellow Room is the first in Leroux's eight book Joseph Rouletabille series. Young Joseph is a journalist (as was Leroux before he was able to support himself as an author). Joseph is quite an entertaining lad. I had a problem keeping all of the characters straight, but still found it an enjoyable read, although a bit too complicated for my taste. Read it at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1685 or list This classic locked room mystery is by the author of The Phantom of the Opera. The Mystery of the Yellow Room is the first in Leroux's eight book Joseph Rouletabille series. Young Joseph is a journalist (as was Leroux before he was able to support himself as an author). Joseph is quite an entertaining lad. I had a problem keeping all of the characters straight, but still found it an enjoyable read, although a bit too complicated for my taste. Read it at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1685 or listen at https://librivox.org/mystery-of-the-y...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    "The Mystery of the Yellow Room"is a novel by Gaston Leroux first published in France in the periodical L'Illustration from September 1907 to November 1907, then in book form in 1908. My copy says it is one of the first locked room mystery crime fiction novels which is going to send me to find out just how many locked room mystery crime novels there could be. I just looked it up and there are many more locked room mysteries than I thought there would be, John Dickson Carr or Carter Dickson, it s "The Mystery of the Yellow Room"is a novel by Gaston Leroux first published in France in the periodical L'Illustration from September 1907 to November 1907, then in book form in 1908. My copy says it is one of the first locked room mystery crime fiction novels which is going to send me to find out just how many locked room mystery crime novels there could be. I just looked it up and there are many more locked room mysteries than I thought there would be, John Dickson Carr or Carter Dickson, it seems that is the same person, was always locking people in rooms. Agatha Christie locked her share of rooms too. Gaston Leroux is best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera and until I came across "The Mystery of the Yellow Room" I didn't know he wrote anything else. But I was wrong. Leroux began writing novels in the early 1900s. Between the years 1903 and 1927 he produced two dozen newspaper serials, many shorter works and seven plays. "The Mystery of the Yellow Room" is only the first novel starring fictional reporter Joseph Rouletabille, there are at least six more books in the "Adventures of Rouletabille" series. The main character in the novel is Joseph Josephin who is know by the name Rouletabille: "He seemed to have taken his head—round as a bullet—out of a box of marbles, and it is from that, I think, that his comrades of the press—all determined billiard-players—had given him that nickname, which was to stick to him and be made illustrious by him." I'm not sure what bullets, roundness, marbles or billiards have to do with his name, but there it is. Supposedly the character's name orginally was Joseph Josephin Boitabille but following the protest of a journalist who was already using this pseudonym, Boitabille became Rouletabille. If Boitabille has anything to do with a round/marble/billiard I don't know what that would be either. Whatever you call him Rouletabille is a reporter and amateur sleuth who has already attracted some attention to himself by finding "the left foot of Rue Oberkampf" dismembered remains of a woman cut into pieces. We aren't told much more about that except that it is this odd event that gets him a job as a journalist at the very young age of 16. At the time of our story he is 18 and the fact that someone that young can solve a mystery no one else appears to have a clue about is a little hard to believe for me. Nevertheless, we have Rouletabille at the age of 18, we have his friend the lawyer Sainclair, who narrates the novel and we have a big mystery. At the beginning of our story a woman ,Mathilde Stangerson, the daughter of Professor Joseph Stangerson, as been attacked at their estate, Château du Glandier. Miss Stangerson has been attacked in her own bedroom, with the door still locked from the inside, the police are baffled, her father is baffled, her fiance is baffled, everyone in the book is baffled. It's good two people have arrived to solve the mystery, the first is France's top police detective Frédéric Larsan, "Larsan was reputed as the most skilful unraveller of the most mysterious and complicated crimes. His reputation was world-wide, and the police of London, and even of America, often called him in to their aid when their own national inspectors and detectives found themselves at the end of their wits and resources." And of course our young detective Rouletabille also arrives. He is being sent there in his roll of reporter but has every intention of solving the case himself. In the early chapters we are told alot about the Chateau du Glandier being one of the oldest chateaux in the Ile de France. It is in the heart of the forest, several hundred feet from the road, there are crumbling steps and crumbling buildings. There were none to witness the Professor's labours and intrude on their hopes, but the aged stones and grand old oaks. The narrator tells us: " Every age had left on them its imprint; a bit of architecture with which was bound up the remembrance of some terrible event, some bloody adventure. Such was the chateau in which science had taken refuge—a place seemingly designed to be the theatre of mysteries, terror, and death." Sounds rather gothic, now we are ready for the big mystery. Mathilde has been found battered, nearly dead in a locked room, yellow I suppose but don't actually remember, which is adjacent to his laboratory on the castle grounds, with the door still locked from the inside and the professor and a servant in the laboratory. There is no other way out except by the door and the would be murderer didn't leave that way, no secret passage, he's not behind or under any furniture, so where is he? Don't worry Rouletabille will figure it out although by the time we're part way into the story I didn't care anymore about who left the yellow room and how and was more interested in what happened since then. He or she even tries a few more times to kill Mathilde or to kill someone else in the story. So who is the bad guy? Is it the fiance? that's what detective Larsan seems to think, or the old servant Jacques who's boots match the boot prints or something like that. There are the castle's concierges Mr & Mrs Bernier who are out wandering around the estate in the middle of the night when Mathilde is attacked but won't tell why, there is a "crabbed looking" inn keeper and the gamekeeper who for some reason always wears green velvet. We are told