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Ravensdene Court

J. S. Fletcher

Book Overview: 

Leonard Middlebrook, a young attorney with, among other things, a bibliographical interest, accepts an invitation to lonely Ravensdene Court on the Northumbrian coast. There, Francis Raven, the owner, recently retired to the family property after an Indian career, finds himself in possession of an enormous number of old books and other items, and needs help in evaluating them. The attorney, though a man of quiet life -- even dull, as he puts it -- finds himself suddenly at the center of a darkening mystery that stretches from the British Isles to the Far East, and eventually threatens not only him but also the young and spirited Miss Raven, Francis’s niece.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I saw no sign of her near presence.

I determined to tell my gruesome news straight out—Mr. Raven, I felt sure, was not the man to be startled by tidings of sudden death, and I wanted, of set purpose, to see how his companion would take the announcement. So, as I walked up the steps of the terrace, I loudly called my host's name. He turned, saw from my expression that something of moment had happened, and hurried toward me, Cazalette trotting in his rear. I gave a warning look in[52] in the direction of the house and its open windows.

"I don't want to alarm Miss Raven," I said in a low voice, which I purposely kept as matter-of-fact as possible. "Something has happened. You know the man I was telling you of last night—Salter Quick? I found his dead body, half-an-hour ago, on your beach. He has been murdered—stabbed to the heart. Your gamekeeper, Tarver, is with him. Had you not better send for the police?"

I carefully watched . . . Read More

Community Reviews

3.5 stars
This author was recommended to me by someone in the Golden Age Detection Facebook group. I enjoyed this book, first published in 1922, although it turned out to be more adventure than detection. Fletcher's depiction of the Northumbrian people, the North Sea, and the formidable landscape add

The ending was abrupt, but the story was okay. Good little mystery and detective story.

A young man travels to catalogue and organize a massive collection of antiquated books in a large old mansion. Thinking it would be a quiet time, he and the lovely young niece of the owner instead become embroiled in privately investigating a strange murder case involving centuries old thievery of r

Twist upon twist, surprisingly good in that golden age, old school way. Good prose, good characterization, good world building, good story. There is some old school bigotry as well as expressed by the characters. However, Fletcher seems to undercut anti-Chinese prejudice in the narrative as well as

The book started promisingly enough, with interesting characters and at least some departure from Fletcher’s usual formula, which does keep for the rest of it. Still, I think if unlike me you’re able to break off reading a book you started, you could rightly nope out after seeing a chapter named Yel

1912 England and the murder of two brothers at the same time and in different locations confounds the police. This is only the start of the story.
An enjoyable mystery with its twists but there was a lot of re-telling throughout the story which did slow the pace somewhat.

Enjoyed this vintage mystery by an author I'd not read before, let alone heard of. This Golden Age mystery has all of the elements that I look for in this genre.

An isolated house on the Northumbrian Coast, a list of well developed and in some instances unusual characters. There is a plot with many t

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