The Daffodil Mystery by Edgar Wallace


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Set in England at the turn of the 20th century, Wallace’s crime novel The Daffodil Mystery follows the mysterious circumstances under which shop owner Lyne has been murdered. Accordingly, it is up to detective Jack Tarling and his trusted Chinese assistant to solve the case and reach an appropriate and just resolution. Moreover, the happenings within the novel are intensified by the colorful set of characters, which are marked by their plausible façade and contribute to the novel’s appeal. The crime novel opens when womanizer Thornton Lyne, also a wealthy heir and owner of a well-established store, makes an indecent proposition to his beautiful young cashier Odette Rider, who consequently leaves her job over the incident. Inflamed by her rejection, the obnoxious shop owner comes up with a scheme to frame her for a theft she did not commit as a means of reprisal. Even though Lyne is aware that Rider had no part in the embezzlement, he remains eager to make her regret ever crossing paths with him. Incidentally, he learns the identity of the true culprit behind the missing company funds, which turns out to be none other than the manager Mr. Milburgh, but still goes about accusing Rider. Subsequently, Lyne’s detective cousin, Jack Tarling, and his associate return from their temporary stay in China, where both men were notorious for their exceptional skills at chasing down the most dangerous of criminals. Tarling offers to assist in resolving the case which has occurred in his cousin’s store, but then declines after learning of Lyne’s conniving to set up an innocent woman. The tables are turned when Lyne is found dead in Hyde Park with a bunch of daffodils laid out across his chest. With evidence pointing to the most liable suspect, Tarling and his companion must look at all possibilities without ruling out any suspects in order to bring justice not only to the victim, but to all parties involved. Wallace cleverly concocts the plot by allowing the audience to play detective and seek out the person behind the elusive murder, while cleverly maneuvered by false assumptions. Abundant with mystery, suspense, and unexpected twists, the novel is sure to mesmerize with its clever style and well-conceived plot that keeps one guessing until the very end.

38 episode