he is remarkedly handsome but I can't picture a man constantly running around dressed all in green velvet all that wonderful looking. I was pretty sure I knew who did this by about chapter 8 or so, by chapter 15 or 16 I had another possible suspect in my mystery, it turns out I was wrong in both cases and the real villian certainly was a mystery to me. I guess I'd have to say it was a surprise ending for me although when Rouletabille was explaining it all I could see the very vague clues. As to clues, that was one thing that annoyed me. Rouletabille had this habit of throwing out sentences that made no sense to anybody, this perhaps would have been understandable if there were lots of people in the room he didn't want to know what he was talking about, but it was always just he, Sainclair and the one other person who would seem to understand him. I found it annoying, for example here are some of the lines he would just throw in there: Robert Darzac, with knit brow, was beginning to show impatience. I presented Rouletabille as a good friend of mine, but, as soon as he learnt that the young man was a journalist, he looked at me very reproachfully, excused himself, under the necessity of having to reach Epinay in twenty minutes, bowed, and whipped up his horse. But Rouletabille had seized the bridle and, to my utter astonishment, stopped the carriage with a vigorous hand. Then he gave utterance to a sentence which was utterly meaningless to me. "The presbytery has lost nothing of its charm, nor the garden its brightness." The words had no sooner left the lips of Rouletabille than I saw Robert Darzac quail. Pale as he was, he became paler. His eyes were fixed on the young man in terror, and he immediately descended from the vehicle in an inexpressible state of agitation. " Another time: "That's a fine fire for roasting a chicken," said Rouletabille. "We have no chicken—not even a wretched rabbit," said the landlord. "I know," said my friend slowly; "I know—We shall have to eat red meat—now." I confess I did not in the least understand what Rouletabille meant by what he had said; but the landlord, as soon as he heard the words, uttered an oath, which he at once stifled, and placed himself at our orders as obediently as Monsieur Robert Darzac had done, when he heard Rouletabille's prophetic sentence—"The presbytery has lost nothing of its charm, nor the garden its brightness." If these are clues and I'm supposed to be able to figure out anything by these clues I failed. There is something close to the ending that I certainly did not understand and I'm still a little baffled over, but I will keep it to myself as I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, especially me on some future reread, if I ever get back to it that is.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Even though this was not a long book, I took my time with it. I love locked room mystery novels and I had notes and highlights all through the version of the Kindle book that I own. Written in 1908, "The Mystery of the Yellow Room" is one of the first locked room mystery crime novels. The same man who wrote this, also wrote "Phantom of the Opera". He would go back and write a sequel to "The Mystery of the Yellow Room", "The Perfume of the Lady in Black (Joseph Rouletabille #2) that was published Even though this was not a long book, I took my time with it. I love locked room mystery novels and I had notes and highlights all through the version of the Kindle book that I own. Written in 1908, "The Mystery of the Yellow Room" is one of the first locked room mystery crime novels. The same man who wrote this, also wrote "Phantom of the Opera". He would go back and write a sequel to "The Mystery of the Yellow Room", "The Perfume of the Lady in Black (Joseph Rouletabille #2) that was published in 1909. This story is narrator by a man named Sainclair who is a lawyer living in France. The story beings recounting how many people did not know the truth of "The Mystery of the Yellow Room" but for unknown reasons Sainclair is now free to tell it in its entirety. Sainclair has befriended a young man named Joseph Rouletabille who is a reporter. Along with being a reporter, Rouletabille is also one of the smartest men that Sainclair has known who has solved mysteries that have baffled others. Rouletabille goes off to investigate a case at the Château du Glandier and Sainclair goes along. The facts are these: A 35 year old woman named Mathilde Stangerson is found assaulted in a locked room that was her bed chamber when she and her scientist father were working. The only way into the room is through a laboratory that her father (Professor Joseph Stangerson) and his servant Daddy Jacques were working. The yellow room has a window that is barred. The door locks from the inside. There is not any hidden nooks and crannies a person could be secreted besides under the bed. Somehow when Mathilde calls out for help her father and Daddy Jacques try to enter the room and are unable. When they are finally able to gain entry they find no one there. However, it is impossible someone was able to slip past them without seeing him. So the question remains, how was entry gained and how was the person hidden. Besides Sainclair and Rouletabille we also have Mathidle Stangerson's fiancee Robert Darzac. We also have a wily police detective named Frédéric Larsan and two concierges who work at the castle. Everyone in this book was so well drawn. I didn't know what was going on with a lot of characters and everything is explained in the end and I had a couple of of course moments (doesn't everyone when the story is finished?) I loved every aspect of this mystery. I thought of several ways a person could have done it and then decided on the guilty party (yeah I was totally wrong about everything, I actually love it when that happens) and found out I was totally off base. If you solved this before the end, my hat is off to you. The writing started off very slow, but I got why though. Gaston Leroux did a great job of setting up the entire surrounding of the nearby area, the castle that the Stangersons lived, the village, woods, etc. You even get a few diagrams in this book too so you can see how things are set up and what rooms are in the home. There were some words that I was not familiar with that I had to look up via my dictionary on my Kindle. Also these people ate a lot of omelettes and cider. I don't know why that tickled me, but it did. It also made me hungry. The flow was a bit slow to start. Things definitely picked up though and by the end I was reading so fast and then doubling back a few times. The setting of the book takes place in France which was new to me since most of the locked room mysteries I have read were written by Agatha Christie, and I don't think any Poirot or Miss Marple books took place in that country.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Moonlight Reader

