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The Chase of the Golden Plate

Jacques Futrelle

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .A story?" inquired Hatch carelessly as the detective hung up the receiver.

"Doesn't amount to anything," was the reply.

"Yes, that's obvious," remarked the reporter drily.

"Well, whatever it is, it is not going to be made public," retorted the Supreme Intelligence sharply. He never did like Hatch, anyway. "It's one of those things that don't do any good in the newspapers, so I'll not let this one get there."

Hatch yawned to show that he had no further interest in the matter, and went out. But there was the germ of an idea in his head which would have startled Detective Mallory, and he paced up and down outside to develop it. A girl missing! A red-headed girl missing! A red-headed girl missing since Thursday! Thursday was the night of the Randolph masked ball. The missing Girl of the West was red-headed! Mallory had seemed astonished when he learned the name of the person who reported this last case! Therefore the person who reported it. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Nice little detective story.Twists and swirls have you guessing til the very end. Very well written. I truly enjoyed it.
There are traces or romance, yet it remains a detective fiction at its core.

Futrelle is now remembered for his "Thinking Machine" short stories, but this is a light bit of romantic fluff with a thread of mystery/detection running through it. If you have a taste for turn of the century romances (such as Robert W. Chambers) this is a pleasant diversion. If you are expectin...more

In this Novella a daring theft takes place during a masked ball, the theft is done by someone dressed as a burglar and he appears to have an accomplice, a striking lady dressed in a Wild West costume.  The burglar is shot as they are escaping and this leads the owner of the plates, a reporter and...more

Jacques Futrelle was an early 20th century detective author, and creator of one of its more annoying savant detectives (if you're not a fan of Nero Wolfe types, skip this book). Futrelle introduced Professor S.F.X. Van Dusen (a.k.a., The Thinking Machine) in this novella, and he is definitely an...more

A short 1906 potboiler centers on high society parties and disappearing/re-appearing gold dishes. Professor Van Dusen aka “The Thinking Machine” is brought in to solve the mystery, but I’d recommend skipping this one and meeting the Professor in the classic “The Problem of Cell 13” instead.

Selected on the strength or, more appropriately, immense likeability of The Diamond Master, this mystery has Futrelle's detective extraordinaire The Thinking Machine. I suppose at that time all authors wanted to be Conan Doyle and create their own Sherlocks. Futrelle has tried, but of course Sher...more

There's not a lot to this novella, but what little there is is well worth the time. All in all, a quick, enjoyable read from the turn of the century--the last century, not this one.

Jacques Futrelle was the American counterpart of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or you could see him as such. He wrote many short detective stories and several short novels. This is one of them, and a fine one.
Simple as the story may seem, Futrelle nevertheless knows how to put us on the wrong leg sever...more