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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

    Nasia

    Αρκετά παλαϊκό στο στυλ, ήταν ενδιαφέρον όμως. Σίγουρα όχι από τα πιο αγαπημένα μου αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα, ειδικά προς το τέλος με την "καλή" και την "κακή" πλευρά της σκέψης βαρέθηκα και κουράστηκα.

  3. 5 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. 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.

  5. 5 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.}

  6. 4 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!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Αλίκη

    Η ιστορία μας διαδραματίζεται στη γαλλική εξοχή, και σε έναν πύργο όπου η νεαρή κόρη του επιστήμονα Στάγκερσον πέφτει θύμα επίθεσης μέσα στο δωμάτιό της, που όμως είναι κλειδωμένο από μέσα και τα παράθυρα είναι σφαλιστά κι αυτά από μέσα. Πρόκειται για ένα από τα πρώτα μυθιστορήματα κλειδωμένου δωματίου και αποτελεί ορόσημο της κλασικής αστυνομικής λογοτεχνίας που διαβάζεται και αγαπιέται από τους αναγνώστες μέχρι σήμερα. Ο ερευνητής της υπόθεσης, ο 18άχρονος δημοσιογράφος Ζοζέφ Ρουλεταμπίλ, θυμί Η ιστορία μας διαδραματίζεται στη γαλλική εξοχή, και σε έναν πύργο όπου η νεαρή κόρη του επιστήμονα Στάγκερσον πέφτει θύμα επίθεσης μέσα στο δωμάτιό της, που όμως είναι κλειδωμένο από μέσα και τα παράθυρα είναι σφαλιστά κι αυτά από μέσα. Πρόκειται για ένα από τα πρώτα μυθιστορήματα κλειδωμένου δωματίου και αποτελεί ορόσημο της κλασικής αστυνομικής λογοτεχνίας που διαβάζεται και αγαπιέται από τους αναγνώστες μέχρι σήμερα. Ο ερευνητής της υπόθεσης, ο 18άχρονος δημοσιογράφος Ζοζέφ Ρουλεταμπίλ, θυμίζει κάτι από Τεντέν, καθώς είναι ιδιοφυής και πολυμήχανος, παρά το νεαρό της ηλικίας του. Η ανάγνωση του βιβλίου δεν με κούρασε στιγμή, ενώ στοιχεία για τη λύση του υπήρχαν σε όλη τη διάρκεια, αν και δυσκολεύτηκα αρκετά να τα εντοπίσω εγκαίρως (ακόμα και μετά τα τόσα αστυνομικά που έχω διαβάσει!). Μόλις πήγαινα να κάνω μια εικασία, προέκυπταν νέα στοιχεία που την απέκλειαν, ενώ ο Ρουλεταμπίλ απαντούσε σε όλες τις απορίες μου, ακόμα κι αυτές που κάθονταν ακόμα στο πίσω πίσω μέρος του μυαλού μου κι εν τέλει δεν άφησε τίποτα αναπάντητο. Μου άρεσε και το ταξίδι σε αυτό τον φοβερό πύργο που συνέβαιναν τόσα παράξενα κι εκτίμησα τον νεαρό δημοσιογράφο, που αν και στην αρχή δεν με έπειθε όσον αφορά το νεαρό της ηλικίας του για τις ικανότητές του, τελικά συμπάθησα και θα ήθελα να διαβάσω ακόμη περισσότερα βιβλία όπου πρωταγωνιστεί. Διαβάστε περισσότερα εδώ.

