?Dazzlingly ingenious.? Sunday Times ?Of Cyril Hare?s detective stories my only complaint is, that they are too infrequent.? Tatler ?A master of the short story.? Spectator ?Neat, taut and sufficiently dipped in irony to give a sharp tang to the quirks of love and life.? Glasgow Herald These thirty stories, selected and introduced by fellow crime writer and lawyer Michael Gilbert, are a terrific introduction to Cyril Hare?s inventive and clever Golden Age detective fiction, which often turns on an ingenious use of the law. Born in 1900, Hare was a barrister and judge and only began writing at the age of thirty-six. Some of his first short stories were published in Punch and he went on to write nine novels including his most famous, Tragedy at Law. Two of the stories in this collection feature Francis Pettigrew, a barrister and amateur detective who appeared in several of Hare's novels and was perhaps his best-loved creation.
Cyril Hare was the pseudonym for the distinguished lawyer Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark. He was born in Surrey, in 1900, and was educated at Rugby and Oxford. A member of the Inner Temple, he was called to the Bar in 1924 and joined the chambers of Roland Oliver, who handled many of the great crime cases of the 1920s. He practised as a barrister until the Second World War, after which he served in various legal and judicial capacities including a time as a county court judge in Surrey. Hare's crime novels, many of which draw on his legal experience, have been praised by Elizabeth Bowen and P.D. James among others. He died in 1958 ? at the peak of his career as a judge, and at the height of his powers as a master of the whodunit.