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Inspector French

This page lists novels and short story collections that feature Inspector French.

 

Inspector French: Novels and short story collections

Inspector French's Greatest Case

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1925

An Inspector French novel.

"At the offices of the Hatton Garden diamond merchant Duke and Peabody, the body of old Mr Gething is discovered beside a now-empty safe. With multiple suspects, the robbery and murder is clearly the work of a master criminal, and requires a master detective to solve it. Meticulous as ever, Inspector Joseph French of Scotland Yard embarks on an investigation that takes him from the streets of London to Holland, France and Spain, and finally to a ship bound for South America."
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Inspector French and the Cheyne Mystery

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1926

An Inspector French novel.

"When young Maxwell Cheyne discovers that a series of mishaps are the result of unwelcome attention from a dangerous gang of criminals, he teams up with a young woman who is determined to help him outwit them. But when she disappears, he finally decides to go to Scotland Yard for help. Concerned by the developing situation, Inspector Joseph French takes charge of the investigation and applies his trademark methods to track down the kidnappers and thwart their intentions."
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Inspector French and the Starvel Tragedy

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1927

An Inspector French novel.

"A chance invitation from friends saves Ruth Averill’s life on the night her uncle’s old house in Starvel Hollow is consumed by fire, killing him and incinerating the fortune he kept in cash. Dismissed at the inquest as a tragic accident, the case is closed – until Scotland Yard is alerted to the circulation of bank-notes supposedly destroyed in the inferno. Inspector Joseph French suspects that dark deeds were done in the Hollow that night and begins to uncover a brutal crime involving arson, murder and body snatching."
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The Sea Mystery

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1928

An Inspector French novel.

"Off the coast of Burry Port in south Wales, two fishermen discover a shipping crate and manage to haul it ashore. Inside is the decomposing body of a brutally murdered man. With nothing to indicate who he is or where it came from, the local police decide to call in Scotland Yard. Fortunately Inspector Joseph French does not believe in insoluble cases – there are always clues to be found if you know what to look for. Testing his theories with his accustomed thoroughness, French’s ingenuity sets him off on another investigation."
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The Box Office Murders

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1928

An Inspector French novel.

"The suicide of a sales clerk at the box office of a London cinema leaves another girl in fear for her life. Persuaded to seek help from Scotland Yard, Miss Darke confides in Inspector Joseph French about a gambling scam by a mysterious trio of crooks and that she believes her friend was murdered. When the girl fails to turn up the next day, and the police later find her body, French’s inquiries reveal that similar girls have also been murdered, all linked by their jobs and by a sinister stranger with a purple scar."
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Sir John Magill's Last Journey

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1930

An Inspector French novel.

"When Sir John Magill, the wealthy Irish industrialist, fails to show up at his home town on a well-publicised visit, neither his family nor the Belfast police can explain his disappearance. Foul play is suspected when his bloodstained hat is discovered, and Scotland Yard is called in. With his characteristic genius for reconstruction, Inspector French evolves a gruesome theory about what happened to the elderly man, but his reputation – and that of Scotland Yard – will depend on finding out who was responsible."
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Mystery in the Channel

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1931

An Inspector French novel.

"The captain of the Newhaven to Dieppe steamer spots a small pleasure yacht lying motionless in the water, and on closer inspection, sees a body lying on the deck. When members of his crew go aboard the yacht, they find not one male corpse but two. Both men have been shot, but there is no sign of either the murderer or the pistol. The dead men, it quickly emerges, were called Moxon and Deeping, and they were chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the firm of Moxon General Securities. Inspector Joseph French of Scotland Yard is called in, reporting directly to the Assistant Commissioner, Sir Mortimer Ellison. French soon discovers that Moxon's is on the brink of collapse. One and a half million pounds have gone missing, and so has one of the partners in the business. Moxon and Deeping seem to have been fleeing the country with their ill-gotten gains, but who killed them, and how? French faces one of the toughest challenges of his career."
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Sudden Death

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1932

An Inspector French novel.

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Death on the Way

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1932

An Inspector French novel.

"Work on the widening of the Southern Railway's south coast route results in two mysterious deaths. Murder becomes apparent. As evidence is sifted through and minute detail and data analysed, tension mounts right up to the dramatic climax."
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The Hog's Back Mystery

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1933

An Inspector French novel.