  8. 5 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thanos

    Για να πω την αλήθεια περίμενα περισσότερα από αυτό το βιβλίο έχοντας ακούσει τόσα πολλά. Αυτό βέβαια δεν σημαίνει πως δεν είναι καλό. Και φυσικά αν συνυπολογίσουμε το γεγονός ότι έχει γραφτεί πριν από 100 χρόνια μπορούμε εύκολα να καταλάβουμε γιατί έχει τέτοια θέση τόσο στη Γαλλική όσο και στην παγκόσμια λογοτεχνία. Πολύ έξυπνη ιστορία αλλά δεν μου άρεσε πολύ η γραφή του Leroux. Είχε κάτι που με ξένισε και δεν με προδιάθετε να διαβάσω. Οπότε δεν νομίζω ότι θα διαβάσω κάτι άλλο δικό του. Βέβαια, γ Για να πω την αλήθεια περίμενα περισσότερα από αυτό το βιβλίο έχοντας ακούσει τόσα πολλά. Αυτό βέβαια δεν σημαίνει πως δεν είναι καλό. Και φυσικά αν συνυπολογίσουμε το γεγονός ότι έχει γραφτεί πριν από 100 χρόνια μπορούμε εύκολα να καταλάβουμε γιατί έχει τέτοια θέση τόσο στη Γαλλική όσο και στην παγκόσμια λογοτεχνία. Πολύ έξυπνη ιστορία αλλά δεν μου άρεσε πολύ η γραφή του Leroux. Είχε κάτι που με ξένισε και δεν με προδιάθετε να διαβάσω. Οπότε δεν νομίζω ότι θα διαβάσω κάτι άλλο δικό του. Βέβαια, για να καταλάβει κανείς που βασίστηκαν πολλά αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα από το 1900 και μετά, ας δώσει μία ευκαιρία στο Μυστήριο του κίτρινου δωματίου και στον δημοσιογράφο/ντετέκτιβ Ζοζέφ Ρουλεταμπίλ.

  10. 4 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christine Goudroupi

    Δεν είχα διαβάσει κανένα μυστήριο κλειδωμένου δωματίου πριν από αυτό. Γραμμένο στις αρχές του 20ού αιώνα, το μυθιστόρημα του Leroux αποτελεί ένα εξαιρετικό παράδειγμα του είδους, και του αστυνομικού γενικότερα, με την κλασική έννοια. Η πλοκή είναι δομημένη, η γραφή απλή αλλά όχι απλοϊκή και κυρίως, το ενδιαφέρον προκαλείται στον αναγνώστη αυθόρμητα και απόλυτα, χωρίς καν να υπάρχει φόνος. O κεντρικός ήρωας είναι όσο πρέπει εξυπνάκιας, αλλά οι υπόλοιποι χαρακτήρες είναι κάπως φλατ και ελάχιστα γί Δεν είχα διαβάσει κανένα μυστήριο κλειδωμένου δωματίου πριν από αυτό. Γραμμένο στις αρχές του 20ού αιώνα, το μυθιστόρημα του Leroux αποτελεί ένα εξαιρετικό παράδειγμα του είδους, και του αστυνομικού γενικότερα, με την κλασική έννοια. Η πλοκή είναι δομημένη, η γραφή απλή αλλά όχι απλοϊκή και κυρίως, το ενδιαφέρον προκαλείται στον αναγνώστη αυθόρμητα και απόλυτα, χωρίς καν να υπάρχει φόνος. O κεντρικός ήρωας είναι όσο πρέπει εξυπνάκιας, αλλά οι υπόλοιποι χαρακτήρες είναι κάπως φλατ και ελάχιστα γίνονται συμπαθείς ή αντιπαθείς -πράγμα που συμβάλλει ωστόσο στο μυστήριο. Για όσους ψυχαναγκάζονται να βρουν το δολοφόνο πριν αποκαλυφθεί, αυτό το βιβλίο είναι σαν τον κύβο του Ρούμπικ: Ξέρεις ότι η λύση είναι εκεί, μπορείς να τη βρεις, αλλά δεν την βρίσκεις. Για τους υπόλοιπους που απλώς απολαμβάνουν ένα καλογραμμένο μυστήριο εποχής, το βιβλίο αυτό είναι 300 σελίδες καθαρής διασκέδασης.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Franco Santos

