Joseph Smith Fletcher

When Lightning Strikes Twice

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Two shadowy brothers slain on the very same day!
When a leading authority on antique books is summoned to a remote Northumbrian mansion, he's struck at once by its faded grandeur and the raw beauty of his new surroundings. However, barely has Mr. Middlebrook unpacked his bags before a curious murder mystery is underway.
At its heart lies the strange slaying of two brothers, dead within hours of each other, at opposite ends of the country. Although the killer's motives, obscure as they are, appear bound up with the murky past of the murdered pair and their obsessive quest for buried treasure. As this past is gradually unearthed, we learn that the double homicide has its origins in the Far East and is directly related to another baffling mystery: the unknown fate of a tramp steamer, the Elizabeth Robinson, which disappeared without trace in the South China Sea.
When Lightning Strikes Twice is a vintage murder mystery with enough likely suspects to keep the reader guessing. It also benefits from a splendid array of atmospheric backdrops, and motley cast of characters, who both offer a wonderful snapshot of England in the years leading up to the First World War.
An early example of golden age detective fiction, the novel also harks back to the sensational fare of Wilkie Collins with its gothic overtones and air of oriental mystery. Originally published in 1922 as Ravensdene Court, this novel is the first in a series of classic reissues from Second Wind Press, with more to follow shortly. Sensitively reedited with the modern reader in mind, it retains all of its period charm and particular flavour. The aim being to unearth undervalued literary works – and give them a much deserved polish – for a brand new audience to enjoy.
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