The Cheyne Mystery – Freeman Wills Crofts

Another book I picked up from a second-hand  stall at the Bangalore book Festival.

 This is the first book I have read by the famous Inspector French and I absolutely loved it. Though he does not appear till after half the adventure is complete.

The story begins with the very endearing ( to me, don’t exactly know why)  Maxwell Cheyne, living the happy contended life of a country gentleman. A visit to the city to see his lawyers leads to him being drugged in his hotel room. Nothing is stolen, which causes some confusion as to the reason for such effrontery. As a result of this drugging he is unable to reach home in the evening as he had planned and must delay his departure for the next day. That is not to be since he gets a telephone call from home to inform him that his house has being burgled. Again, it is more a question of breaking and entering as nothing has been taken. What follows is Maxwell’s kidnap and his perusal of his tormentors across the English countryside. His efforts lead him to cross paths with the attractive Joan. Inspector French appears when Maxwell has finally exhausted his meagre investigative skills. Events then unfold fairly rapidly. I especially liked the process of ‘how Maxwell was drugged’. Very Ingenious.

All in all, it a not very long, clean and good read. I will definitely go and look for other editions of Inspector French.


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