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J. J. Connington

Connington: The Dangerfield Talisman

Connington: The Dangerfield Talisman

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The Dangerfield Talisman, a valuable family treasure, disappears during a wild thunderstorm while the family holds a house party. Legend has it the talisman always returns, if taken, within seven days, but several guests decide to investigate on their own, finding plenty of clues and complications on their path to solving the puzzle.


An heirloom of amazing repute and mysterious origin, serves here not only to sustain the failing fortunes of an ancient and honorable house, but does good service as well in exciting the cupidity of outsiders bent on the business of burglary and such illegitimate means of subsistence as stamp the activities of the lawless and the desperate. The ‘Dangerfield Talisman’ is a legend of past glories that have centered in a wondrous jewel, enthroned magnificently at Friocksheim, a house old before the Conquest. The matter in hand starts with a house party at Friocksheim. It comes to its full point of tension by way of a theft of the talisman and progresses through the pursuit of clues leading to the discovery of the thief. The adventure is less conventional than this sparse outline may indicate. For a very astonishing disclosure about the talisman comes to light in the various turns of the chase for its recovery. A cryptic document combined with an unfinished game of chess on the strangest chessboard imaginable serves the purposes, finally of a most astute investigator of crime who in solving the mystery, not only of the theft, but that of the ancient jewel as well, presents a perfectly fresh front to the somewhat worn business of the modern detective, as this functionary performs in the popular mystery tale. It is this ingenious touch, that of applying mechanics and mathematics to the solution of the problem, that gives a decidedly new turn to the story.

(Washington, D.C., Evening Star, 1927)

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