Since the time of Shakespeare, there has been no group in London more influential than the Grill Club. A secret society whose members are drawn from the rich and the poor, the Grill is blind to politics, ideology, and wealth. The only demands made of its members are secrecy and an open mind.
On a foggy night in 1897, an American diplomat tells three other club members of a recent night when he was lost in the London fog and heard a distant scream. Following the sound, he entered a strange house, where he discovered a man lying dead on a princess’s divan. The crime baffled Scotland Yard, but the men of the Grill Club will get to the bottom of it—no matter how long it takes.
This ebook features a new introduction by Otto Penzler and has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
The Grill is the club most difficult of access in the world. To be placed on its rolls distinguishes the new member as greatly as though he had received a vacant Garter or had been caricatured in "Vanity Fair."
Men who belong to the Grill Club never mention that fact. If you were to ask one of them which clubs he frequents, he will name all save that particular one. He is afraid if he told you he belonged to the Grill, that it would sound like boasting.
The Grill Club dates back to the days when Shakespeare's Theatre stood on the present site of the "Times" office. It has a golden Grill which Charles the Second presented to the Club, and the original manuscript of "Tom and Jerry in London," which was bequeathed to it by Pierce Egan himself. The members, when they write letters at the Club, still use sand to blot the ink.
The Grill enjoys the distinction of having blackballed, without political prejudice, a Prime Minister of each party. At the same sitting at which one of these fell, it elected, on account of his brogue and his bulls, Quiller, Q. C., who was then a penniless barrister.
When Paul Preval, the French artist who came to London by royal command to paint a portrait of the Prince of Wales, was made an honorary member—only foreigners may be honorary members—he said, as he signed his first wine card, "I would rather see my name on that, than on a picture in the Louvre."