Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"There Is Enough Plot to Furnish Half a Dozen Books"

By J. S. Fletcher (1863-1935).
Alfred A. Knopf.
1922. 315 pages.
Online HERE, HERE, and HERE.
The murder of two brothers at the same time. though six hundred miles apart, is only the first of many mysteries surrounding Ravensdene Court. How could the two brothers have been murdered when they were both on a ship that went down with all hands off the coast of China three years earlier? What was the significance of the etching on the tobacco box that disappeared from the inquest? Why was someone looking for the Chinaman Chuh Fen who supposedly went down on the same ship as the two murdered brothers? Find the answers in this tale of intrigue, mystery, and buried treasure within the pages of … Ravensdene Court. — Resurrected Press description
[Full review] Starting with a dual murder, Mr. Fletcher unravels his patchwork quilt with amazing skill, then sews it together again. The best work of this master of detective fiction, with quaint atmosphere, thrills, mystery, and love. — "The Bookman's Guide to Fiction," THE BOOKMAN (August 1922; go to page 628, top)
[Review excerpt] . . . as in all Mr. J. S. Fletcher's stories, there is enough plot to furnish half a dozen books, for many of the side issues have not even been touched upon in this article. — "Robbing Graves for Treasure," THE LITERARY DIGEST (August 19, 1922)
[Full review] Although a bit formulaic, Fletcher generally comes up with a half decent story which is mostly set in the North of England. This one has the usual country house owned by an eccentric old chap with the obligatory attractive young niece. On the way to the house to catalogue the library our hero bumps into a strange old seafaring man asking questions about local graveyards and looking for a certain name. He, of course, gets bumped off and when the authorities try to get hold of his next of kin, a brother living hundreds of miles away, they find that he was also murdered on the same night. A bit far fetched maybe, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. — John, GOODREADS (April 15, 2013)
[Full review] A classic British mystery complete with a young and handsome amateur sleuth, a young and beautiful woman with pluck, buried treasure, a mysterious murder, a kidnapping, stolen jewels, essentially the works. J. S. Fletcher wrote to a formula, but it is a fun and entertaining formula, and so long as one is not too much of a stickler for believability, it's a treat. — Brenda Mengeling, GOODREADS (June 17, 2011)
- It seems like only yesterday that we were talking about J. S. Fletcher, and SO IT WAS.

Category: Detective fiction

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