Read the title The 12:30 from Croydon, and it seems quite innocuous. You probably think about a bus or train where some mishap occurred or crime took place. Well, there’s a crime alright, but the 12:30 from Croydon is a flight. That must have been unusual in the 1920s, the era the book is set in.
There is an aura about this book. And it is dark. There is a pall hanging over the reader and the characters. I think the skill in the writing is that even though the crime happens in front of you, you still expect something else to come up. At least I did. Other than that, the story drags in places. This is more of a tale of what happens when you stray on the righteous path, or how one lie leads to another lie, how one crime makes you commit another, etc.
Andrew Crowther is rich, old and retired. He has already announced his heirs, and maybe that’s where he went wrong. His nephew Charles is in a bind. He lives beyond his means to impress a girl. He is overextended in business and he needs ready cash to be bailed out. Uncle Andrew refuses. The young man is enraged. He plots to kill Uncle. The reader is then subjected to a step by step account of how the protagonist goes about plotting a murder, how he does it successfully and the aftermath of said crime.
As far as books written in the Golden Age of Detective fiction go, I found this to be pretty dark. This was a peculiar read. That’s all I can say about it really. You think there’s no suspense, but you still keep turning the pages. That has to be one fine mystery then, right?