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The Four Corners of the World

A. E. W. Mason

Book Overview: 

When Archie Cranfield’s father asked Mr. Twiss to look after his son as well as advise him financially, the solicitor had no idea what he was agreeing to. A furtive smile permanently etched on his face, Archie lives alone in the countryside. His neighbors do not like him, and Captain Brayton, a former schoolmate, had a falling-out with him years ago and has not seen him since. Then the oddest surprise of all—Archie invites Brayton for a weekend visit and the captain winds up dead. Is it suicide, or is the young Mr. Cranfield as guilty as he looks?

“The Clock” is the first of thirteen enthralling tales of suspense in The Four Corners of the World. A. E. W. Mason’s masterful collection moves from Gibralter to South America, from a brutal wartime drama to a terrible murder solved by the inimitable Inspector Hanaud.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I wondered. In any case, yes, the affair certainly began to look rather grim.


I was not free until five that afternoon. But I was in the Calle Madrid before the quarter after five had struck. Again Olivia herself admitted me. She led the way to her father's study at the back of the house. Though I had hurried to the house, I followed her slowly into the study.

"You are still alone?" I asked.

"An old woman--we once befriended her--will come in secretly for an hour in the morning."


"She dare not do otherwise."

I was silent. There was a refinement about Juan Ballester's persecution which was simply devilish. He would not molest her, he left her apparently free. But he kept her in a great, empty house in the middle of the town, without servants, without power to le. . . Read More