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The Cask [Unknown Binding]

Freeman Wills Crofts
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition £4.74  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £6.97  
Unknown Binding --  
Unknown Binding, 1939 --  

Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B000WV0ZNE
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cask 22 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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 more 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 revenge.

The 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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Golden Age detective novel 12 Oct 2012
By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A large cask is unloaded at London docks: the label indicates that it contains statuary from Paris, but inside is something horrifying.

Freeman Wills Crofts's 1920 detective novel is set in both London and Paris, enjoyably evoking both the cities and its period setting. Although this is an early Golden Age detective story, Crofts's also includes some nice variations within the genre.

Throughout the book there is an emphasis on the nuts and bolts of the investigation and at times this became quite tedious, especially when characters' alibis are checked and re-checked in minute detail. Overall, however, "The Cask" is a pleasant and sometimes exciting read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unable To Read Due To Tiny Print Size 21 July 2014
By mike
Let me make it clear that I am not reviewing the story here. I am reviewing the edition as published by Langtail Press. To begin with the cover is very pale blue but mostly white writing on it. These two colours do not work together well and it is virtually impossible for someone with 20/20 vision to read what is written on the cover of the book in the white print. Did someone not proof read this? Also, the printing inside the book is very small. I personally cannot read it with comfort or for any length of time. It became so bad that I had to download a copy of the book onto my kindle so that I could increase the size of the font to a size which would make reading possible. As I say, I am not reviewing the book but the way in which it has been presented to the reader in this instance. It is a pity that a company that has long links to a very famous author and history of publishing has not taken their potential readers into consideration ad I for one will never buy another book from the Langtail Press (which is a print on demand company) unless they change the way they print their books.
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