East End landlady Mrs Drabdump is alarmed when she cannot rouse her lodger Arthur Constant. She summons the assistance of her neighbour, retired Scotland Yard detective George Grodman. He breaks down the door to Constant’s room, only to find the man lying dead on his bed, with a deep cut to his throat. No-one, it seems, could have got in or out of the locked room and there is no sign of the murder weapon. Who was the killer and how will he be identified?a
The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont (1906) is a collection of lively, enjoyable stories about a French detective resident in London. Whether dealing with a gang of anarchists in ‘The Siamese Twin of a Bomb-Thrower’ or flirting with the supernatural in ‘The Ghost with the Club-Foot’, the resourceful M. Valmont rarely loses his sang-froid and self-confidence. He may not always catch the criminal but his sense of style and Poirot-like conceit remain intact.
The Buntings are an elderly London couple who have fallen on hard times. They take in a lodger with the strange name of Mr. Sleuth, who pays handsomely for their shabby rooms. He seems to be a perfect gentleman but none the less they begin to suspect that he may be the Jack-the-Ripper-like serial killer known in the press as ‘The Avenger’. As the number of murders in the city begins to mount, and Mr. Bunting’s teenage daughter from an earlier marriage comes to stay, the couple must decide what to do about the man in their upstairs rooms.a