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Cyril Hare books in order

Cyril Hare was the pseudonym of British judge and author Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark.

He used the pen name when writing mystery, thriller and crime fiction novels.

Born in Mickleham, Surrey, England, he attended New College, Oxford, where he studied history.

Choosing to pursue a career in the legal profession, he was admitted to the bar in 1924, subsequently practicing in both civil and criminal courts within London.

Over the years, he worked in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, before eventually serving as a County Court judge.

Passionate about solving civil disputes, Hare only committed crimes through his works of fiction with book series such as Francis Pettigrew, and Inspector Mallett.

He died on 25 August, 1958, aged 57, after a lengthy struggle with tuberculosis.

More about Cyril Hare

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Born: 1900 / Died: 1958

United Kingdom

Pseudonym: Cyril Hare

Non Series

  • The Magic Bottle (1946)
  • An English Murder (1951)


  1. Best Detective Stories of Cyril Hare (1959)

Francis Pettigrew

  1. Tragedy at Law (1942)
  2. With a Bare Bodkin (1946)
  3. The Wind Blows Death (1949)
  4. Death Walks the Woods (1954)
  5. Untimely Death (1958)

Inspector Mallett

  1. Tenant for Death (1937)
  2. Death is No Sportsman (1938)
  3. Suicide Excepted (1939)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Magic Bottle

When Philip and his sister Mary opened the oddly-shaped bottle and found that they had released a Djinn, Philip, who knew his Arabian Nights, feared the worst. But the Djinn was an unexpected kind of Djinn, and his release was the start of some very unexpected adventures ...

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1946
ISBN: 978-0571247783
Publisher: Faber & Faber
An English Murder

A country house murder mystery classic, as a party find themselves snowed-in on Christmas Eve with a murderer among them...

The snow is thick, the phone line is down, and no one is getting in or out of Warbeck Hall. All is set for a lovely Christmas, with friends and family gathered round the fire, except as the bells chime midnight, a murder is committed. But who is responsible?

The scorned young lover? The lord’s passed-over cousin? The social climbing politician’s wife? The Czech history professor? The obsequious butler? And perhaps the real question is: Can they survive long enough to find out?

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1951
ISBN: 978-0571339013
Publisher: Faber & Faber


Best Detective Stories of Cyril Hare

Cyril Hare's short stories were mostly written for the London Evening Standard. 

Among them, The Story of Hermione, in which the eponymous character grows rich from the all too convenient deaths of several relatives, has been called one of the most chilling short stories ever written. 

Sister Bessie describes vividly the agonies of a blackmail victim and the desperate crimes he commits in the hope of freeing himself from his tormentor. 

Miss Burnside's Dilemma describes the predicament of a person who uncovers a piece of unscrupulous, but entirely legal chicanery by someone she had previously admired.

A Life for a Life explores the possibility of atonement for one's earthly sins after death.

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1959
ISBN: 978-0571247592
Publisher: Faber & Faber

Francis Pettigrew

Tragedy at Law

Judge William Barber's tour of the Southern Circuit starts off as normally as wartime England will permit. But as a strange series of incidents occurs, Francis Pettigrew and Inspector Mallet puzzle over whether these are nasty practical jokes, or is someone trying to murder the Judge?

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1942
ISBN: 978-0571244874
Publisher: Faber & Faber
With a Bare Bodkin

Francis Pettigrew, an unsuccessful barrister and amateur detective, accompanies his ministry to the distant seaside resort of Marsett Bay where the civil servants must make the best of their temporary home. 

In this strange atmosphere, Pettigrew begins to fall in love with his secretary, Miss Brown, who is also being courted by a widowed man who is much older than her. 

Bored and restless, the ministers start playing a light-hearted game of 'plan the perfect murder' to pass the time. Pettigrew, caught up in his love for Miss Brown, remains detached from the silliness - until a real murder happens, and he is drawn into solving the mystery.

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1946
ISBN: 978-0571247455
Publisher: Faber & Faber
The Wind Blows Death

Famous solo violinist Lucy Carless is making a guest appearance with the provincial Markshire Orchestra, only to be found strangled with a silk-stocking part-way through the concert. Everyone in the orchestra had access to the scene of the crime, and the police officer in charge, Inspector Trimble, has no idea where to start. Luckily retired barrister and amateur detective Francis Pettigrew has been acting as an honorary treasurer to the Markshire Orchestral Society, and he is soon on his way to finding the murderer.

NB: This book is also known as When the Wind Blows.

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1949
Ebook: B07L1NBYSZ
Publisher: Reading Essentials
Death Walks the Woods

The picturesque village of Yew Hill, Markshire becomes an idyllic retreat for Francis Pettigrew and his wife until Francis is suddenly summoned to sit in as the County Court Judge and an elderly neighbor is brutally murdered.

NB: This book is also known as That Yew Tree's Shade.

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1954
ISBN: 978-0060805562
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Untimely Death

Francis Pettigrew travels to Exmoor for a holiday with his wife - an area in which as a young boy he was traumatized by coming across a dead body on the moor. In an attempt to exorcise this trauma, Pettigrew walks across the moor to the place where the incident occurred - only to find another dead body. 

Moreover, when he returns to the scene with the police, the body is gone. Did he really see a body, or is it a hallucination conjured up by his return to the scene of the crime that has haunted him since childhood?

NB: This book is also known as He Should Have Died Hereafter.

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1958
ISBN: 978-0060805142
Publisher: Harper Perennial

Inspector Mallett

Tenant for Death

Two young estate agent's clerks are sent to check an inventory on a house in Daylesford Gardens, South Kensington. Upon arrival, they find an unlisted item - a corpse. Furthermore, the mysterious tenant, Colin James, has disappeared. In a tale which uncovers many of the seedier aspects of the world of high finance, Hare also introduces his readers to the formidable Inspector Mallett of Scotland Yard.

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1937
ISBN: 978-0571246427
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Death is No Sportsman

The banks of the river Didder in the summertime seem, at first glance, idyllic: the sun is shining and the trout are rising. But then the body of a local landowner is discovered, and the peaceful surface of the countryside is shattered. It soon becomes apparent that there are quite a few local people who disliked the deceased man, but which one of them actually murdered him? 

Inspector White, always deeply suspicious of the country, is brought in from Scotland Yard. Although quick to disentangle the complex relationships linking the suspects and the victim, it is only by mastering the subtleties of fly fishing that he uncovers the evidence to lead him to the killer.

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1938
ISBN: 978-0571246434
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Suicide Excepted

Inspector Mallett's stay at the country house hotel of Pendlebury Old Hall has been a disappointment. Room, food and service have been a letdown and he eagerly anticipates the end of his holiday. His last trial is to sit and listen when an elderly and boorish man, whose family once owned the house, joins his table. The next day the man is dead and Mallett unwittingly finds himself investigating the suspicious 'suicide'. '

Author: Cyril Hare
First Release: 1939
ISBN: 978-0571246410
Publisher: Faber & Faber