Wednesday, the 29th of September, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today my pick is another classic mystery, a genre I have a lot of pending on my TBR–Inspector French’s Greatest Case by Freeman Willis Crofts. Freeman Willis Crofts (1879-1957) was an Irish author of mysteries, but was a railway engineer by training (because of his background, Crofts introduced a number of railway-related themes into his stories). It was an absence from work due to long illness in 1919 which made him take up writing and he wrote his first book, The Cask (1920). Crofts is best remembered for his fictional character, Inspector Joseph French, who appeared in 30 mysteries between 1924 and 1957. Crofts wrote not only mystery novels, but short story collections, plays and non-fiction. He was a member of the detection club with Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers.

Inspector French’s Greatest Case (1924) was Crofts fifth book and French’s first appearance. In this one, the safe of a diamond merchant in Hatton Garden is found open, and beside it lies the dead body of his head clerk. And the diamonds?–missing of course. French has to unravel many mysteries, follow false clues and wade through various suspects as he slowly works his way to the answers.

I enjoy reading Golden Age mysteries and every so often, I can be found curled up with one, more often than not a Christie. Freeman Willis Crofts is one author from that era who I have been meaning to try but haven’t yet gotten to. And French is a character, somewhat different from some of the other popular Golden Age detectives since he is a policeman, and not an amateur or private investigator. [And one of my goodreads reading groups’ challenges for next year which was put up a few days ago indicates that I’ll be getting to this one sooner than later].

Do you enjoy Golden Age mysteries? Who are some of your favourite authors/detectives? Have you read any Inspector French mysteries? Which ones and how did you like them? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Lisa’s pick this week is a non-fiction title around mass extinctions, Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz.

Cover image and book info: Goodreads (as always); author info: wikipedia


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