This vintage Penguin was first published in 1928 and it’s an Inspector French mystery. It’s a quick read at just 206 pages long and I think that’s why I started reading it, I only bought it a couple of days ago from that madly exasperating Voltaire and Rousseau bookshop in Glasgow. If you want to see what that bookshop looks like, have a keek at a previous post here.
Don’t ask me why I didn’t read The Cask by Freeman Wills Crofts first, I should have because it was first published in 1920 and on page 23 of The Sea Mystery the author explains the plot and the culprit of his previous book – honestly have you ever heard the like!! Now I’ll have to wait until I’ve forgotten it all before I read The Cask.
Anyway, this one begins with two anglers in a boat off the south coast of Wales ‘catching’ a wooden packing case. It contains a nasty surprise and the upshot is that Inspector French of New Scotland Yard is called in to investigate a murder.
Considering there seems to be virtually nothing in the way of clues it’s amazing how he gets to the bottom of it all, but he does and in the end I did enjoy it although I had a fair idea of what had happened before I got to the end.
For me, this one wasn’t quite as good as some of his other books but it was just what I was needing after reading so many Trollope books recently – a nice wee change.
I like Inspector French as a detective, he manages to manipulate all the various characters to get the best results for the investigation but he’s only human so things don’t always happen the way he would like them to.