With 1 ratings
By: Edgar Wallace
Purchased At: $13
An enjoyable short work from Edgar Wallace, originally published in 1915. Few people today would recognize the name "Edgar Wallace" but before his death in 1933 he was a literary force to be reckoned with. He was both prolific and popular and his books reportedly sold at the rate of 5,000 a day. "The Melody of Death" is a novel about a young man who starts behaving strangely upon hearing a certain melody. Fearing that he may be suffering from cancer, Gilbert Standerton asks the doctor to deliver the bad news in an unusual way. In the meantime, he desperately searches for a way of providing for his bride after his death-including crime. An excellent minor plot supplies an eerie atmosphere and explains the title. Edgar Wallace provides a thrill of another sort!
I'm usually quite enthusiastic about Edgar Wallace's stories, but the plot of 'The Melody of Death' is one that overstretches credibility and is disappointing. There are characters (such as the young girl who delivers the melody of the title) that are not developed and the story, such as it is, finishes abruptly. My impression is that Wallace didn't quite write the story that he had in mind. Not one of his best.