"Dr James Earle and his wife live in comfortable seclusion near the Hog's Back, a ridge in the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey countryside. When Dr Earle disappears from his cottage, Inspector French is called in to investigate. At first he suspects a simple domestic intrigue - and begins to uncover a web of romantic entanglements beneath the couple's peaceful rural life. The case soon takes a more complex turn. Other people vanish mysteriously, one of Dr Earle's house guests among them. What is the explanation for the disappearances? If the missing people have been murdered, what can be the motive?"
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The 12.30 from Croydon

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1934

An Inspector French novel.

"We begin with a body. Andrew Crowther, a wealthy retired manufacturer, is found dead in his seat on the 12.30 flight from Croydon to Paris. Rather less orthodox is the ensuing flashback in which we live with the killer at every stage, from the first thoughts of murder to the strains and stresses of living with its execution. Seen from the criminal's perspective, a mild-mannered Inspector by the name of French is simply another character who needs to be dealt with. This is an unconventional yet gripping story of intrigue, betrayal, obsession, justification and self-delusion. And will the killer get away with it?"
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Mystery on Southampton Water

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1934

An Inspector French novel.

"The Joymount Rapid Hardening Cement Manufacturing Company is in serious financial trouble. Two young company employees hatch a plot to break in to a rival works, Chayle on the Isle of Wight, to find out Chayle's secret for underselling them. But the scheme does not go according to plan. The death of the night watchman, theft and fire are the result. Inspector French is brought in to solve the mystery."
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Crime at Guildford

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1935

An Inspector French novel.

"The managing director of a large jewellery firm proposes a weekend board meeting at his Guildford home to sort out the firm's shaky affairs. On Sunday morning the guests discover that one of their number, the accountant, is dead. The police are suspicious. Then comes the news of a London jewellery heist. Inspector French is called in to investigate two connected mysteries."
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The Loss of the Jane Vosper

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1936

An Inspector French novel.

"The Jane Vosper is a small freight liner sailing between London and Buenos Aires. Mysterious explosions send it to the depths of the mid-Atlantic after Captain Hassell gives the reluctant order to abandon ship. Unravelling the murder mystery and the ship's odd cargo is difficult since the evidence is under the ocean. But Inspector French perseveres."
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Man Overboard!

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & SToughton

1936

An Inspector French novel.

"In the course of a ship's passage from Belfast to Liverpool a man disappears. His body is picked up by Irish fishermen. Although the coroner's verdict is suicide, murder is suspected. Inspector French co-operates with Superintendent Rainey and Sergeant McClung once more to determine the truth."
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Found Floating

Freeman Wills Crofts

Collins

1937

An Inspector French novel.

"Old William was losing touch and a younger man was needed to take over the family business. Jim was the obvious choice but William had other ideas. When Mant was brought in to run the firm, from the forgotten side of the family in Australia, murder was the result."
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The End of Andrew Harrison

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1938

An Inspector French novel.

"On personal grounds nobody would have worried much about the sudden death of Andrew Harrison - that greatly successful but somewhat unattractive financier, who was found dead in his Henley house-boat. But there were other grounds for worry. Scotland Yard was worried about this 'suicide'. So was Inspector French. And as the case proceeded, his worry did not grow less. Was there some missing link in his chain or reasoning? And if so, what and where was it."
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Antidote to Venom

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1938

An Inspector French novel.

"George Surridge, director of the Birmington Zoo, is a man with many worries: his marriage is collapsing; his finances are insecure; and an outbreak of disease threatens the animals in his care. As Surridge's debts mount and the pressure on him increases, he begins to dream of miracle solutions. But is he cunning enough to turn his dreams into reality – and could he commit the most devious murder in pursuit of his goals?"
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Fatal Venture

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1939

An Inspector French novel.

"No one knew French was on board Hellenique at all to start with. No one suspected that the charming, if slightly inquisitive, Mr Forrester was the great Inspector from Scotland Yard. And certainly nobody, least of all French himself, expected that he would be called to help clear up such a nasty spot of trouble as the murder of 'old Stott' proprietor of that cruising liner, whose main source of income came from wheels that had no par in driving the ship."
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Golden Ashes

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1940

An Inspector French novel.

"The new Sir Geoffrey Buller is working in an office when he unexpectedly inherits the title and Forde Manor with its collection of priceless art. Widow, Betty Stanton, takes the post of housekeeper and is surprised when she finds Sir Geoffrey is having paintings cleaned. The house is empty and Sir Geoffrey in Italy when disaster strikes. Inspector French reconstructs the cunning and complex crime from a mosaic of detail."
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James Tarrant, Adventurer

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1941

An Inspector French novel.

