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The Middle Temple Murder

The Middle Temple Murder by Joseph Smith Fletcher
By: (1863-1935)

Midnight. A lonely courtyard. The dead body of a stranger—a prosperous looking, well dressed, elderly man is found in Middle Temple Lane, London. This is one of England's ancient Inns of Court where barristers were traditionally apprenticed and carried on their work. Middle Temple is just a few minutes walk away from busy Fleet Street and the Thames Embankment. In the dead man's pocket is a piece of paper with the name and address of a young barrister. One of the first people to reach the crime scene is the investigative reporter, Frank Spargo, who writes for a leading London newspaper, The Watchman. Spargo is puzzled. Why would such a person be wandering about here at this hour? This extraordinary discovery draws Spargo into a labyrinthine web of intrigue, murder and crime in high places.

The Middle Temple Murder by Joseph Smith Fletcher was first published in 1919 and is a great example of the classical English detective story. Joseph Smith Fletcher initially embarked on a career in law but soon switched to journalism. He was also a gifted poet and his first published work was a book of poetry. He went on to write some very notable books of historical fiction and history. This led to his becoming a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

However, he turned to writing mysteries in 1914, the era which is considered the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. He wrote more than 100 detective novels which were extremely well received and gave him good financial returns.

Fletcher's style may seem a little dated, and since it was written more than a century ago, there are elements which may seem politically incorrect to us, but he manages to create a sinister atmosphere and keeps you guessing till the end. Being the work of a writer of history, The Middle Temple Murder is also full of interesting nuggets of information and ambiance that evoke the London of the early 1900s. It is also an early example of the “procedural” crime story, where the facts become available to the reader in a logical sequence yet the identity of the criminal is kept hidden.

If you enjoy the vintage mystery story full of atmosphere and one that presents a nice little puzzle, The Middle Temple Murder is certainly a great choice!

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 11 reviews)

Reviewer: - March 23, 2021
Subject: Middle Temple Murder
Excellent story with plenty of twists. Be very careful if listening with earbuds as some of the readers fluctuate their voice volumes to extremes.
Reviewer: - February 19, 2020
Subject: Middle temple murder
Good book exciting from start to end, many readers but understandable at least to my ears. Well written.
Reviewer: - November 3, 2018
Subject: Middle Temple Murder
The story was good but because some one changes the reader each chapter it makes it less intriguing.The book was pretty good!
Reviewer: - June 14, 2017
Subject: Middle Temple Murder
A good story spoilt by the poor quality of the multiple readers.
Reviewer: - June 10, 2017
Subject: Middle Temple Murder
Engaging and well written story, however the telling leaves a little to be desired.
Reviewer: - June 9, 2017
Subject: Middle Temple Murder
Captivating and most enjoyable story presented in an unusual but acceptable format. Well worth your attention.
Reviewer: - December 18, 2016
Subject: The middle temple murder
Enjoyed the story, even with some bad readers.
Reviewer: - May 15, 2014
Subject: Middle Temple Murder
The story is very good and the only reason that you would bother putting up with some of the really poor recordings and readers.
Reviewer: - October 5, 2013
Subject: Review
I enjoyed this book. Very suspenseful and we'll written. Each chapter has someone new reading it and that takes away from the story a bit. But all in all very good.
Reviewer: - February 18, 2013
Subject: Good Story
A great mystery with good characters. Well read for the most part, a pity as the story becomes more intense, some of the chapters are harder to understand, poor recording quality... hang in there, it improves. Very good tale.
Reviewer: - November 14, 2012
Subject: Plenty of Plot
A really well-structured and absorbing story. Sadly, the quality of some of the readings made this hard to listen to at times. The story is its own reward.

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