I realize that “cozy” is a somewhat derogatory label applied to a particular style of mystery, but I’m going to have to hijack it and repurpose it for Freeman Wills Crofts. Because really, “cozy” is the most apt term for how I can describe my time with his Inspector French. There’s really nothing astonishing or outright brilliant in what I’ve read so far, but damned if I didn’t enjoy ever minute. The typical mystery that I seek out has my mind racing for a solution and that ferocious urge to get to the end. With Freeman Wills Crofts, it’s like settling back into a comfortably worn well-stuffed leather chair by the fire and feeling at home.
And in that sense, I don’t know that there’s anything outwardly interesting to say about Antidote to Venom, other than I enjoyed the hell out of it. It’s an inverted mystery, with a bit of a clever take I suppose. You’re well aware of an accomplice to a murder – the various foibles that led them to be involved in the crime – but even said accomplice isn’t aware of how the murder was actually committed. As the reader, you know the “who” as well as the motive, but there’s an interesting mystery in the unknown “how”.Continue reading “Antidote to Venom – Freeman Wills Crofts (1938)”