Standard Ebooks

The Talleyrand Maxim

J. S. Fletcher


The “Talleyrand Maxim” holds that “With time and patience, the mulberry leaf is turned into satin.” The adage has the character of guidance for life for an ambitious legal clerk, Linford Pratt. The moment comes when a “mulberry leaf” falls into Pratt’s hands in the form of the will of a wealthy local industrial magnate, undiscovered at the time of his death. Realizing that possession of it gives him leverage over the natural beneficiaries—the late man’s nephew and niece, and their mother—Pratt sets to work to transform it into his “satin.” As wily as he proves to be, his aspirations face complications, for it seems his possession of the will is not so secret as he supposed.

J. S. Fletcher is best known for his detective fiction, but The Talleyrand Maxim is not a typical whodunit. Pratt’s culpability is never hidden from the reader, nor is there a traditional “sleuth.” The suspense lies, rather, in whether he will pull it off, as the suspicions of other interested parties deepen.

Read free

This ebook is thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that this ebook is free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before accessing, downloading, or using it.

Download for ereaders

Read online

A brief history of this ebook

  1. Remove y-021 from ignore file now that it's no longer present

  2. Update metadata boilerplate

  3. Update core.css to new standards

  4. Semanticate

  5. [Editorial] half way -> halfway

More details



Page scans

Improve this ebook

Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!

To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.

If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.

You can also donate to Standard Ebooks to help fund continuing improvement of this and other ebooks.