Gaston Leroux: The Man With the Black Feather
"One evening last year I perceived in the waiting-room of my newspaper, Le Matin, a man dressed in black, his face heavy with the darkest despair, whose dry, dead eyes seemed to receive the images of things like unmoving mirrors. He was seated; and there rested on his knees a sandalwood box inlaid with polished steel. An office-boy told me that he had sat there motionless, silent, awaiting my coming, for three mortal hours." (Extract) Gaston Leroux (1868-1927) was a French journalist and author of detective fiction. In the English-speaking world, he is best known for writing the novel The Phantom of the Opera, which has been made into several film and stage productions of the same name. His novel The Mystery of the Yellow Room is also one of the most famous locked-room mysteries ever.