The Cask Kindle Ú Paperback

The Cask Kindle Ú Paperback


  • Paperback
  • The Cask
  • Freeman Wills Crofts
  • English
  • 06 February 2015
  • 9781842323847

10 thoughts on “The Cask

  1. Susan Susan says:

    Freeman Wills Crofts 1879 1957 was one of the most successful of the crime writers from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction writing a book almost every year during his writing career He was a member of the Detection Club alongside Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers and became a full time writer in 1929 The Cask was his first ever novel written in 1920 when he found himself off work with a long illness Although it was written a long time ago even for a Golden Age novel it is one of the earliest I have come across it has aged well Yes it is dated in that people use horses and carts far often than a car and phone calls are still novel enough to be easily traced but it is the human emotions that matter and this novel deals with the classic themes of jealousy and revengeThe Cask takes place in both London and Paris When a cask arrives in London from Paris it causes suspicion Supposed to hold a statue gold rolls out when it is opened slightly and there is a glimpse of a hand What follows is the disappearance of the cask tracking it down and then trying to decide where it came from and who is to blame for the body inside Inspector Burnley is the English detective sent in search of the truth working in Paris alongside Lefarge Both the detectives are intelligent hard working and follow up the clues thoroughly There is also George La Touche a private detective who almost loses his life in his attempt to discover what happened This is very much a puzzle with clues that are confusing but which can be followed personally I gave up and simply enjoyed the story but I am sure you could solve it if you made notes It is interesting to read this very early example of the genre and it is easy to see why Crofts is revered by those who enjoy books from this era


  2. Susan Susan says:

    This was the author’s first mystery and the book is too long and repetitive However the plotting is carefully done and I enjoyed how the British detective and his French policeman friend fit in some Paris sightseeing and fine dining along with their detecting


  3. Andrea Andrea says:

    This is an early police procedural taken to the nth degree of following the evidence Although it had its interesting points it's so exhaustive that eventually I became an exhausted reader and skimmed the latter parts even though they were probably the interesting


  4. Val Val says:

    I thought this was a very competent detective novel If I had put on my anorak and hunted out contemporary train timetables and street maps the chronology and geography would have been faultless The two detectives are painstaking in their investigation then stop when they are satisfied that they have the culprit and sufficient evidence for a conviction The private detective also investigates to give the accused the best chance of a defence in court Everybody does their job The only problem with the book is that I didn't particularly care about any of the characters We know what they do what they wear and look like what they eat and how they spend their spare time but very little about what they think and feel The author's preoccupation is with the plot and creating a puzzle for us to solve which he does well I don't think I would want to read of them thoughThis is an early example of a very popular genre and later writers improved on it I think some reminders or recaps are helpful but to have a new detective re investigate the whole thing was a bit repetition than I wanted It is plausible and well reasoned and he does show how tiny overlooked clues can make all the difference


  5. Sloweducation Sloweducation says:

    Charmingly tedious mystery goes in for every Golden Age cliche The sheer amount of deduction is altogether impressive but the book is weighed down by the fact that it is mostly very uninteresting This is my first Crofts and apparently his trademark is the laboriously described railway timetable No character is than sketched There is constant exposition but none of it pertains to psychology in the least A uite silly book by any measure which could do with a hundred pages less and yet there are things in it which I uite enjoyed It is nearly a procedural and the central mystery is unusually ingenious


