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Mystery of the Sleeping Car Express [Paperback]

Freeman Wills Crofts

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Book Description

July 2002
Crofts’ earliest short story has at its heart trains and railway engines and a wealth of technical information central to its complex case.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus; New edition edition (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842324071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842324073
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g

Product Description

About the Author

Freeman Wills Crofts was born in Dublin in 1879 and died in 1957. He worked for a Northern Irish railway company as an engineer until 1929, before turning to detective fiction His plots reveal his mathematical training and he specialised in the seemingly unbreakable alibi, laying layer upon layer within his stories. He loved ships and trains and the intricacies of transport timetables feature in many of his stories. Crofts’ best-known character is Inspector Joseph French. French appears for the first time in Inspector French’s Greatest Case. He is a detective who achieves his results through dogged persistence.

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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mystery that remains a mystery. Aug. 22 2004
By John Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Having read all Freeman Wills Crofts's detective fiction at one time or another and reviewed most of it enthusiastically, I regret that there is not much to be said in favor of his short stories. The story that bears this book's title is a big disappointment. Famed for his knowledge of the ins and outs of early C20th trains, timetables, engineering, and plot structure in his novels, he might be expected to construct a brilliant little piece under the title "Mystery of the Sleeping Car Express". Instead he delivers a scrappy narrative, adds a sketch plan that beggars comprehension, and leaves at least one reader feeling that the mystery of the sleeping car express remains a mystery. This was Crofts' first short story, written in 1921. As with his first Inspector French novel, "Inspector French's Greatest Case", 1926, he unfortunately chose a title that in the event produced disappointment.

Crofts seemed to need a full length novel to display his powers best: the patient unraveling of the mystery, and the painstaking checking, theorizing and testing that led to the solution. There is one story in this collection, however, that is a total success. Written in 1933, it is titled "The Level Crossing". It, rather than the title story in this collection, well deserves inclusion in various "railway" story anthologies, and makes this book well worth the purchase price.

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