    "The moon was shining brightly and I saw clearly that no one had touched the window. Not only were the bars that protect it intact, but the blinds inside of them were drawn, as I had myself drawn them early in the evening, as I did every day, though Mademoiselle, knowing that I was tired from the heavy work I had been doing, had begged me not to trouble myself, but leave her to do it; and they were just as I had left them, fastened with an iron catch on the inside. The assassin, therefore, could "The moon was shining brightly and I saw clearly that no one had touched the window. Not only were the bars that protect it intact, but the blinds inside of them were drawn, as I had myself drawn them early in the evening, as I did every day, though Mademoiselle, knowing that I was tired from the heavy work I had been doing, had begged me not to trouble myself, but leave her to do it; and they were just as I had left them, fastened with an iron catch on the inside. The assassin, therefore, could not have passed either in or out that way; but neither could I get in." I read this for my "locked room mystery" square and I really liked it. I spent most of the time coming up with, and subsequently discarding, solutions for the impossible crime, as did most of the characters! The "hero" of the piece of Rouletabille, who is a journalist, and whom the narrator describes as a bit of a wunderkind. He is the only one who manages to figure out what was really going on with the murder and murderer. While this is a short book, it does take some time to read. It's a translation, and was originally published in 1908, so it's not an easy read. Focus is required to keep track of the characters and the events. I didn't figure out the solution at all - I thought I had it figured out, and then it turned out I was entirely wrong about everything. Which means that it was a success!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I wanted to read this because it's one of the first locked-room mysteries: A woman was found attacked in her room, but the door was locked from the inside and there was no way for the attacker to escape. The investigation takes many twists and turns and the ending is difficult to guess. It was also interesting to see how other crime and mystery writers were influenced by Leroux's work.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dfordoom

