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The Mystery of the Sleeping Car Express

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 5 months ago

Crofts, Freeman Wills - The Mystery of the Sleeping Car Express and other stories (1956)

 

A disappointingly short collection of stories (191 pages), but all of the quality to be expected from Crofts. There is a bonus, too, in that one of the stories -- "The Parcel" is taken from the collaborative collection [Six Against the Yard] and includes the detailed comments made on the story by ex-Scotland Yard Superintendent Cornish.

 

The stories are:

 

  • "The Mystery of the Sleeping Car Express" - Crofts' first short story and a neat 'impossible' railway crime solved only through a death-bed confession.
  • "Mr Pemberton's Commission" - Mr Pemberton is asked a favour by an atractive young girl. Needless to say, he ends up in serious trouble.
  • "The Greuze" - Mr Lumey is a commission agent who is given an unusual job and becomes suspicious. Inspector French is involved, but so much information is withheld from the reader here that it is hardly right to call it a detective story.
  • "The Level Crossing' - May be familiar through other anthologies; a man finds himself being prosecuted for a murder he planned but did not carry out. He should have had a better lawyer.
  • "East Wind" - French again, on the spot this time when a prisoner is broken out of a train heading for Dartmoor. Police throughout England are mobilised and the gang traced to their destination.
  • "The Parcel" - an attempt at depicting an unsolveable crime, cunningly taken to pieces by ex-Superintendent Cornish in a postscript, "The Motive Shows the Man".
  • "The Affair at Saltover Priory" - a holidaying French is dragged into a murder case by his friend the local Sergeant.
  • "The Landing Ticket" - French unravels a mysterious disappearance and apparent suicide.
  • "The Raincoat" - French traps a murderer who tries to throw suspicion on his colleague.

 

None of these are really long enough to pose much of a mystery, but they provide entertaining reading for fans of Crofts and French.

 

Jon.

 

 

 

 

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