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E. Phillips Oppenheim was a British writer known for his thriller novels. He is credited with writing over 100 novels including suspense, international intrigue, romance, parables, and comedies. His protagonists are known for their love of luxury, gourmet meals, and their enjoyment of criminal activities. The Great Secret a.k.a. The Secret was published in 1908. The plot involves an international conspiracy. The heroine is a beautiful American girl. An excerpt reads, "I left my door ajar whilst I sat upon the edge of the bed finishing a cigarette and treeing my boots, preparatory to depositing them outside. Suddenly my attention was arrested by a somewhat curious sound. I distinctly heard the swift, stealthy footsteps of a man running at full speed along the corridor. I leaned forward to listen. Then, without a moment's warning, they paused outside my door. It was hastily pushed open and as hastily closed. A man, half clothed and panting, was standing facing me-a strange, pitiable object. The boots slipped from my fingers. I stared at him in blank bewilderment."