The Pit-Prop Syndicate - Freeman Wills Crofts 1922 - W. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., London - First Edition ‘”And will you help me Seymour?” She looked appealingly at her companion.’

A lovely copy of the author’s third novel, set in Bordeaux, London, and Scotland, in which Seymour Merriman accidentally witness a crucial detail in one of the most horrific crimes France has ever seen, and subsequently must employ the help of a local customs officer if he hopes to stay alive... What began as amateur detective work ends up as a job for Inspector Willis of Scotland Yard, a job requiring tenacity, ingenuity and guile.

Selected in 1957 as one of the ‘
100 Best Crime Stories’ by Julian Symons for the London Sunday Times.

‘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.’ – The New York Times.
  ‘The all-time master of the intricate timetable alibi.’ - The New York Times Book Review.

Freeman Wills Crofts (1879-1957), Irish crime writer, born in Dublin, Crofts enjoyed a successful career with Belfast and Northern Counties Railway, which eventually became a key inspiration for the settings and plots of his meticulously crafted novels, written following his retirement in 1929. In 1939 he became a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and has since been considered one of the most significant contributors to the ‘Golden Age of Detective Fiction’. Crofts was the first author to utilise the literary tactic of deconstructing a seemingly watertight alibi, a device which then went on to become a cornerstone of the genre.

References: Herbert,
The Oxford Companion to Crime & Mystery Writing 111, Haycraft, Murder for Pleasure 122.

Octavo (19 x 13 cm). pp. viii 304 [6 (publisher’s ads)] [2]. In publisher’s dark blue cloth, front board and spine lettered and with publisher’s symbol in red, front panel with twin line border of red.
  Condition: Very good, spine with a modicum of fading, light wear to corners and spine ends, offsetting to endpapers, foxing to free endpapers.   Ref: 108865   Price: HK$ 2,500