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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

Although a bit formulaic, Fletcher generally comes up with a half decent story which are 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 bu...more

As good a writer as Doyle or Christi.

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...more

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.

A complicated, really overly complicated, period piece, replete with cultural stereotyping. To be avoided or read for what it is, a choice made. Interestingly, one of the most maligned? slandered? denigrated? turns out to be the hero of this tale. However Ravensdene seemed to me a book with unsur...more

A great mystery. Be aware, however, there is some anti-Chinese prejudice and stereotyping.

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 a...more

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 man...more

another JS Fletcher mystery that is worth reading. A mysterious double murder takes place miles apart at the same time. The antiquties specialist helps the detective solve the case and gets the girl also at the end. Typical book of his time (early 20 centuary).

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