The Perfume of the Lady in Black, by Gastón Leroux

32423378In The Perfume of the Lady in Black, Joseph Rouletabille, the young journalist turned detective, is once more pitted against his arch-enemy Frédéric Larsan. The mysterious crime committed in the Square Tower challenges even Rouletabille’s powers of logic and deduction. But this is also a novel which – through its implicit accommodation of recent developments in the new science of psychoanalysis, particularly Freud’s notion of the Oedipus complex – was even further ahead of its time than The Mystery of the Yellow Room (from Goodreads)

Second book about Rouletabille’s adventures. The charactars are pretty much the same that in the previous book (with few newcomers) but everyone is in an altered state of nervousness and panic. The evil they thought they’ve left behind, is back, and more terrifying than ever.

Something that I didn’t mention in the previous post is that, at the end of The yellow room, there was a HUGE spoiler about Rouletabille’s past, written ON A FOOT NOTE that it even said “as it’s reveald in The perfume…“. WHAT?!?! I was INFURIATED. I remember that I was just leaving a train (commuting, my favorite time to read) while I was a reading it and I gasped quite loudly in indignation. Up to this day I don’t know if it was an editor or translator’s note or it was meant to be there by the author. But I assure you, there was nothing on that book that could make me foresee that piece of information that, luckily, is given quite early in this second book.

Let’s get back on track.

That particular discovery we make about Rouletabille’s past life is the root of his strangeness throughout the entire book. He’s not the same and it shows. I must say, I missed the old Rouletabille, but, luckily for us and the rest of the characters, he gets his mind to work correctly and solves the mistery.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous one. Instead of having a crime and find our way to the criminal, in this novel we have the criminal but there’s no crime yet, so everyone is working towards preventing it. That’s not so fun. Like I said, all the characters are pretty nervous and they got on my nerves as well. Is a constant state of unstediness.

After all this DRAMA, I can’t help but wonder what could happen to Rouletabille in his next adventure?

The mystery of the Yellow Room, by Gastón Leroux

13064611The 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?  (from Goodreads)

When I bought this book I thought it would be more dark and gritty, but it wasn’t like that at all, it was pretty entertaining and quite funny at times, despite the tragic events that the characters were living.

The main characters are:

  • Joseph Rouletabille – the young journalist and amateur detective, protagonist

  • Jean Sainclair – Rouletabille’s friend and lawyer, the narrator

  • Frédéric Larsan – the police detective

  • Professor Stangerson – a scientist, owner of “Chateau du Glandier”

  • Mlle. Mathilde Stangerson – his daughter, the victim

  • Robert Darzac – Mathilde’s fiancé

Robert Darzac ends up being the main suspect, according to Larsan’s reasonings, but Rouletabille is not convinced and believes in his innocence. He follows a logic that escapes completely our understanding and it’s not until the very end when the name of the attacker is revealed, and it’s totally unexpected!

This book is the first in a series, and I have already read the second! Rouletabille is not like any other detective I’ve read before, and it’s a nice change.

Another nice thing about my edition is that it has images, and I love when that happens!