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The Chestermarke Instinct

J. S. Fletcher

Book Overview: 

Bank manager John Hornbury is missing, as are securities and jewels from the bank’s vault. Gabriel Chestermarke and his nephew Joseph have unaccountably refused to call in the police to investigate the theft from their bank. When Betty Fosdyke shows up to visit her Uncle John, she finds it past belief that he would simply disappear – let alone that he would commit larceny. Unable to simply sit by and wait while a detective from Scotland Yard investigates, Betty elicits the help of the chief clerk at Chestermarke’s bank and launches into the middle of the mystery.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Neale, "I should say he was trusted and confided in more than most bank managers are."

"Did they seem very much astonished when they found he'd gone?" asked Betty. "Did it seem a great shock, a real surprise?"

"The cleverest man living couldn't tell what either Gabriel or Joseph Chestermarke thinks about anything," answered Neale. "You know what Gabriel's face is like—a stone image! And Joseph always looks as if he was sneering at you, a sort of soft, smiling sneer. No, I couldn't say they showed surprise, and I don't know what they've found out—they're the closest, most reserved men about their own affairs that you could imagine!"

"But—they say some of their securities are missing," remarked Betty. "They'll have to let the exact details be known, won't they?"

"Depends—on them," replied Neale. "They'll only do what they like. And they don't love you for coming on the scene, I assure you!"

"But I'm here,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Good classic mystery. A missing bank manager is thought to just be late coming back on the train, but he never shows up. His niece arrives & insists on getting the best detective to come. The police, the niece, a bank assistant, the detective and an earl all join in to figure out what happene...more

1912 Scarnham and the manager of the Chestermarke Bank has gone missing. The owners of the bank find that securities and jewellery seem to have gone missing as well. The local police Superintendent Polke decides to bring in Scotland Yard as the case gets more complicated. So Detective Sergeant St...more

This one was quite dark for Fletcher - money lenders, kidnap, torture - as well as the usual array of characters with the 'whip hand'. It was a fun page turner of a murder mystery all the same though the ending, as usual, felt a little rushed.

Another preWW2 mystery. A bank manager in a small English town goes missing, as do jewels and securities.
Good story with action and pacing plus an interesting puzzle. My main criticism is the characterization: I didn't end up feeling particularly attached to any character or convinced of the det...more

What is the Chestermarke instinct? Keep your eye on the main chance? Don't let anything or anyone get in your way? They're sleek and sneaky scoundrels to be sure. For the most part this is a decent read, even if it just stops dead, leaving a fair number of unresolved issues hanging after the big...more

First published in 1918, this is the fourth murder mystery by J. S. Fletcher that I have read. A young assistant bank manager hates his boring job at a little town in rural England, and despises the unlikable bank owners. But then things get interesting: the bank manager, formerly considered tota...more

Another classic crime whodunit (and what on earth is going on?) tale from JS Fletcher. Written in the early 1900s by West Yorkshire man JS Fletcher, I think this tale is set somewhere in W. Yorkshire although I cant be sure. It is set in a little rural village called Scarnham, which has a moor o...more

This was one of the better Fletchers. None of them, including this one, are what anyone would consider great kiterature, but they are oh so good for a lazy afternoon.

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