    Gaston Leroux is of course best known as the author of Phantom of the Opera but he was actually quite prolific. He write quite a few mysteries, the most famous being The Mystery of the Yellow Room. This is the book that introduces his detective Rouletabille, and an interesting sleuth he is too. He is in fact a newspaper reporter rather than a detective as such but as a crime-solver he is second to none. The most interesting thing about him though is that he is just 18 years old. He’s a boy genius Gaston Leroux is of course best known as the author of Phantom of the Opera but he was actually quite prolific. He write quite a few mysteries, the most famous being The Mystery of the Yellow Room. This is the book that introduces his detective Rouletabille, and an interesting sleuth he is too. He is in fact a newspaper reporter rather than a detective as such but as a crime-solver he is second to none. The most interesting thing about him though is that he is just 18 years old. He’s a boy genius detective. Being so young his biggest problem is natural persuading people to take him seriously. He’s also very much a teenager, with the arrogance and impetuosity of youth, and inclined on occasion to the kinds of errors of judgment you’d expect from someone with limited experience of life. In spite of these minor weaknesses he is the foremost detective of his era, and already has some extraordinary successes behind him. The plot involves the attempted murder of a scientist’s daughter. Mademoiselle Stangerson has spent her entire adult life acting as her father’s assistant and at 35 remains unmarried. For years a fellow scientist has been paying court to her, but although she is fond of M Darzac she steadfastly refuses to marry him. Professor Stangerson and his daughter have been working in a fairly esoteric field of science, researching the dissolution of matter. There seems no obvious motive for the vicious assault upon her, an assault that leaves her close to death. Even more puzzling is the fact that her room, next door to their laboratory, is locked from the inside when her father and the servants finally break down the door after hearing sounds of a struggle and gunshots. This is an early example of the locked-room sub-genre, in which a crime is committed that appears to be impossible but nevertheless it has occurred. Edgar Allan Poe a the inventor of this sub-genre with his story The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Conan Doyle had also tried his hand at it with The Speckled Band. The potential problem with this type of mystery is that the solution to the crime often tends to be even more contrived than the usual run of detective stories. The Mystery of the Yellow Room goes perilously close to being just a little bit too clever for its own good. On the other hand it’s certainly ingenious and it’s lively and entertaining and on the whole it succeeds pretty well. Making allowances for the fact that fictional crimes are always much more convoluted than real-life crimes it has to be admitted that Leroux has come up with a plot of genuine originality and interest. The book was very highly regarded in its day and it’s easy to see why Leroux was so popular. It’s definitely worth picking up, and the Wordsworth paperback edition is appealingly inexpensive as well. It’s also a reminder of the very significant contribution that French authors made to the development of the crime novel.

