With the Phantom of the Opera Leroux reached the height of his literary powers, and although he developed other fascinating characters, thing quite matched that one book. He also wrote a small number of really outstanding macabre and weird short stories which are even less well-kwn and more neglected than his vels-and it is a selection of the best of these which are collected together in this volume. Most of these stories were written in the early 1920s when Leroux's popularity was at its peak, and the demands for his work were never-ending. As a thoroughly professional journalist and a man never afraid of hard work, he did t like refusing requests, and drew on his seemingly bottomless well of ideas for the stories. All are the equal of, if t superior to, most of his longer vels.