Freeman Wills Crofts
1879-1957
 

Freeman Wills Crofts was born in Dublin. His father (a British army doctor) died while he was still a child, and his mother subsequently remarried. He was educated at the Methodist and Campbell Colleges in Belfast. In 1896 he was apprenticed to his uncle, chief engineer on the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway. In 1899, he became junior assistant engineer on the Londonderry and Strabane Railway. In the following year he was promoted to district engineer. In 1912, he married Mary Bellas Canning. In 1923 he went back to work for the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway. By this time, he was already a published author. In 1925 the first 'Inspector French' novel was published. This hero appeared in another 29 novels. The success of his novels enabled him to give up his job and become a full-time writer. He and his wife moved from Northern Ireland to Blackheath, Surrey. In the early Fifties, Crofts became seriously ill but continued to work on what turned out to be his final novel.

 

Titles and year of publication:
 
 1) The Cask  1920
 2) The Ponson Case  1921
 3) The Pit-Prop Syndicate  1922
 4) The Groote Park Murder  1923
 5) Inspector French's Greatest Case  1925
 6) Inspector French and the Cheyne Mystery  1926
 7) Inspector French and the Starvel Tragedy  1927
 8) The Sea Mystery  1928
 9) The Box Office Murders  1928
10) Sir John Magill's Last Journey  1930
11) Mystery in the Channel  1931
12) Sudden Death  1932
13) Death on the Way  1932
14) The Hog's Back Mystery  1933
15) The 12.30 from Croydon  1934
16) Mystery on Southampton Water  1934
17) Crime at Guildford  1935
18) The Loss of the Jane Vosper  1936
19) Man Overboard!  1936
20) Found Floating  1937
21) The End of Andrew Harrison  1938
22) Antidote to Venom  1938
23) Fatal Venture  1939
24) Golden Ashes  1940
25) James Tarrant, Adventurer  1941
26) The Losing Game  1941
27) Fear Comes to Chalfont  1942
28) The Hunt Ball Murder (short story)  1943
29) The Affair at Little Wokeham  1943
30) Mr. Sefton, Murderer (short story)  1944
31) Enemy Unseen  1945
32) Death of a Train  1946
33) Murderers Make Mistakes (short stories)  1947
34) Young Robin Brand, Detective  1947
35) Silence for the Murderer  1949
36) French Strikes Oil  1952
37) Many a Slip (short stories)  1955
38) The Mystery of the Sleeping Car Express (short stories)  1956
39) Anything to Declare?  1957

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