The 12:30 from Croydon by Freeman Wills Crofts

The 12.30 From Croydon

I had completely forgotten about Freeman Wills Crofts until I saw this book in my library. I had never read any before although I’d handled the books often enough in the past, I always got his name mixed up with that shoe shop chain – Freeman Hardy Willis, do they still exist? So I was quite surprised to find out that he is regarded as one of the ‘Big Four’ of the Golden Age of Crime Fiction.

First published in 1934, The 12:30 from Croydon is crime fiction with a difference because you know who the murderer is and how he has talked himself into committing murder. The mystery is – will he get off with it and if not how did he slip up?

I ended up thoroughly enjoying this one and I’m looking forward to reading more of his books which have been reprinted by House of Stratus. At first I was not at all sure I would like it because it begins with Rose Morley, her father and grandfather taking a flight to Paris. The whole experience is described in detail as obviously in 1934 very few of the readers would have been on an aeroplane and this would have been seen as an exciting start to the book. Nowadays it just isn’t and what was cutting edge when the book was first published is now charmingly old-fashioned. Apparently there was an air-station at Victoria,London which I’m presuming was just a part of the bus station where you boarded a bus for the airport.

Luckily Freeman Wills Crofts wrote quite a lot of books, so I’ll be tracking them down soon, hopefully via the library although I believe Peggy Ann has managed to get one from Project Gutenberg.

8 thoughts on “The 12:30 from Croydon by Freeman Wills Crofts

    • Peggy Ann,
      I certainly hope you can get a hold of it. There are only about 6 of his books in Fife libraries so I’ll be putting in library requests too, unless I buy some old ones, the reprints seem expensive. Good Luck!

      • I found one used on Amazon for a good price and it is like new. You realize that your blog is dangerous for a ‘book drunkard’ like me don’t you! I have gotten 4 books in the last two weeks as a direct result of your reviews! 2 Angela Thirkall, one Freeman Wills Crofts and then a Constance Little vintage mystery because I saw it on the way to look for Crofts! So much for not buying anything this year:( It was unavoidable sooner than later! I had forgotten about Abes Books and I have bought things there in the past. Will have to keep my eye on it too!
        I found another vintage mystery writer too! Anna Katharine Green an american writer. Project Gutenberg has lots of her mysteries! You have to get an ereader or IPad! I just ordered an IPad! I got a refurbished IPad 2 for $150 cheaper full warranty. Can you get them over there?

        • Peggy Ann,
          The pressure! I just hope you enjoy the books when you get around to them. I know exactly how you feel my book/author list gets longer all the time.
          It sounds daft as I’m a blogger but I’m not really into technology and I would rather spend money on almost anything than a technical gadget which is why I don’t have a Kindle, I didn’t think I would get on with one at all but I had a ‘go’ with Gordon’s (son) and I think I’d get used to it. Machines often go wrong with me – I can’t wear wind up watches as they start going fast within minutes and die after a couple of hours. Jack says it’s my electric personality – ha! Battery watches are fine. Anyway I just had a look at ereaders, everybody seems to use a Kindle which is what I was going to get anyway but there is a very cheap Binatone ereader which I’m assuming is not very good. I haven’t even heard of it before. I’ll ask ‘the boys’ about it.
          I just researched it myself – rubbish – you get what you pay for I suppose!

  1. I know the author’s name but I didn;t know he was so highly rated. The idea is interesting and the cover is lovely, so i shall check my library catalogue.

  2. I found this review via Peggy Ann and her post on this author. It sounds like a good book and I need an inverted mystery for a challenge. Thanks very much for this review.

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