• Inspector French and the Starvel Hollow Tragedy

  • Inspector French Mystery, Book 3
  • By: Freeman Wills Crofts
  • Narrated by: Phil Fox
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the Collins Crime Club archive, the third Inspector French novel by Freeman Wills Crofts, once dubbed 'The King of Detective Story Writers'.

Three Corpses for Inspector French

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.

©1927 Estate of Freeman Wills Crofts (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Freeman Wills Crofts is the only author who gives us intricate crime in fiction as it might really be, and not as the irreflective would like it to be." ( Observer)
"A detective novel by Mr. Wills Crofts is always an event to those who know.... Mr. Crofts is among the few muscular writers of detective fiction. He has never let me down." (Harold Nicolson, Daily Express)

What listeners say about Inspector French and the Starvel Hollow Tragedy

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  • Ginger
  • 01-27-17

Great

A classic whodunnit which twists its way to a satisfying conclusion. The world of Crofts' 1920's Scotland Yard and its Inspector French may not be real but the puzzling tale is so good that any disbelief is easily suspended.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Lucy
  • 01-18-18

great fun, lots of twists and turns

What made the experience of listening to Inspector French and the Starvel Hollow Tragedy the most enjoyable?

lovely old fashioned puzzle detective story, setting several red herrings along the way. The denouement was not a surprise, but still a very jolly listen, and devoid of any gruesome post mortem details that one finds in many contemporary crime novels.

What other book might you compare Inspector French and the Starvel Hollow Tragedy to, and why?

Any one who likes Golden Age of Detective novels will probably enjoy this

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  • Kevin Viney
  • 04-14-21

FRENCH on form again

Another Inspector French mystery that keeps you guessing till the end.
Typical derailed Police work a d convoluted plot with good narration.
Won't disappoint French fans

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ingrid
  • 07-15-22

A good time

This is a series focused on the sort of everyday police work that leads to solving murders, and I actually enjoy that very much. We get to follow French as he pursues every scrap of information and utilises all the resources under his command. The narrator's dry style suits this type of story to a T; Phil Fox' voice is perfect.

My only complaint is that in each of the three books I've listened to, I've been disappointed with the solution. In grounding the story so much in reality, Crofts cannot give us the brilliant, illuminating aha-moments that you get with for instance Christie. The journey to get there is fun though.

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  • oceanjasper
  • 03-18-18

Great fun

I has recently discovered Inspector French and I'm finding the books enormously entertaining. They are perfect for audio, as Phil Fox's expressive narration takes us through French's careful investigation of all possible leads until he discovers the truth. The 1920s setting makes a pleasant change from modern police procedurals with their emphasis on technology and trawling through a mass of data. These books are dated in a good way, with their portrait of an English way of life that is long gone.

This one has an intriguing mystery which takes a long time for French to unravel. I did guess the culprit, but then I second-guessed myself, such is the complexity of the solution. If you like the gentler pace of Golden Age detective stories, you'll enjoy this book.

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