The Riddle of the Purple Emperor

Read by Ruth Golding

(4.5 stars; 196 reviews)

Orphan Lady Margaret Cheyne returns home on her eighteenth birthday to live with her embittered maiden aunt and to take up her inheritance of the family jewels. The Cheyne jewels include a pendant featuring the Purple Emperor, a priceless jewel looted from a temple during the Indian Mutiny.

During her time at school in Paris, Lady Margaret has met and fallen in love with Sir Edgar Brenton, the son of an old flame of her aunt and a neighbour in the village of Hampton, where Cleek's adored Ailsa Lorne has also taken up residence.

Lady Margaret's return leads to a mysterious and sinister chain of events, which Cleek and Superintendent Maverick Narkom of Scotland Yard attempt to unravel, with, of course, the help of the irrepressible and ever-hungry Dollops, Cleek's cockney sidekick.

This full-length mystery is a welcome return for Hamilton Cleek, whom we first met in Cleek: The Man of the Forty Faces. (Summary by Ruth Golding) (8 hr 18 min)


01 - Chapter I Which Introduces a New Friend 22:58 Read by Ruth Golding
02 - Chapter II The Home-Coming 18:15 Read by Ruth Golding
03 - Chapter III In the Dark 16:08 Read by Ruth Golding
04 - Chapter IV The House of Shadows 20:27 Read by Ruth Golding
05 - Chapter V The Threads of Chance 18:02 Read by Ruth Golding
06 - Chapter VI The Cry in the Night 24:39 Read by Ruth Golding
07 - Chapter VII In the Tiger's Clutches 19:12 Read by Ruth Golding
08 - Chapter VIII Complications and Complexities 16:53 Read by Ruth Golding
09 - Chapter IX The House with the Shuttered Windows 17:10 Read by Ruth Golding
10 - Chapter X A Shot in the Dark 14:17 Read by Ruth Golding
11 - Chapter XI A Terrible Discovery 16:24 Read by Ruth Golding
12 - Chapter XII The Woman in the Case 18:36 Read by Ruth Golding
13 - Chapter XIII Tightening the Strands 26:38 Read by Ruth Golding
14 - Chapter XIV The Plot Thickens 25:34 Read by Ruth Golding
15 - Chapter XV Tangled Threads 16:05 Read by Ruth Golding
16 - Chapter XVI In the Doctor's Surgery 16:25 Read by Ruth Golding
17 - Chapter XVII Miss Cheyne Again 12:36 Read by Ruth Golding
18 - Chapter XVIII Dollops Takes a Hand 23:49 Read by Ruth Golding
19 - Chapter XIX The Twin Scarves 20:22 Read by Ruth Golding
20 - Chapter XX A Twisted Clue 17:28 Read by Ruth Golding
21 - Chapter XXI 'Tis a Mad World, My Masters 24:53 Read by Ruth Golding
22 - Chapter XXII The Trap 19:24 Read by Ruth Golding
23 - Chapter XXIII Untwisting the Threads 25:24 Read by Ruth Golding
24 - Chapter XXIV An Unexpected Contretemps 20:11 Read by Ruth Golding
25 - Chapter XXV A Tale Unfolded 27:08 Read by Ruth Golding


Look, it could just be me...

(0 stars)

...but the ending of this makes no sense at all, now does it? Is it that I'm an Australian? I don't think it is. I think the ending is clver in the sense you'll never guess it, but a problem in the sense that no normal criminal would consider it because in the real world it just would never work. The reader is marvellous, and the rest of the series is fun, but this one's plot...well...I think it has problems.

great reading

(5 stars)

Ruth Golding is in fine form with this one... I continually had the feeling of sitting around a campfire with somebody telling a scary story (The story isn't scary-- I'm talking about the atmosphere Golding creates). The story is a fun mystery. I rated 5 stars for the reading... I'd give the story a 4.

(2 stars)

Ms. Golding is great as usual but her skills can't save a this silly, convoluted ridiculous story. I recommend the reader but choose a different title

Love Cleek - awesome character

(5 stars)

A shot in the night, a body is seen, yet when the police return to the house, the woman appears to be fine, and mighty cross at being disturbed. What the woman and the police don't realize is that the witness of this odd circumstance is none other than the famous Cleek of Scotland Yard, who knows something is wrong and will not back down until all of his questions are answered. This is a great story, and the reader does a fabulous job. Enjoy!

What happened, Cleek?

(3 stars)

Ruth Golding's reading was a five star performance, as always! The story though....Cleek, normally so brilliant, decisive and perceptive, is suddenly dim-witted and oblivious (at least til the very end when he tells all.) The amount of contrivance required to create any of the situations in the book, as well as its plot holes and inconsistencies, are noticeable. I believe the author is much better suited to his shorter, solo stories, which are very enjoyable.

Complex, but good

(5 stars)

As with science fiction stories, this one requires the listener to suspend incredulity a little. Some of it is pretty far-fetched, but it is entertaining and worth a listen. It is fairly complex, lots of points to keep in mind through the course of the story. Ruth does a great job with the narration. Thanks to her for all of her good work.

(5 stars)

Ruth Golding does it again with another superb narration with her versatile and talented voice. I enjoyed the story immensely and it was the first I had indulged with Lieutenant Cleek of Scotland Yard. Very impressive mystery with lots of fun characters and villains. I was glued to each chapter because the story always moved forward with exciting drama, suspicions and new revelations.

(3 stars)

I loved Thomas W. Hanshew’s other books but in this one Cleek seemed to have lost the ability to be a great detective. I had to figure the case out before he did. And it appears to me. He has become a coward as well. as he seems to jump at every little noise.