The Cask by Freeman Wills Crofts

The Cask by Freeman Wills Crofts

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A strange container is found on the London docks, and its contents point to murder

The cask from Paris is bigger than the rest, its sides reinforced to hold the extraordinary weight within. As the longshoremen are bringing it onto the London docks, the cask slips, cracks, and spills some of its treasure: a wealth of gold sovereigns. As the workmen cram the spilled gold into their pockets, an official digs through the opened box, which is supposed to contain a statue. Beneath the gold he finds a woman’s hand—as cold as marble, but made of flesh.

He reports the body to his superiors, but when he returns, the cask has vanished. The case is given to Inspector Burnley, a methodical detective of Scotland Yard, who will confront a baffling array of clues and red herrings, alibis and outright lies as he attempts to identify the woman in the cask—and catch the man who killed her.

This ebook features a new introduction by Otto Penzler and has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.


“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 soundest builder of them all.” —Raymond Chandler

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