Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"The Author Outdoes Himself in the Number of People Upon Whom He Brings Suspicion"

By J. S. Fletcher (1863-1935).
Alfred A. Knopf.
1921. 321 pages.
Online HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Fletcher seemed to have a thing for diamonds [see HERE]. Instead of being a superior "Yellow Room"-style detective story, THE ORANGE-YELLOW DIAMOND would seem to qualify as a "Yellow Peril"-type of tale [according to G. K. Chesterton's schema; see HERE].

Following are excerpts from a review which is so laced with SPOILERS that we can in all good conscience reproduce only a small fraction of it:
. . . The author outdoes himself in the number of people upon whom he brings suspicion.
. . . Half-way through the book it is pretty well ascertained that a wonderful orange-yellow diamond is the cause of the murder . . .
. . . The author is one of the few who is able to keep his readers in the dark until the proper moment arrives for their illumination. — "Thrills for Blue Monday," THE LITERARY DIGEST (April 23, 1921)
As Curt Evans notes, THE ORANGE-YELLOW DIAMOND, like so many novels of the period written by Englishmen, has dialect difficulties:
In a generally favorable notice of J. S. Fletcher's mystery The Orange Yellow Diamond (1920), an American reviewer was moved to comment about how unconvincing he found portrayals of American speech in British crime novels. — Curtis Evans, THE PASSING TRAMP (August 5, 2013)

Category: Detective fiction

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