    El Misterio del Cuarto Amarillo es un libro del cual me esperaba mucho más. Me resultó harto pesado: se me hizo muy difícil navegar por páginas pletóricas de narrativa enrevesada. El final no me lo esperaba, eso sí tengo que conceder; no obstante, fue demasiado confuso y, en mi opinión, algo inverosímil.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

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

  14. 4 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tim Orfanos

    Ίσως ένα από τα πιο δύσκολα στην ανάγνωση αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα και από τα πιο πολύπλοκα για να κάνει κάποιος κριτική. Ο Λερού κρατά σε αγωνία τον αναγνώστη ακόμα και όταν οι διάλογοι είναι πυκνοί και οι λεπτομέρειες απαιτητικές, ενώ οι περιγραφές μυστικών μονοπατιών, δωματίων και χώρων παραπέμπουν σε γοτθικό παραμύθι. Ο δημοσιογράφος-ντετέκτιβ του 'Μυστηρίου του κίτρινου δωματίου' Ζοζέ Ρουλεταμπίλ μένει αξέχαστος στον αναγνώστη λόγω του έξυπνου χιούμορ του και της νεανικής εφευρετικότητάς το Ίσως ένα από τα πιο δύσκολα στην ανάγνωση αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα και από τα πιο πολύπλοκα για να κάνει κάποιος κριτική. Ο Λερού κρατά σε αγωνία τον αναγνώστη ακόμα και όταν οι διάλογοι είναι πυκνοί και οι λεπτομέρειες απαιτητικές, ενώ οι περιγραφές μυστικών μονοπατιών, δωματίων και χώρων παραπέμπουν σε γοτθικό παραμύθι. Ο δημοσιογράφος-ντετέκτιβ του 'Μυστηρίου του κίτρινου δωματίου' Ζοζέ Ρουλεταμπίλ μένει αξέχαστος στον αναγνώστη λόγω του έξυπνου χιούμορ του και της νεανικής εφευρετικότητάς του. Αξίζει να διαβαστεί για τη σύλληψή του και την καινοτομική του δομή, ωστόσο χρειάζεται υπομονή, διάθεση και χρόνος! Βαθμολογία: 4/5 ή 8/10.

  16. 4 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 5 out of 5

    P.E.

    I remember some kind of trachery from the writer in the way he describes the room in the first place. At least, I was prepared to face the Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue :) ------------------- Je garde le souvenir d'un coup fourré de la part de l'auteur dans sa première description de la chambre... Au moins, ça m'a préparé aux meurtres de la rue Morgue d'Edgar Allan Poe :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Πάνος Τουρλής