  17. 4 out of 5

    El

    Seems everyone knows that Gaston Leroux wrote The Phantom of the Opera; even those who haven't heard the author's name recognizes the title of the book thanks to the growing popularity over the years, the constant stage presence, etc. Unfortunately Andrew Lloyd Weber didn't adapt Leroux's detective fiction into a musical so they're not as common. The first of his mysteries was this one published serially in 1907. Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes - Gaston Leroux had Joseph Rouletabille. Roul Seems everyone knows that Gaston Leroux wrote The Phantom of the Opera; even those who haven't heard the author's name recognizes the title of the book thanks to the growing popularity over the years, the constant stage presence, etc. Unfortunately Andrew Lloyd Weber didn't adapt Leroux's detective fiction into a musical so they're not as common. The first of his mysteries was this one published serially in 1907. Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes - Gaston Leroux had Joseph Rouletabille. Rouletabille was an 18-year-old journalist who had a knack for logic and reasoning. The Mystery of the Yellow Room involves a "locked room" mystery in that the circumstances surrounding the crime appear to be impossible. He was part of a trend with that whole thing, and authors like Agatha Christie were apparently inspired by him. This was a fun read, but it didn't knock my socks off. Then again, neither did Phantom of the Opera. But I've always sort of been a fan of Leroux's, for no good reason since prior to this book I had only read that other one, the popular one. He's one of those authors I don't know much about but he totally intrigues me. I stumbled (almost quite literally) upon his grave in Nice in 2006, and ever since then I've wanted to read his other work. I feel I know him a little better having read his first detective novel, and I'm currently reading the second one, The Perfume of the Lady in Black. We'll see where I go from there.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    3 Stars Gaston Leroux is best known for writing The Phantom of the Opera. Apparently he also wrote detective fiction, and his character of Joseph Rouletabille is to France what Sherlock Holmes is to England. I'll get the comparisons to Sherlock Holmes out of the way first. It is inevitable that the two are compared. Since A Study in Scarlet was first published in 1887 and The Mystery of the Yellow Room was not published until 1907, it is clear who came up with the idea first. I have no idea whethe 3 Stars Gaston Leroux is best known for writing The Phantom of the Opera. Apparently he also wrote detective fiction, and his character of Joseph Rouletabille is to France what Sherlock Holmes is to England. I'll get the comparisons to Sherlock Holmes out of the way first. It is inevitable that the two are compared. Since A Study in Scarlet was first published in 1887 and The Mystery of the Yellow Room was not published until 1907, it is clear who came up with the idea first. I have no idea whether or not Leroux ever read Sherlock Holmes, but since I have I could not help thinking of the latter while reading The Mystery of the Yellow Room. Both series star a person who solves crimes through deductions and far outsmarts every else around. Both series are told through the narration of a sidekick who loves to sing their praise. There are similarities in the story setup and writing as well. But I definitely like Sherlock better than Joseph Rouletabille. The Mystery of the Yellow Room was Leroux's first book, so I was willing to give leeway for some things. But I was surprised that this is considered one of the greatest locked room mysteries ever written. It was decent but not astounding. The circumstances surrounding the events and the revelation of how the crime was committed all felt contrived. It definitely was not a mystery that readers could play along with. Meaning, revelations were based on things the reader was not shown, so it was impossible to deduct anything. And for a novella, it did drag on a bit. The novella is written in the old style of serial publication which made it fragmented sometimes. (To be fair, it was the popular style when this book was written.) But it does contain some dense, run-on paragraphs. The popular trend was also for chapter headings to have teasers (and sometimes spoilers). Much is revealed ahead of time as if guarding the readers' delicate sensibilities from too much shock. The main character is Joseph Rouletabille, a young reporter who is apparently smarter than everyone else and the only one capable of figuring out crimes. He started his dazzling journalistic career at age sixteen. Since this was the early 1900's, it was not surprising for a sixteen-year-old to be working. What was surprising was that a mere two years later (when this story takes place), Rouletabille already has an established career and has made himself indispensable not only to his newspaper but also to the police and justice system. And so this Mary Sue reporter (or Gary Stu if you prefer the male moniker) is granted carte blanche access to crime scenes because he is the only one who could possibly solve any mystery. He is accompanied by his lawyer sidekick (whose name I have already forgotten) who is so awed by his younger friend's astounding intellect that he feels the world must be told of his great deeds. The character development is certainly lacking. There are many references to Rouletabille's mysterious past, but all the reader gets is a pat on the head and "maybe it will be revealed in the next book. Wink, wink." And none of the other characters matter beyond their involvement in the mystery. Another complaint was that the only female character is a helpless damsel in distress with no personality. There is a heavy emphasis placed on the importance of truth over justice. Rouletabille blatantly states that he does not care about "justice;" he cares about the truth being known. He is a reporter after all. Since the author was also a journalist, that seemed to be a very deliberate point. Rouletabille wanted the perpetrator to be known but stated that it was not his problem whether or not that person was brought to justice. I have no idea what the laws in France in 1907 were, but you would think his lawyer friend would have made some attempt to ensure that due process was followed. Basically, this is the story of an overly-smart teenage reporter running amuck of the justice system and solving mysteries to satisfy his own curiosity. Another note: the edition I read had a translation footnote near the beginning of the story that contained a spoiler for the main plot. It was annoying to have something given away like that. I won't give away the big reveal. But Rouletabille does everything short of swing in on a chandelier to make it was dramatic as possible. Then the story ends with a blatant teaser for the next book. I will probably try out the next book in the series to see if it improves on the first one. But this only an average book to me. RATING FACTORS: Ease of Reading: 3 Stars Writing Style: 3 Stars Characters and Character Development: 2 Stars Plot Structure and Development: 3 Stars Level of Captivation: 3 Stars Originality: 2 Stars

