Monday, October 6, 2014

"Heartily Recommended As a Thoroughly Interesting and Absorbing Story"

By J. S. Fletcher (1863-1935).
1922 [1920 in U.K.]. 316 pages. $2.00
In this one, Fletcher wobbles between thriller and detective story with, according to these reviews, pleasing results:
[Full review] MYSTERY, character, love, a setting that combines the romance of the theatrical profession with the oddity of a quaint village on the Scottish border: satisfying ingredients for a detective yarn.
"Scarhaven Keep" is, I think, J. S. Fletcher's best. There seems to be no writer of this type of fiction who is able to keep so well his sense of plot and of characterization.
If you like detective stories, here is one that I can recommend with vigor. It is well written, too. Think of it! — "The Editor Recommends," THE BOOKMAN (March 1922; Jump To page 65, top left)
[Excerpts] BASSETT OLIVER, the well-known actor, was missing. He had closed his engagement at Northborough on Saturday night and was to open at Norcaster, a neighboring town, on the following Monday evening.
He left the hotel at Northborough at eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, had taken a ticket for Scarhaven, a little village on the coast reached by a branch line, and that was the last heard of him.
His failure to turn up at Norcaster for a rehearsal on Monday morning started an inquiry which elicited these facts, and consternation reigned in the company, where he was much liked.
This is the agreeably thrilling opening of Mr. J. S. Fletcher's "Scarhaven Keep," one of the best of his many good mystery stories.  . . .
. . . There is plenty of incident, both by sea and land, and the book may be heartily recommended as a thoroughly interesting and absorbing story.  . . . — "The Missing Actor," THE LITERARY DIGEST (April 15, 1922)
- A mostly favorable collection of GOODREADS reviews is HERE.
- Previous ONTOS encounters with Fletcher are HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Category: Detective fiction

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