“How strange it was, Charles ruminated, that the useless and obstructive so often live on, while the valuable and progressive die early! Here was Andrew Crowther, a man whose existence was a misery to himself and a nuisance to all around him. Why should he be spared and others who perhaps were doing a great work in the world be cut off in their prime? It didn’t somehow seem right. For the sake of himself and everyone else it would be better if Andrew were to die.”
Even the irascible Andrew Crowther has to admit that flying is the only way to travel as he enjoys his first airplane ride. He’s in for some very unexpected turbulence, however. By the time the plane touches down in France, Andrew Crowther will be dead—not of the heart condition that’s troubled him for years, but of poison. How did a seemingly harmless elderly man meet his death 10,000 feet above the English Channel? His nephew Charles knows all about it. Now if only he can keep anyone else from finding out. Continue reading “The 12.30 from Croydon by Freeman Wills Crofts (1934)”
“Well, we’ve got a bit of a puzzle now, no mistake.”
When a chance meeting with a stranger on a train offers Harry Morrison the opportunity of a lifetime, he grabs it. Charles Bristow has a brilliant new business idea: refurbish outdated ocean liners for inexpensive cruises that move continuously around the British Isles. Rather than a fixed cruise, passengers can hop on or off as they like, more like a floating hotel. Harry’s expertise as a travel agent will be key to making this plan work. Once they’ve added a third partner, bored millionaire John Stott, the enterprise seems foolproof.
Disagreements start cropping up between the partners almost immediately, however, and a competitor is trying to beat them to the market. Tensions rumble beneath the surface, until murder finally strikes during a cruise. Inspector French must plumb these murky depths in search of the truth. Continue reading “Fatal Venture (1939) by Freeman Wills Crofts”
“A cask containing money and a human hand—probably a body,” he mused. “It’s a queer business and something has got to be done about it.”
The Insular and Continental Steam Navigation Company handles countless shipments every day. Accidents are rare, but they do happen. When some wooden casks are damaged, a clerk is sent to examine the cargo. To his shock, the crack in one of the casks reveals gold sovereigns…and a woman’s hand. Inspector Burnley of Scotland Yard must pursue the mysterious cask all over London and Paris before he can discover the dark secrets it contains. Continue reading “The Cask (1920) by Freeman Wills Crofts”