The Mystery of the Yellow Chamber Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Mystery of the Yellow Chamber

Professor Stangerson has been working and living for fifteen years with his daughter in their castle, Glantier. A few days after Miss Stangerson decides to marry Robert Darzac, who has been courting her for fifteen years, somebody tries to kill her. A young reporter, Rouletabille, will try to solve the mystery. The yellow room where the attack took place was closed from the inside, so how did the attacker get there? During the research he finds out the killing was not the only purpose of the attack. Mr. Stangerson's scientific research disappeared.
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In the meantime, there is another official inquiry lead by inspector Larsan who suspects Darzac. But Rouletabille thinks that Larsan's behavior is strange. He uses a cane that he pretends to have from London, but the reporter knows it was bought from Paris by a man who looked just like Darzac. A second attempt to kill Miss Stangerson takes place and this time a man gets killed by father Jacques: the guard known as “the green man”. But when they examine the body they realize that he was hurt before Jacques hit him. Darzac is arrested but Rouletabille promises to prove his innocence. Rouletabille says that he knows the name of the assassin but will not tell it until a certain hour.

At 18:30 he says the name of the murderer: F. Larsan, whose name was actually Ballmeyer. He was a French con man who fled to America, took the identity of Jean Roussel and met the young Mathile Stangerson, who lived with her father in America. They fell in love but Dr. Stagerson did not agree so she sent his daughter to Ohio. Roussel came after her but he was arrested his real name, Ballmeyer, was revealed to the girl.
The review of this Book prepared by Dana Samson

Chapter Analysis of The Mystery of the Yellow Chamber

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   nearly 100% Special suspect?    -   lover Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   French


Europe    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--swords/knives Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Gaston Leroux Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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