Book Review: The Fellowship of The Frog by Edgar Wallace

The Fellowship of the Frog is a thrilling mystery novel by Edgar Wallace, first published in 1925. Set in London, the story revolves around a secret criminal organization known as the Fellowship of the Frog, which is led by a mastermind known only as “The Frog.” The novel follows the efforts of Detective Inspector Elk and his team to catch The Frog and put an end to the criminal organization’s reign of terror.

The novel starts with a bang, as a wealthy businessman named John Lexman is accused of murder and sent to prison. Lexman insists on his innocence, but the evidence against him seems overwhelming. Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Elk of Scotland Yard is investigating a series of daring burglaries that have been committed in London. The burglaries have been carried out by members of the Fellowship of the Frog, who leave behind a distinctive calling card in the shape of a frog.

As Elk and his team investigate the burglaries, they begin to uncover clues that suggest that Lexman may have been framed for the murder he was convicted of. The evidence points towards the involvement of the Fellowship of the Frog, and Elk realizes that catching The Frog and his associates is the key to clearing Lexman’s name.

The plot of the novel is intricate and well-constructed, with numerous twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end. Wallace is a master of suspense, and he uses his skill to great effect in this novel. The pacing of the story is excellent, with the tension and excitement building steadily throughout the book.

One of the strengths of The Fellowship of the Frog is its vividly drawn characters. The main protagonist, Detective Inspector Elk, is a fascinating character, with a dry wit and a sharp mind. He is a skilled investigator, but he is also fallible and prone to making mistakes. Elk is supported by a cast of other interesting characters, including his loyal assistant, Sergeant Long, and a brilliant but eccentric scientist named Felix Thurstan.

The villains of the novel are also well-drawn, particularly The Frog himself. Despite being a master criminal, The Frog is a complex character with a tragic backstory that gives his actions a certain amount of depth and nuance. The other members of the Fellowship of the Frog are equally intriguing, with their different motivations and personalities adding to the complexity of the plot.

Wallace’s writing style is engaging and fast-paced, with a focus on action and plot rather than introspection or character development. This makes the book a quick and enjoyable read, but it also means that some readers may find the characters somewhat one-dimensional. The dialogue is snappy and entertaining, with a distinctly British flavor that adds to the charm of the novel.

In terms of themes, The Fellowship of the Frog touches on a number of issues that were relevant to the time in which it was written. The novel deals with issues of social class and privilege, as well as the corrupting influence of money and power. The idea of a secret criminal organization that operates with impunity also speaks to the anxieties of the interwar period, when organized crime was a growing problem in many parts of the world.

The Fellowship of the Frog is a classic of the mystery genre that still holds up well today. It is a well-written and entertaining novel that is sure to satisfy fans of the genre. Despite its age, the book remains a compelling and thrilling read that is well worth checking out. You can buy a copy from Amazon here.

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