Book Cover of J. S. Fletcher


Lifetime: 1863 - 1935 Passed: ≈ 89 years ago


English Journalist, Author



J. S. Fletcher

Joseph Smith Fletcher (7 February 1863 – 30 January 1935) was an English journalist and author. He wrote more than 230 books on a wide variety of subjects, both fiction and non-fiction, and was one of the most prolific English writers of detective fiction.

Fletcher was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and the son of a clergyman. His father died when he was eight months old, and after which his grandmother raised him on a farm in Darrington, near Pontefract. He was educated at Silcoates School in Wakefield, and after some study of law, he became a journalist. At age 20, Fletcher began working in journalism, as a sub-editor in London. He subsequently returned to his native Yorkshire, where he worked first on the Leeds Mercury using the pseudonym A Son of the Soil, and then as a special correspondent for the Yorkshire Post covering Edward VII's coronation in 1902.

Fletcher's first books published were poetry. He then moved on to write numerous works of historical fiction and history, many dealing with Yorkshire, which led to his selection as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Michael Sadleir stated that Fletcher's historical novel, When Charles I Was King (1892), was his best work. Fletcher wrote several novels of rural life in imitation of Richard Jefferies, beginning with The Wonderful Wapentake (1894).

In 1914, Fletcher wrote his first detective novel and went on to write over a hundred more, many featuring the private investigator Ronald Camberwell.

Fletcher is sometimes incorrectly described as a "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" author, but he is in fact an almost exact contemporary of Conan Doyle. Most of his detective fiction works considerably pre-date that era, and even those few published within it do not conform to the closed form and strict rules professed, if not unfailingly observed, by the Golden Age writers.

He was married to the Irish writer Rosamond Langbridge, with whom he had one son, Rev. Valentine Fletcher, who has subsequently held various ministries across Yorkshire, including Bradford and Sedbergh.

Fletcher died in Surrey 1935, one week short of his 72nd birthday. He was survived by his wife Rosamond and son Valentine.

Books by J. S. Fletcher

The Middle Temple Murder Cover image

The Middle Temple Murder

Crime Fiction
Detective Mystery

A late-night stroll turns up a shocking discovery when a pedestrian stumbles across a dead body in what many presumed to be a virtually crime-free neighbourhood. The close-night Middle Temple community is thrown into disarray -- and an unlikely duo...

The Middle of Things Cover image

The Middle of Things

Crime Fiction
Detective Mystery

Crome Yellow is the first novel by British author Aldous Huxley, published by Chatto & Windus in 1921, followed by a U.S. edition by George H. Doran Company in 1922. Though a social satire of its time, it is still appreciated and has been adapted to...

Short History of the Christian Church  Cover image

Short History of the Christian Church

Christianity Religious America Church Modern Earth United States

"The present work has as its basis the series of five Short Histories by the same author, which appeared in the following order: The Reformation, 1884; The Early Church, 1886; The Medieval Church, 1887; The Modern Church in Europe, 1888; and The Chur...

The Charing Cross Mystery Cover image

The Charing Cross Mystery

Detective Murder Young Mystery Death

J. S. Fletcher, centering on why a former high-level police official was murdered, and on whether - and if so how - the murder was linked to two glamorous and high-profile sisters, one of whose photo was found in the dead man's pocket. As usual, Flet...

The Markenmore Mystery Cover image

The Markenmore Mystery

Crime Fiction
Family Murder Young Mystery Death Inheritance

After seven years of silence, Guy Markenmore returns to his family home at Markenmore Court. Knowing his father Sir Anthony to be close to death, he is anxious to reassure his younger siblings that he will not make any claim to the family money even...

The Lost Mr. Linthwaite Cover image

The Lost Mr. Linthwaite

Mystery Classics England

A quest to track down his missing uncle (Mr. Linthwaite) leads investigative journalist Richard Brixey to the mysterious medieval town of Silchester, England. What actually happened in the ruins of the Priory, and why are all the potential witnesses...

Exterior to the Evidence Cover image

Exterior to the Evidence

Crime Novel
Detective Truth Social Mystery Suspense political Criminals

It follows the investigation of a perplexing crime by a skilled detective who must sift through a tangled web of clues and suspects to uncover the truth. Originally published in 1929, "Exterior to the Evidence" is a classic example of the detective...

In the Mayor's Parlour Cover image

In the Mayor's Parlour

Crime Fiction
History Mystery Deception Discovery Dark Secret Motivation Depths

In the quiet town of Ravensbrook, where every secret is an unspoken promise, the mayor's parlour holds more than just meetings—it harbors a tapestry of hidden truths. "In the Mayor's Parlour" by J. S. Fletcher unfurls a tantalizing mystery as old as...