Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) was an English author, born in one of the Five Towns which form the background of so many of his witty stories.
'The Fire of London' is an unusual mystery story about a case of fraud and blackmail. Bruce Bowring, a businessman of dubious integrity, has been running what amounts to a Ponzi scheme in the heart of the city of London. At the start of our story, Bowring receives a mysterious telephone call from a stranger, warning him that his house will be burgled that evening.
Shortly afterwards, a telegram arrives, signed by his wife, suggesting they dine out, as their cook is drunk. As Bowring sets off for the rendezvous with his wife, he has no inkling of the strange series of adventures which await him.