    Ο Γκαστόν Λερού (1868-1927) ήταν Γάλλος δημοσιογράφος και συγγραφέας, γνωστός για το έργο «Το φάντασμα της όπερας» που δημοσιεύτηκε το 1910. Μετά από σημαντικά ρεπορτάζ σε γαλλικές εφημερίδες της εποχής στράφηκε στη συγγραφή μυθιστορημάτων και στην παραγωγή κινηματογραφικών ταινιών. Εκτός από το «Φάντασμα της όπερας», ο Λερού δημοσίευσε αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα με τον ήρωα Ζοζέφ Ρουλεταμπίλ, κάτι αντίστοιχο του Σέρλοκ Χολμς που είχε γράψει ο Σερ Άρθουρ Κόναν Ντόιλ. Έτσι λοιπόν, σχεδόν 100 χρόνια Ο Γκαστόν Λερού (1868-1927) ήταν Γάλλος δημοσιογράφος και συγγραφέας, γνωστός για το έργο «Το φάντασμα της όπερας» που δημοσιεύτηκε το 1910. Μετά από σημαντικά ρεπορτάζ σε γαλλικές εφημερίδες της εποχής στράφηκε στη συγγραφή μυθιστορημάτων και στην παραγωγή κινηματογραφικών ταινιών. Εκτός από το «Φάντασμα της όπερας», ο Λερού δημοσίευσε αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα με τον ήρωα Ζοζέφ Ρουλεταμπίλ, κάτι αντίστοιχο του Σέρλοκ Χολμς που είχε γράψει ο Σερ Άρθουρ Κόναν Ντόιλ. Έτσι λοιπόν, σχεδόν 100 χρόνια μετά, οι εκδόσεις Διόπτρα μας χαρίζουν την πρώτη εμφάνιση του πανέξυπνου έφηβου δημοσιογράφου Ρουλεταμπίλ, που καλείται να αντιμετωπίσει τη μυστηριώδη εξαφάνιση ενός επίδοξου δολοφόνου από ένα δωμάτιο κλειδωμένο και αμπαρωμένο από μέσα. Φυσικά και δεν υπάρχει περίπτωση να ασκήσω κριτική αρνητική ή θετική για ένα κείμενο που δημοσιεύτηκε πάνω από έναν αιώνα πριν, ένα κείμενο που αγκαλιάστηκε θερμά από τους αναγνώστες της αστυνομικής λογοτεχνίας και θεωρήθηκε ένα από τα 100 καλύτερα παγκοσμίως, σύμφωνα με τον Τζον Ντίκσον Καρ, όπως αναφέρεται και στο οπισθόφυλλο του βιβλίου. Είναι πολύ δύσκολο να γράφεις εντυπώσεις για κάτι που γράφτηκε υπό άλλες συνθήκες, σε άλλες εποχές και απευθυνόταν σε κοινό που είχε άλλη λογοτεχνική εμπειρία. Θα γράψω όμως τι μου άρεσε: η αγωνία για το ποιος είναι ο δολοφόνος, ο χαρακτήρας του Ρουλεταμπίλ, η κλιμάκωση, που το κείμενο ειχε και σχεδιαγράμματα (αν και ποτέ μου δεν κατάλαβα σε τι χρησιμεύουν, αφού αν η λογοτεχνική πένα είναι άρτια, την εικόνα τη φτιάχνω μόνος μου ή σε άλλες περιπτώσεις δε με νοιάζει τι έκανε και πού περπάτησε, πες μου ποιος είναι!). Ευτυχώς, η λύση του μυστηρίου δεν ήταν υπερφυσική, γιατί όταν άρχισε να μιλάει για διάσπαση της ύλης, ότι ο δολοφόνος είναι εκεί και δεν είναι εκεί, αλλού πήγε το μυαλό μου αλλά ευτυχώς όλα καλά στο τέλος! Αγωνία, ανατροπές και η κλασική γραφή της εποχής, με περιγραφές τοπίων, σπιτιών, χαρακτήρων, καλά κρυμμένα μυστικά, κλιμακώσεις κλπ. Οι φανατικοί του είδους δε θα απογοητευτούν!

  22. 4 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daoud Hipa

    J aime cette serie <3

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Βάσω Βουνάτσου

    Έχω μάλλον ανάμεικτα συναισθήματα. Νομίζω περισσότερο βαρέθηκα παρά το ευχαριστήθηκα. Αυτό που κυρίως με ενόχλησε είναι ότι ο αναγνώστης μένει αμετοχος στη λύση του μυστηρίου, δεν δίνονται καθόλου στοιχεία που να τον καθοδηγούν ενώ κάθε τρεις και λίγο έχει τον κεντρικό ήρωα να τρώει αναλαμπες του τύπου "το βρήκα, μα είναι τόσο προφανές!!! δεν το βλέπετε?".

