The Cask by Freeman Wills Crofts

The steamer Bullfinch arrives at the London docks from France with a cargo of casks. During the unloading one is damaged, revealing gold sovereigns…and a woman’s hand. When the cask disappears Inspector Burnley of Scotland Yard investigates. What begins as a search for the cask soon becomes a cross-channel chase to uncover a killer.

I have read several books from Crofts’ Inspector French series, but had never heard of this one, which was actually very his first book. I thought the plot was inspired. I enjoyed how it was broken down into three distinct parts where vivid descriptions and details gave each a different atmosphere, pace and tone. There is a great amount of detail regarding the investigation, but that is the nature of a Golden Age Mystery which lays out all of the clues; allowing the reader to solve the crime…if they can. 

This is a cunning detective story filled with chases, jealousy, revenge, and an almost perfect murder. It is a treat for any mystery lover.

My thanks to NetGalley and Dover Publications for the advance reader copy made available for my review.

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