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Freeman Wills Crofts

Classic Murder Mystery

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Freeman Wills Crofts

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1939. Fatal Venture

About the Author:
Freeman Wills Crofts was born in Dublin in 1879. He was educated privately, and later at the Methodist and Campbell Colleges, Belfast. In 1897, he joined the civil engineering staff of the Belfast Counties Railway as a pupil, and after holding various positions in railway engineering became chief assistant engineer to the same railway-then the L.M.S Northern Counties Committee. In 1929, he retired from railway work in order to give his whole time to writing, moving near to Guildford in Surrey.

He wrote over 39 books, including The Cask; Inspector French's Greatest Case; The Cheyne Mystery, Death of A Train; The 12.30 from Croydon; The Loss of the Jane Vosper; The Groote Park Murder; The Pit Prop Syndicate, Inspector French and the Starvel Tragedy (all of which have been published as Penguins), and one religious book: The Four Gospels in One Story, together with several short stories; a play 'Sudden Death'; and a number of short plays for the B.B.C. In 1939, he was elected to a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He died in 1957

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Crofts, Freeman Wills. 'Fatal Venture', published by Penguin Books, 1959, 224 pages. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon
1959, Penguin
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  • Fatal Venture [top]
    First published in 1939 by Hodder & Stoughton, hbk, 288pp
    Reprinted in 1959 by Penguin, pbk

Storyline: There was a fortune in the idea of buying up a great liner scheduled for demolition, and adapting her for gentle holiday cruising round the British Isles. Morrison and Bristow feel that they are on the road to wealth. But Morrison dislikes some sharp practice over the purchase of the vessel, and becomes uncomfortable when the millionnaire backer registers the ship as French, and decides to run luxury gambling rooms aboard. During one of the shore excursions, there is murder in a lonely hollow on the Irish coast. Fortunately Inspector French and his wife Em are among the passengers on this trip. From the cumulative evidence of a number of apparently innocent details, French is able to reconstruct a crime of startling ingenuity...


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