Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace (1 April 1875 – 10 February 1932) was an English writer.
Born into poverty as an illegitimate London child, Wallace left school at 12. He joined the army at 21 and was a war correspondent during the Second Boer War for Reuters and the Daily Mail. Struggling with debt, he left South Africa, returned to London and began writing thrillers to raise income, publishing books including The Four Just Men (1905).
When Mr. Thomas Lyne, poet, poseur. and owner of Lyne's Emporium insults a cashier, Odette Rider, she resigns. Having summoned detective Jack Tarling to investigate another employee, Mr. Milburgh, Lyne now changes his plans. Tarling and his Chinese companion refuse to become involved. They pay a visit to Odette's flat. In the hall, Tarling meets Sam, convicted felon and protégé of Lyne. Next morning Tarling discovers a body. ….