very far along with this, now - shall try and wrap it tonight. it reads smooth and it has been fun trying to figure out the ‘trick’, but much of what has been revealed by page 227 - and that’s a surprising amount, considering this goes to page 294 (there’s a short story afterwards) - is stuff that had occurred to me as the explanation for all things mysterious here. and no, the author couldn’t really do a walk-back, as some things have been revealed beyond all shadow of a doubt. for me to be dazzled would mean some major revelation that gets added to all the major reveals that have happened, NOT some magical reversal of what is locked in as definite and solved. this one is turning out to be merely okay, average.
I’m having fun reading Crofts again, but I have to say it’s nice to get a break from his series character, Inspector French. here, I get two amateur sleuths who can be a bit more inventive and mischievous with their investigations of a supposedly reputable firm dealing in pit-props, that they think is up to something sinister based on one teeny tiny observation that suggests a big crime. but what Crime? because they are amateurs, they also seem like they are in more danger than clever, stoic Inspector French.