  6. Kim Kim says:

    The Cask another one of this author's books that I've never heard of is a novel written by Freeman Wills Crofts again who I never heard of before I read one or two of his other novels was published in 1920 It was his first novel which I only realized when I was finished so I'm obviously not going to read all his novels in the order he wrote them I think it would be impossible anyway if you can find all his books you deserve an award a few books perhaps I read this book because I enjoyed the last one and I was in a used bookstore and there it was So if you go to used book stores where the books are really really used and dusty and smell funny you may find this book I know that the next time I find myself at that bookstore a place I like going to because I can find books no one ever reads there not for the cleanliness of the building And if I come across another Freeman Wills Crofts book I will buy it As long as all the pages are there and none of the dozen or so cats that live there hasn't used it as a litter box that is The owner also has a cat rescue home there you can come in and take one of the without a home cats from them a wonderful thing to do but a little strange having them running around in a book store Anyway back to our author way back in 1912 Crofts found himself working as a Junior Assistant to his uncle who was the chief engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway He also got married about the same time to the daughter of a bank manager Mary Bellas Canning That's her name not the bank manager's What he wanted to do was write so in 1929 he abandoned his railway engineering career to become a full time writer I wonder what his wife thought of that He had written his first book The Cask in 1920 and once he got started he didn't stop producing a book almost every year for thirty years He is best remembered not by anyone I know for his detective Inspector Joseph French who was introduced in his fifth book Inspector French's Greatest Case in 1924 so reading The Cask means we haven't met this famous detective yet We do meet a whole bunch of other people though and they spend much of their time either sending a cask back and forth between Paris and London hauling the cask to the docks in Paris and London putting whatever is put into the cask which could be uite a number of things rare coins statues even a body stealing the cask or trying to find the cask How's that for a summary Our book begins with the cask arriving in London the director of a Steam Navigation Company whatever that is sees that a shipment of wine they are expecting has come in and he sends a reliable man to the docks to make sure everything is how it should be It isn't Broughton that's the reliable guy goes down to the docks and watches the casks being unloaded when there is a problem four casks fall out of the sling and land on their sides on the dock One of these casks was found to be different from the rest it was strongly made and better finished and they knew it didn't have wine in it because they could see a heap of sawdust which escaped from a crack at one end Broughton and the foreman Harkness see not just sawdust but also coins and now were so curious as to what was in the cask they opened it and found it filled with gold coins almost filled with them There were three things in the cask coins sawdust and a hand That's what they saw at the time anyway the hand later was found to be attached to a body On the side of the cask is the name and address of the man who is supposed to be getting this lovely package M Leon Felix and it is marked as containing statuary Now the fun begins Broughton goes off to the head office to report the find why he isn't going to the police I don't know and leaves Harkness guarding their treasure Meanwhile Mr Felix arrives to pick up his cask which they won't give him telling him he must go to the office first Meanwhile Broughton and Mr Avery go to the police and after explaining the reason they are there Inspector Burnley goes with them to open the cask When they get there it is gone A man of middle height foreign looking with dark eyes and a short pointed beard had showed up with the right paperwork and taken it Ok uickly now I'm getting tired of writing this Inspector Burnley and Broughton go off searching for the cask and they find it after they find it it disappears again then it turns up in Paris but before anyone can get to it it's back in London then Paris then London you get the idea We do somewhere along the way get the body out of it which at least puts us on the right track and we get another inspector to help us Inspector La Touche I can't remember his first name It's good he shows up or we'd still be going back and forth between the two cities As for the cask it has been uite busy at one time or another it carried sawdust two statues one of two women standing and one sitting another with two women sitting and one standing gold coins and a body I don't know what happened to the wine Going back and forth between cities London and Paris I just thought of a wonderful name for the book A Tale of Two Cities but I believe that title may have already been taken Happy reading


  7. Betsy Betsy says:

    This is a comlicated mystery in two parts The murder of young woman leads Inspector Burnley to France and back Once he has determined his suspect a private investigator acting for the defense takes over trying to prove the suspect's innocence The story goes on too long and is over complicated but is entertaining I like Crofts' work since he sticks with the mystery and adds just enough personal aspects to flesh out the investigators


  8. Lisa Kucharski Lisa Kucharski says:

    The beginning suffers a bit from showing us every bit of movement made and thought by the investigating police and could have used a heavier hand by an editor However about the last third of the book when a lawyer gets involved and then a private detective is involved the story actually comes to life and it feels like you are reading about people and not just sifting through factsIt certainly feels like a book that was written before 1920 though the copyright is 1920 In those 1910 years the books could be uite tedious for a reader from the 21st century The book reflects style of the time and while Crofts has put together a wonderful crime to solve he hasn't in this first book mastered bringing live and vigor to the characters in the book It does however feel like what any policeman would have to do to pick up all the pieces of an investigationIf you are interested in the period and this style you will enjoy the book For me it was an easy book to put down and hard to get going with it I persevered due to the fact that I've read another one and found it was of interest and the end of this book was closer to the other book livelyFave uote La Touche has just gained an important clue I cannot say monsieur how obliged I am to you said La Touche in heartfelt tones and by a sort of legerdemain of which both participants remained profoundly unconscious a twenty franc bill passed from hand to hand La Touche was extraordinarily pleased He had broken the alibi


  9. Laurie Laurie says:

    The steamer Bullfinch arrives at the London docks from France with a cargo of casks During the unloading one is damaged revealing gold sovereignsand a woman's hand When the cask disappears Inspector Burnley of Scotland Yard investigates What begins as a search for the cask soon becomes a cross channel chase to uncover a killerI have read several books from Crofts’ Inspector French series but had never heard of this one which was actually very his first book I thought the plot was inspired I enjoyed how it was broken down into three distinct parts where vivid descriptions and details gave each a different atmosphere pace and tone There is a great amount of detail regarding the investigation but that is the nature of a Golden Age Mystery which lays out all of the clues; allowing the reader to solve the crimeif they can This is a cunning detective story of filled with chases jealousy revenge and an almost perfect murder It is a treat for any mystery loverMy thanks to NetGalley and Dover Publications for the advance reader copy made available for my review


  10. Mentatreader Mentatreader says:

    Well deserved to be called a classic of the detective genre Mostly a police procedural they come to the wrong conclusion and the last third is handled by a private detective for the accused The only weakness is the use of the “brain fever” device removing a character from being able to give information that would have changed the way the police proceeded There were a few clues that the police did not ask about and some missed uestions they could of asked but in all a very tight and fair mystery


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About the Author: Freeman Wills Crofts

Born in Dublin of English stock Freeman Wills Crofts was educated at Methodist and Campbell Colleges in Belfast and at age he became a civil engineering pupil apprenticed to his uncle Berkeley D Wise who was the chief engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway BNCR In he became a fully fledged railway engineer before becoming a district engineer and then chief assistant en.