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Publisher's Summary

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?

©2016 Estate of Freeman Wills Crofts (P)2016 Soundings

What listeners say about The 12.30 from Croydon

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Unusual form of detective story

What made the experience of listening to The 12.30 from Croydon the most enjoyable?

The combination of a well written story and a good performance.

What did you like best about this story?

The account of the circumstances that draw the murderer committing murder, the description of how he executes his plan, the episode that makes him commit a second murder are carefully detailed. The account of his arrest and trial are also presented. Then at the end, the detective explains how he solved the problems.

What does Gordon Griffin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Gordon Griffin reads the story well. I imagine that if I had the book, I would have enjoyed the story but I don't have the book'.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A story of the murder of a rich and frail or sick old person is not uncommon. Dorothy Sayers' "Unnatural Death" and Crofts' "The Hogback Mystery" are examples that come to mind. Here the detailed account of the hard time for everyone in Cold Pickerby, and of Charles' financial difficulties from Charles's point of view make his descent to murder believable. The second murder to silence a blackmailer is logical. The explanation of the detective at the end of the book makes a satisfying end.

Any additional comments?

I should warn other listeners that I am old. I enjoy detective stories from the 1930's. I like the fact that they move slowly and carefully. If you like something fast and racy, this book won't suit you.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Atypical, well written and compelling

Although it is not a whodunit, the plot is compelling and worth a listen for British murder mystery fans.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Reacher14
  • 04-28-17

Dated but easy listening

Written in a time gone bye, old fashioned phrase but easy listening.
Overall story ok and well worked

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs Debra Phillips
  • 02-21-17

Excellent

This was a really gripping murder mystery write from two points of view. I didn't want it to end.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • D
  • 01-16-17

It's a good story

This was well performed and I listened to the end
Think I prefer a classic whodunnit though.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • elly gausden
  • 04-20-21

Not really an Inspector French book

Written from the killer's point of view with very little French actually in the book. And it's not an exciting story, even by the rather slow and meticulous normal standard of Inspector French books

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne-Maria Moynihan
  • 05-19-20

excellent

I found this very enjoyable and well done would recommend it very unusual way to tell story

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  • Tab
  • 05-15-20

Life is waaaaaay too short

I waded through until about 1.5 hrs from the end, at which point, beginning to give up hope that the book would take a sudden interesting twist, I Googled the ending, and found that, no, it does not. I gave up. I don’t mind inverted mysteries, where you know from the start who did it, and how, and why, as long as I don’t know all of those! Otherwise, where’s the hook? It was just a dull dull plod.

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  • Stan Murch
  • 05-10-20

First part of story excellent Second part disappointing

The first part of the story was brilliant, it was a great example of another book “Mistakes were made” where you and me justify our actions, and how we slip down from our ideals, one very small step at a time. Not to give anything away the remaining part of the story seems to be very wordy but rushed in the construction and believability. To much guess work by French and bending his findings to suit his conclusions.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • c.silk
  • 04-14-20

Wills Crofts the Master

When it comes to a well written mystery Wills Crofts is the master. Credible characters, sharpliy drawn plot, he is a master of the genre.

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  • glassophile
  • 12-19-16

exhaustive and exhausting

Golden Age fiction . the names that survive and are read generally are Christie , Allingham, Marsh and Patricia Wentworth. the reason being that they all entertain. this book by FWC is at the opposite end of the spectrum. written mainly from the point of view of the murderer it is a thought by thought day by day diary of a bore. FWC can be dry as an author but this must be his driest. no subplots and no amusing social interaction, which you would have with the authors mentioned above. ( you may think Sayers should be included in the entertaining group but she had a tendency to transcribe chapters from legal tomes so is a half dry ) GG has a very good voice, but unfortunately that is also slightly dry. the effect of having a dry book read by a dry voice was rather like having plain biscuits crumbled in my ears. if you can listen to this all the way through, rather than just having it on as background, I commend you.

1 person found this helpful