  19. 5 out of 5

    DeAnna Knippling

    A young woman is found attacked and bleeding, while locked in an impenetrable room: door locked, windows barred. Who attacked her and how? Only the brilliant Rouletabille can solve the crime! I hadn't realized this, but it turns out the author of The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux, was the Arthur Conan Doyle of France, writing a bajillion mysteries and other pulp novels. This is very readable. I had the mystery from early on--and then got completely talked out of my theory, spending the rest A young woman is found attacked and bleeding, while locked in an impenetrable room: door locked, windows barred. Who attacked her and how? Only the brilliant Rouletabille can solve the crime! I hadn't realized this, but it turns out the author of The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux, was the Arthur Conan Doyle of France, writing a bajillion mysteries and other pulp novels. This is very readable. I had the mystery from early on--and then got completely talked out of my theory, spending the rest of the book so far off track that I was in another genre. A fun read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elena Santangelo

    I wanted to read this because I knew the book had influenced Agatha Christie. I now see why it influenced her--it was a more definite locked room mystery than, say, Poe's Murder in the Rue Morgue. Yet, I can also understand that when Christie said she started writing mysteries because she thought she could do a better job than many of the books she'd read--Yellow Room was likely one of the books she meant. I presume it was written originally as a serial novel, as so many were in the 19th century I wanted to read this because I knew the book had influenced Agatha Christie. I now see why it influenced her--it was a more definite locked room mystery than, say, Poe's Murder in the Rue Morgue. Yet, I can also understand that when Christie said she started writing mysteries because she thought she could do a better job than many of the books she'd read--Yellow Room was likely one of the books she meant. I presume it was written originally as a serial novel, as so many were in the 19th century, and I got the impression that LeRoux dashed off each chapter just as each deadline loomed, without a lot of planning. In the end, the motives were disappointing, and I would have killed the victim myself if I'd had the chance. Part of the problem may be that I listened to it as an audiobook with at least a half dozen different narrators, which was very disorienting. Some were excellent readers, but some had trouble pronouncing English and paused in odd places, while others had trouble pronouncing French (Mon-sewer, for example--and my favorite was the gentleman who always said "Jello Room.")

