From the Collins Crime Club archive, the fifth Inspector French novel by Freeman Wills Crofts, once dubbed `The King of Detective Story Writers'.
THE PUZZLE OF THE PURPLE SICKLE
The suicide of a sales clerk at the box office of a London cinema leaves another girl in fear for her life. Persuaded to seek help from Scotland Yard, Miss Darke confides in Inspector Joseph French about a gambling scam by a mysterious trio of crooks and that she believes her friend was murdered. When the girl fails to turn up the next day, and the police later find her body, French's inquiries reveal that similar girls have also been murdered, all linked by their jobs and by a sinister stranger with a purple scar . . .
Once dubbed `The King of Detective Story Writers', Freeman Wills Crofts was an Irish railway engineer whose brilliant first mystery novel, The Cask, was motivated by an extended illness in 1919. Outselling Agatha Christie, and renowned for his ingenious plotting and meticulous attention to detail, Crofts followed up with The Ponson Case (1921) and no less than thirty books featuring the iconic Scotland Yard detective, Inspector French.