Mini Reviews – Tragedy at Ravensthorpe by J. J. Connington (1927)

The Chacewater’s are holding a masked ball at their country home, Ravensthorpe. Family friend, and Chief Constable of the county, Sir Clinton Driffield’s concern that a thief could mingle undetected goes unheeded—except by Cecil Chacewater. Cecil and his friends arrange a practical joke. At a set time Ravensthorpe will be plunged into darkness and a counterfeit burglary will occur. But the plan goes badly astray, resulting in theft, family secrets revealed, and murder.

Connington has created an ingenious puzzle that involves robbery, disappearances—apparently into thin air, and several murders. Sir Clinton investigates, with the assistance of Inspector Armadale. Interestingly, while Sir Clinton decides that they should share all the facts of the case, they are to keep their deductions to themselves so as not to color the conclusions of the other. In that way the ready is in receipt of all the clues and has the opportunity to work it out for themselves.

My quibbles are few. Connington’s attempt to weave a psychological facet into the story with the inclusion of a family curse, and it’s affect on one member, does little to enhance the story. And just the fact that the words “secret passage” are uttered makes any of the disappearances far from impossible. But I will say though, that the explanation specific to one “disappearance” is very effective and none that I would never have guessed.

A very good mystery and an enjoyable read. 

My Judgment – 3.75/5

Prior Rulings – Nick Fuller @ The Grandest Game in the WorldLes Blatt @ Classic Mysteries

Vintage Mystery Extravaganza –  Vintage Themes 2012 – Cherchez l’Homme: Book 5 of 8 with male detectives

Calendar of Crime Reading Challenge – October #9: Costume/disguise or mistaken identity

6 thoughts on “Mini Reviews – Tragedy at Ravensthorpe by J. J. Connington (1927)

  1. JFW

    Thanks for the review. 😊 I was curious to see what you made of it, as this isn’t an oft-reviewed title. I think you liked it slightly more than I did, but I agree that there were one or two very clever twists. Were you referring to the disappearance while they were running through the forest?

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