Standard Ebooks

The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu

Sax Rohmer


The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu, first published in the UK as The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu, is the first novel to introduce the inimitable Fu-Manchu, famous not just for his moustache, but for being a nigh-unstoppable criminal mastermind and part of the “Yellow Peril.” This novel is a collection of previously-published short stories, slightly re-written by Rohmer to form a cohesive whole.

The narrator, Dr. Petrie, is a sort of Watson to Nayland Smith’s Holmes; but Smith resembles more of a James Bond than a Sherlock Holmes as the two barrel through action scenes and near-death scenarios planned by Fu-Manchu, a master scientist, chemist, and poisoner.

This novel was one of the first to popularize the trope of the “mysterious Chinaman,” an element that later became so clichéd that Ronald Knox, the famous detective story writer, declared that “no Chinaman must figure” in good detective stories.

The casual racism evident in the characters and events is a symptom of the xenophobic climate in the UK at the time, which was precipitated by many things—the Opium Wars, the Boxer Rebellion, Chinese immigration, and other fears. Despite that racism, the plot remains fast-paced and engaging, and is lent a modern air by Fu-Manchu’s role as an early prototype for a Bond supervillain.

Read free

This ebook is thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that this ebook is free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before accessing, downloading, or using it.

Download for ereaders

Read online

A brief history of this ebook

  1. Update metadata boilerplate

  2. Update core.css to new standards

  3. Semanticate

  4. Update core CSS to new standards

  5. Tweak collection name in metadata

More details



Page scans

Improve this ebook

Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!

To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.

If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.

You can also donate to Standard Ebooks to help fund continuing improvement of this and other ebooks.