The latest in a new series of classic detective stories from the vaults of HarperCollins is a thrilling mystery concerning twentieth-century pirates smuggling secret cargo across the English Channel. James Carthew-West, the penniless skipper of the Exmouth coasting vessel Luck and Charity, is chartered by a rich trader to carry unprofitable cargo to Flanders through the treacherous shallows of the Scheldt estuary and return with worthless mud ballast.
His crewman Austin Voodgt, a former investigative journalist, is intent on revealing the true conspiracy behind this bizarre trade, but with each new discovery comes the growing realisation that there are lives at stake - beginning with their own. The Mystery of the Mud Flats, first published as WO2, was considered one of the most thrilling adventure stories of its time, combining a first-class mystery with the eternal lure of the sea.
Introducing the Dutch maritime detective Austin Voogdt (later dubbed `Sherlock of the Sea'), and with its unique English Channel setting, this story of intrepid yachtsmen caught up in smuggling, espionage, and the growing menace of Germany as a military power, made truly exciting reading. This Detective Club classic is introduced by Nigel Moss, who explores how Maurice Drake's popular seafaring novel epitomised pre-war `invasion literature' and helped usher in a new genre of adventure spy fiction.