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Tenant for Death Paperback – 21 Sep 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; Main edition (21 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571246427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571246427
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,173,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'In Inspector Mallett, Cyril Hare has given us a detective who will bear watching.' - -- New York Times

: 'The way in which an air of probability is combined both with clear, terse narrative and with a good deal of subtle, urban atmosphere proves the extreme skill of the writer' - -- The Spectator --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

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.


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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
Tenant for Death was the first crime novel published by Hare, and it is now reissued in this Faber Finds series.

It's an all too familiar (these days) tale of a City financier, whose crooked schemes (using a group of companies to move assets around, disguising the underlying paucity of valuable assets) finally attract the wrong sort of attention - and he flits to avoid his creditors.

However, he doesn't seem to have gone far or fast enough, as his body is found strangled next day in the home of a mysterious 'Mr James' - who has now seemingly vanished. The mix of suspects includes the victim's wife, his mistress, her husband, the estate agent who let the house, a fellow board member, and a recently freed partner in one of Ballantine's previous scams.

Cyril Hare's detections are competent, but the great attraction is the writing; all the novels show a polished and urbane wit that makes them a delight.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Atmospheric,clever whodunnit.
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Somewhat slow and laboured. It is nearly as good as other authors writing of that period such as Dorothy Sayers
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate Scotland Yard detection 30 July 2014
By Khirul - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cyril Hare started his detective fiction on a strong note. Inspector Mallet is admirable without being superhuman or inhuman. The plot is twisty and credible, and the police process is well described. I enjoyed, too, the descriptions of London neighborhoods and byways.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cyril Hare's First Mystery is Quite Good - Introduces Inspector Mallett of Scotland Yard 11 April 2007
By Michael Wischmeyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Cyril Hare describes Daylesford Gardens, S.W., located where South Kensington borders on Chelsea, as a refuge for retired colonels, County Court judges, ex-civil servants, and half-pay naval officers. Somewhat incongruously, Lionel Ballantine, a spectacularly successful business man, missing for several days, is found murdered in an unpretentious, leased house in Daylesford Gardens.

To supplement his somewhat limited salary in the years immediately prior to WWII, Judge Gordon Clark, under the pseudonym Cyril Hare, tried his hand at mysteries. His first story, Tenant for Death (1937), was called "an engaging debut" by the respected critic, Jacques Barzun, and received praise from the Spectator for the "extreme skill of the writer".

Tenant for Death is well-crafted, offers interesting characterizations, and provides a credible surprise ending. This is a good story, and yet Cyril Hare's later mysteries like Suicide Excepted (1939), When the Wind Blows (1949), An English Murder (1951), and Untimely Death (1958) are perhaps even better. For readers familiar with Inspector Mallett, this competent Scotland Yard investigator first appears in Tenant for Death.

Cyril Hare's mysteries have been occasionally reissued, and with some persistence can be found in used book stores and library book sales, or purchased online. My copy of Tenant for Death is a slightly yellowed, 1982 Harper & Row Perennial paperback (ISBN 0060805706). In 1991 HarperCollins released a reprint paperback edition under the same ISBN. In 2001 House of Stratus reprinted Tenant for Death in a larger, soft cover format (ISBN 1842326538). Good luck in locating Cyril Hare's first Inspector Mallett mystery.
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