  29. 4 out of 5

    freedom ♡

    Το Μυστήριο του Κίτρινου Δωματίου λοιπόν... Το περίμενα καλύτερο, καθώς μου είχε προταθεί από δύο άτομα, και θεωρείται ‘ένα από τα 100 καλύτερα βιβλία μυστηρίου’ και ‘το καλύτερο βιβλίο κλειδωμένου δωματίου’. Σύμφωνα με το οπισθόφυλλο ‘Το Μυστήριο του Κίτρινου Δωματίου’ είναι μια από τις πιο εμβληματικές ιστορίες της λογοτεχνίας μυστηρίου […]’. Όπως είπα, οι προσδοκίες μου ήταν υψηλότερες. Πρέπει να ομολογήσω πως το περίμενα σε στυλ Αγκάθα Κρίστι – αλλά φυσικά ο κάθε συγγραφέας έχει το δικό του στ Το Μυστήριο του Κίτρινου Δωματίου λοιπόν... Το περίμενα καλύτερο, καθώς μου είχε προταθεί από δύο άτομα, και θεωρείται ‘ένα από τα 100 καλύτερα βιβλία μυστηρίου’ και ‘το καλύτερο βιβλίο κλειδωμένου δωματίου’. Σύμφωνα με το οπισθόφυλλο ‘Το Μυστήριο του Κίτρινου Δωματίου’ είναι μια από τις πιο εμβληματικές ιστορίες της λογοτεχνίας μυστηρίου […]’. Όπως είπα, οι προσδοκίες μου ήταν υψηλότερες. Πρέπει να ομολογήσω πως το περίμενα σε στυλ Αγκάθα Κρίστι – αλλά φυσικά ο κάθε συγγραφέας έχει το δικό του στυλ. Κάτι που δεν μου αρέσει αρκετά σε βιβλία μυστηρίου είναι να επεξηγεί ο ντετέκτιβ κάποιο γεγονός πριν την ‘Μεγάλη Αποκάλυψη’ του τέλους. Ο Ρουλεταμπίλ το έκανε αυτό αρκετά, αν και δεν αποκάλυψε πριν το δικαστήριο την σχέση του Μέγα Φρεντ με την Ματίλντ, κάτι το οποίο παίζει μεγάλο ρόλο. Δεν συμπάθησα τον Ρουλεταμπίλ τόσο όσο άλλους ντετέκτιβς, νομίζω πως ο συγγραφές προσπαθεί να τον κάνει να μοιάζει μυστηριώδης, ιδιοφυής αλλά και συναισθηματικός τόσο πολύ που στο τέλος χάνει αυτά τα χαρακτηριστικά. Πιστεύω πως ήταν πολύ χρήσιμες οι κατόψεις του πύργου που επισυνάπτονταν ανάμεσα στο κείμενο, ώστε να καταλαβαίνουν οι αναγνώστες τον χώρο στον οποίο λαμβάνει χώρα η ιστορία. Μέχρι το σημείο που ο αφηγητής δίνει τα αποσπάσματα του σημειωματαρίου του Ρουλεταμπίλ έβρισκα το βιβλίο αρκετά βαρετό. Από το μέρος αυτό και μετά άρχισε να αποκτά ενδιαφέρον. Όπως και άλλοι ντετέκτιβς (μυθοπλαστικοί ήρωες εννοώ) και ο Ρουλεταμπίλ έχει την χαρακτηριστική του φράση, ένα γνώρισμα. Ο Ηρακλής Πουαρώ έχει 'την φαιά ουσία του', ο Σέρλοκ Χολμς το 'Στοιχειώδες, αγαπητέ μου Γουάτσον και ο Ρουλεταμπίλ το 'φίλτρο της λογικής του'. Το φίλτρο της λογικής του, φιλτράρει τα δεδομένα και κρατάει αυτά που εξηγούνται με την λογική, ενώ για τα ανεξήγητα, ο Ρουλεταμπιλ, πρέπει να αναζητήσει μια εναλλακτική λύση. Όπως επανέλαβα, από την μέση και μετά, το βιβλίο κέρδισε το ενδιαφέρον μου, και πρέπει να ομολογήσω ότι με κράτησε σε προσμονή μέχρι και το ανατρεπτικό τέλος του.

  30. 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.")

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