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jemidar

    There's nothing I like more than a good locked room mystery and this one fit the bill perfectly with a mysterious assassination attempt, intriguing clues and red herrings aplenty to keep the pages turning. The final reveal came as a complete surprise to me even though I had thought I'd worked it all out. Buddy read with Kim :-).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Renee M

    Positively swimming with red herring. But also liberally peppered with genuine clues. And a few things you couldn't possibly see coming. I had a great time with this, and thoroughly enjoyed the young French genius/journalist/amateur detective.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Hodge

    This was recommended by a friend when I was looking for books written and set right before the Great War, so I went into it knowing nothing other than that it was written by the author of Phantom of the Opera (which I haven't read) and that it was a mystery published in 1908 and set in the 1890s. I'm no the hugest mystery reader, but I enjoy them, and this was certainly an interesting specimen. The mystery is of the locked room variety. The basic set up is as follows: A scientist and his attracti This was recommended by a friend when I was looking for books written and set right before the Great War, so I went into it knowing nothing other than that it was written by the author of Phantom of the Opera (which I haven't read) and that it was a mystery published in 1908 and set in the 1890s. I'm no the hugest mystery reader, but I enjoy them, and this was certainly an interesting specimen. The mystery is of the locked room variety. The basic set up is as follows: A scientist and his attractive 35-year-old daughter live in an isolated chateau where they devote themselves to studying physics and chemistry. During the warm months the daughter sleeps in a small room off the laboratory. One night she goes to bed at midnight while her father is still working. Half an hour later, there is a thud, a shot, and cries of "Murderer!" from inside the room. The scientist and his servant rush to the door, but it is locked. All the windows are locked. At last, they break down the door and find all the signs of a struggle and the daughter badly hurt from a blow to the head, but no murderer. The young reporter/detective Joseph Rouletabille investigates and eventually comes to the highly complex and unexpected solution. Honestly, I would have marked it down for the solution being so intricate as to be unbelievable, but the author ups the ante with the last few sentences with some additional personal drama such that I ended fascinated rather than distanced. There were, apparently, a number of Rouletabille mysteries, though so far as I can tell only the next two have been translated into English. This is too bad, because some of the later Rouletabille mysteries sound fascinating, at least from a historical perspective. I wish I could read Rouletabille à la Guerre from 1914 and Rouletabille chez Krupp from 1917, since those apparently deal with the war. The narrative style of Mystery of the Yellow Room is surprisingly complex. The story is narrated by a lawyer who is a minor character, but he repeatedly breaks off to includes sources written by various other characters from their points of view. The result is complex and entertaining, and, for my purposes, not a bad window into the period either.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    There is something contrived about a locked room mystery. A crime has been committed, but it seems impossible as the criminal could not have escaped. And yet Mlle Stangerson lies bleeding and at the edge of death. Gaston Laroux, who is perhaps better known for The Phantom of the Opera, was a journalist who was well acquainted with criminal cases. In The Mystery Of The Yellow Room, his hero is an eighteen-year-old journalist who goes by the name of Joseph Rouletabille who inserts himself into the There is something contrived about a locked room mystery. A crime has been committed, but it seems impossible as the criminal could not have escaped. And yet Mlle Stangerson lies bleeding and at the edge of death. Gaston Laroux, who is perhaps better known for The Phantom of the Opera, was a journalist who was well acquainted with criminal cases. In The Mystery Of The Yellow Room, his hero is an eighteen-year-old journalist who goes by the name of Joseph Rouletabille who inserts himself into the case and comes up with some brilliant deductions, not all of which pan out. In the end, however, he discovers the mystery. I could have discovered the mystery much sooner had I been there. Around 1900, no one could imagine putting the screws to a woman who very obviously knows who her assailant was. Everyone tiptoes too delicately around this fact -- and it takes something away from the ingenious final solution that Rouletabille finds to the case. Still and all, it's an interesting read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    Gaston Leroux had written two books which successfully make him an immortal in the world of literature: The Phantom of the Opera and this one, The Mystery of the Yellow Room. The Mystery of the Yellow Room is a classic in the realm of old schooled detective and mystery literature. I was pleasantly surprised by the plot twist of this book, and this plot twist alone deserves 5 full stars, but the story itself and its characters really aren't all that brilliant. I don't love this book as much as I l Gaston Leroux had written two books which successfully make him an immortal in the world of literature: The Phantom of the Opera and this one, The Mystery of the Yellow Room. The Mystery of the Yellow Room is a classic in the realm of old schooled detective and mystery literature. I was pleasantly surprised by the plot twist of this book, and this plot twist alone deserves 5 full stars, but the story itself and its characters really aren't all that brilliant. I don't love this book as much as I love The Phantom of the Opera. So I give this book 3.5 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Philippe Malzieu