"James Tarrant's position as an assistant chemist in a sleepy village backwater does not satisfy his craving for wealth. The infatuated Merle Weir, a nurse at a local convalescent home, agrees to help him in a not-quite-legal scheme to sell their own indigestion remedy on the back of another's reputation. When Tarrant breaks his promise and becomes engaged to another, Merle talks of revenge. Could she really have murdered her partner in crime? Inspector French investigates."
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The Losing Game

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1941

An Inspector French novel.

"Inspector French has a tough nut to crack, but it is not he who plays a losing game in Freeman Wills Crofts' new story. Tony knew the blackmailer had been dead long before his house was set on fire. Had he not seen the body sprawling on the stairs? But out of fear of being implicated, tony had held his tongue. Before the case was through he had reason enough to wish he had come clean."
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Fear Comes to Chalfont

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1942

An Inspector French novel.

"Julia Elton, mistress of Chalfont, is the dutiful wife of a man she does not love. Frank Cox is the man she falls in love with. Julia's husband, Richard, suspects her of an affair and has also dismissed an employee for theft. When the murderer strikes at Richard Elton he starts a chain of events which affects the lives of many. One of these is Inspector French."
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The Affair at Little Wokeham

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1943

An Inspector French novel.

"When, much against his will, Dr Anthony Mallaby settled down to a practice in the tiny village of Little Wokeham, the idea that he could ever become a willing accessory to the crime of murder had never penetrated his consciousness. That he, who had always been so law-abiding, should live to see the day when the uniform of a policeman should fill him with indescribable dread was an absurdity which in that earlier life before the hideous affair occurred he would have dismissed with the ridicule it deserved. Yet the incredible thing had happened. He, Anthony Mallaby, had compounded a crime for which the law of his country prescribed death."
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Enemy Unseen

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1945

An Inspector French novel.

"A quiet Cornish village and its law abiding community are rocked by a series of strange events in the summer of 1943. While on a standard Home Guard training manoeuvre, Arthur Wedgewood discovers that supplies of explosives are missing from his stores. When the local police fail to take the necessary steps, Inspector French takes charge to untangle the threads of the crime perpetrated by an Enemy Unseen."
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Death of a Train

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1946

An Inspector French novel.

"There are only enough radar valves for the Home Forces or for North Africa, not for both. The only means of distribution is a special train and the only person who can prevent information being revealed to the enemy is Inspector French."
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Murderers Make Mistakes (short stories)

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1947

Inspector French short stories.

"Pit your wits against Inspector French in a series of the Inspector's cases. In Each case Part I gives you all the facts - all the truth and detail of how the crime has actually been committed and conceived and it is up to you to find out where the slip-up occurred that is to prove fatal to the criminal. Just in case you cannot find it, Inspector French gives you his demonstration in Part II."
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Young Robin Brand, Detective

Freeman Wills Crofts

University of London Press

1947

An Inspector French novel for young adults.

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Silence for the Murderer

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1949

An Inspector French novel.

"Dulcie Heath is looking forward to meeting Frank Roscoe after six years. He has been abroad in the army and she hopes they will marry. But Roscoe tells her he stole money to pay off a gambling debt and is now being blackmailed. So begins the story that goes on to include an apparent suicide and investigations under Inspector French."
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French Strikes Oil

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1952

An Inspector French novel.

"When oil is discovered on family land Rodney Vale sees a fortune to be made. His brother, Maurice, is worried only that the beautiful countryside will be spoiled. The other members of the family are keen to be persuaded by Rodney, but without Maurice's permission they have no power to act. When Maurice is murdered Inspector French is puzzled by mismatching gloves found on the body - one his own, the other a woman's."
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Many a Slip

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1955

Inspector French short stories.

"All of these little stories were originally published in the Evening Standard (of London). Owing to newspaper space limitations they were then little more than skeleton plots and I have now tried to give them some small covering of flesh. They are murder tales, and in all of them the criminal makes a mistake which gives him away. In the game with the reader, he wins if he spots these before they are revealed and (so to speak) I do if he doesn’t."
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The Mystery of the Sleeping Car Express And Other Stories

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1956

Inspector French short stories.

"Here again the inimitable Inspector French shows his mettle. The volume is really a series of mental exercises for the reader. In each case the murderer gives the game away to the investigator. Can the reader spot this before Inspector French explains it?"
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Anything to Declare?

Freeman Wills Crofts

Hodder & Stoughton

1957

An Inspector French novel.

"A foolproof method for earning a fortune in a short space of time is discovered by some enterprising young men. They haven't bargained on finding themselves involved in blackmail and then murder. It is up to Inspector French to unravel the threads with his usual flair."
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Last updated May 2018