A typical MacGrath story that hinges on a Bolshevik intrigue in America. Plausibility is a small concern of a plot which will hold devotees. Trivia: this novel introduces a mad-scientist character named 'Boris Karlov', a name which was later taken as a screen name by the actor Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt).
As excitingly improbable a detective story as ever baffled and allured the breathless reader, The Riddle of the Purple Emperor has all the thrills of adventure and murder and hate and love embroidered on the groundwork of a plot as precisely worked out as a problem in mathematics.
Greg Tenorly lives a quiet and lonely life in a small East Texas town, until he is selected as a juror for a murder trial. A beautiful, mysterious redhead befriends him, and seems to have a romantic interest. But is she merely using him to influence the outcome of the trial?By the end of the first week, three people connected with the case are dead, and Greg is beginning to fear for his own life. He is now convinced that a powerful Dallas attorney is directing the murder spree in his little town. But why? He is determined to find out.But his investigation just might earn him a spot at the top of the hit list.