Freeman Wills Crofts (1879-1957), the son of an army doctor who died before he was born, was raised in Northern Ireland and became a civil engineer on the Irish railways. His first book, The Cask, was published in the summer of 1920, immediately establishing him as a new master of detective fiction. Dubbed 'The King of Detective Story Writers', he was continually praised for his flawless plotting, with Raymond Chandler describing him as 'the soundest builder of them all'. Crofts was a founder member of the Detection Club and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1939.
'A classic Crofts story, meticulously planned and written.' - Martin Edwards 'Undeniably the greatest of detective story writers.' - Outlook 'This early story by Freeman Wills Crofts has lost nothing in the passage of time: indeed, it seems almost better than ever . . . One of the classics of modern crime fiction.' - New York Times