My choice for today's Forgotten Book is a novel published in 1926. That year saw the first appearance of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – suffice to say that The Dangerfield Talisman by J.J. Connington was rather less ground-breaking. All the same, it is readable example of an early Golden Age mystery by one of the first members of the Detection Club
The setting is a country house packed with the obligatory party of suspects. But this is a mystery story, rather than necessarily a murder mystery, although one character does disappear in strange circumstances. The eponymous Talisman is a family heirloom, valued at £50,000 "and the price of diamonds had gone up a good deal since then". Surprise, surprise – it goes missing.
We are provided at the outset with a chess problem that provides an enigmatic clue to the riddles surrounding the Dangerfield family, and the problem is ultimately solved in classic Golden Age fashion. The story is rather low-key, but offers agreeable entertainment in the game-playing tradition of its time.
J.J. Connington was an interesting writer, a prominent professor of chemistry who wrote a leading textbook on his subject, as well as a goodly number of nicely constructed mysteries. He went on to improve upon this early effort, and having enjoyed a few of his books, I'm certainly interested in reading more.