William Le Queux (1864 - 1927) was an Anglo-French journalist and writer, diplomat, traveller, flying buff and wireless pioneer who broadcast music from his own station long before radio was generally available.
He was phenomenally successful as a novelist and short story writer, and many of his tales are based on his own exploits, albeit vastly exaggerated. He is widely recongnized as one of the first creators of the spy story genre, in which his diplomatic background, familiarity with European high society and his interest in technology combined to create a rich tapestry for his intrigues.
The Secret of the Smoked Spectaclesis a strange tale of intrigue in which a mysterious man in spectacles appears at oddly fortuitous moments to help our secret agent out of peril, and yet appears weighed down by a great and inexplicable sorrow of his own. The solution of the mystery is one of the strangest stories ever told.