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This is a murder story with more twists and turns than an alpine mountain pass: in the evolution of the murder genre, this is a mile stone in its development: this work established the reputation of William Le Queux as a murder drama writer of distinction, in the decade in which he in turn graduated to his pinnacle of his stories: espionage and the German war threat. This is a "must" read for the aficionado of 'turn of the century' period thrillers.
Two long established friends meet for dinner at The Savoy in the heady days of pre World War 1 London: Arthur is the rich sole beneficiary of his father's prosperous coal mining and bunkering business in South Wales and who, that very day, had discovered that his dinner companion, the more extrovert and 'relaxed' Stock Exchange broker friend Roy Royston is in serious financial trouble. Arthur resolves to help with a substantial loan which he presents over dinner that evening: 10 thousand in a brown envelope. This generous intervention relieves Roy of his decision to end his life that very night.
Seated between them is Helene, one of London's true beauties and Roy's lost love. Impassioned with each other when they had met in an earlier year in France, their subsequently enforced separation by chance enabled Arthur and Helene to meet and Arthur to supplant Roy in Helen's affections.
Heartbroken, Roy recovers from this trauma and resolves that he will be friends with both Helen and her husband Arthur.
Their dinner is interrupted by an urgent message drawing Arthur away on business to South Wales, leaving Helen in the sole company of Roy.
Later that evening and needing to unburden himself of a deep and dark secret which would ruin Helene's reputation in society, he visits her in the dead of that night at their London home in Cumberland Terrace. They are disturbed together by unexpected noises suggesting the presence of a third party... . Arthur... maybe! Roy hides on an outside veranda. Within the hour he tries to escape surreptitiously via an open window and into the arms of a passing policeman on patrol. Then they discover that Helene is in the house and that she is dead ... murdered! Roy seems to be the obvious culprit and he is arrested. But Roy isn't "going to come quietly"... . all is not as it seems... now read on.

Genre: Mystery

Used availability for William le Queux's The Crooked Way

Kindle Editions

October 2010 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Crooked Way
Author(s): William Le Queux
Publisher: Qwertyword Limited
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA