|Author:||Crofts, Freeman Wills|
|Publisher:||Dover Publications, Inc.|
|Description:||A strange container is found in a busy London shipping yard, and its contents point to murder. The cask from a consignment of French wine from the steamship Bullfinch from Paris is bigger than the rest, its sides reinforced to hold the extraordinary weight within. As the longshoremen are bringing it onto the London docks, the cask slips, cracks, and spills some of its treasure: a wealth of gold sovereigns. As the workmen cram the spilled gold into their pockets, an official digs through the opened box, which is supposed to contain a statue. Beneath the gold he finds a woman’s hand—as cold as marble, but made of flesh. He reports the body to his superiors, but when he returns, the cask has vanished. The puzzling case is given to Inspector Burnley, a methodical detective of Scotland Yard, who will confront a baffling array of clues and red herrings, alibis and outright lies as he attempts to identify the woman in the cask—and catch the man who killed her. [Suggest a different description.]|
Author Bio for Crofts, Freeman Wills
Freeman Wills Crofts FRSA (1 June 1879—11 April 1957) was an Anglo-Irish mystery author during the golden age of detective fiction.
In 1919, during an absence from work due to a long illness, Crofts wrote his first novel, The Cask (1920), which established him as a new master of detective fiction. Crofts continued to write steadily, producing a book almost every year for thirty years, in addition to a number of short stories and plays.
He is best remembered for his favourite detective, Inspector Joseph French, who was introduced in his fifth book, Inspector French's Greatest Case (1924). Inspector French always set about unravelling each of the mysteries presented him in a workmanlike, exacting manner—this approach set him apart from most other fictional sleuths.
In 1929, he abandoned his railway engineering career and became a full-time writer. He settled in the village of Blackheath, near Guildford, in Surrey, and a number of his books are set in the Guildford area, including The Hog's Back Mystery (1933) and Crime at Guildford (1935). Many of his stories have a railway theme, and his particular interest in the apparently unbreakable alibi often focused on the intricacies of railway timetables. At the end of his life, he and his wife moved to Worthing, Sussex in 1953, where they lived until his death in 1957, the year in which his last book was published.
Crofts also wrote one religious book, The Four Gospels in One Story, several short stories, and short plays for the BBC.
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