    So charming. It is obsolete and delicious. There is of old professor, pure young girls, love secret and a enigma. One takes sea bathings and one dines in costume. It is the vestige of past. People were well educated. Elegant and refined I like

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bettie's Books

  28. 4 out of 5

    Xan Shadowflutter

    This is touted as the, or one of the, first locked room mysteries. Can someone point me to a good locked room mystery? The structure of the novel is odd, and the 1st person narrative meanders over hill and dale, probably to fill out the 193 pages, which is way too many pages for this story. What this is is a Sherlock Holmes knock-off, where the Holmes character is an 18-year-old journalist working for a popular and influential newspaper/magazine, and Watson is a young attorney. The Holmes charac This is touted as the, or one of the, first locked room mysteries. Can someone point me to a good locked room mystery? The structure of the novel is odd, and the 1st person narrative meanders over hill and dale, probably to fill out the 193 pages, which is way too many pages for this story. What this is is a Sherlock Holmes knock-off, where the Holmes character is an 18-year-old journalist working for a popular and influential newspaper/magazine, and Watson is a young attorney. The Holmes character has worked at one or two other newspapers prior to getting this job, so they must start them young in France. It's not everyday you come across an 18-year old who is a famous journalist smart enough to outwit the best detectives an entire country has to offer. The Watson character must not have any cases to work because he has nothing better to do than follow his friend around. The denouement is a farce, overplayed and overacted, and the secret to the mystery, the one we've all been waiting for, is laughable. You also stand no chance of solving it on your own. Empty calories.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jersy

    First of all, this was a decent mystery and not a badly written book, it just wasn't for me. In theory, I should have liked it, but the long interlinked sentences disturbed the flow, the attempts of humor didn't work for me and the characters had a lot of potential that wasn't utilized enough for me. Maybe it's because this is a pretty old murder mystery and I have read some of these already, that this didn't offer much to me. When used to Sherlock Holmes and the works of Agathe Christie, the stan First of all, this was a decent mystery and not a badly written book, it just wasn't for me. In theory, I should have liked it, but the long interlinked sentences disturbed the flow, the attempts of humor didn't work for me and the characters had a lot of potential that wasn't utilized enough for me. Maybe it's because this is a pretty old murder mystery and I have read some of these already, that this didn't offer much to me. When used to Sherlock Holmes and the works of Agathe Christie, the standart is pretty high. Some things that where ment to be charming or clever kind of annoyed me, like that all the time people claimed they have already solved the case. The first time this happened was in the first quarter and I wondered if this book contained actually several cases because this felt much too early. In general, it felt a little longer than it needed to be, which, for such a short book, is not a good sign. I just lost interest half way through and just finished the book because I had no other one at hand. The solution was kind of convoluted but parts of it were really interesting. I really get people that like this book, I just didn't.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I really wanted to read this one, and also was happy that the French was very easy to understand. It engaged me at the beginning, but I am struggling to keep reading it now.

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