Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
Murder in the Court: Three Francis Pettigrew Mysteries
Murder in the Court Three Francis Pettigrew Mysteries Author:Cyril Hare Here, in this exclusive edition from Book-of-the-Month Club, are three of Cyril Hare's best novels, featuring the world-weary solicitor Francis Pettigrew. — Tragedy at Law (1942), Hare's favorite of his own novels, is a richly plotted portrayal of life on the circuit of small-town English courts, featuring a cast of assorted legal types--a judge,... more » a marshal, solicitors, and clerks. When bumbling Judge William Barber runs down a famous musician on the street and ruins his career, it is the start of a series of sinister and inexplicable events that only Pettigrew's keen mind can sort out.
During World War II, the Blitz forced the evacuation of government offices in London, which sets the stage for With a Bare Bodkin (1946). Francis Pettigrew is assigned as legal adviser to the Ministry of Pin Control, located at Marsett Bay in the north of England. Accomodations there are crowded, and Pettigrew is forced to live at the Fernlea Residential Club with the other unmarried people working for the ministry. The bored residents must entertain themselves, and when they find that one among them is a successful mystery writer they decide to play a parlor game of "plan the perfect murder." Pettigrew, finding himself miserable with everything Marsett Bay has to offer, keeps out of the ongoing game and away from the others until someone living in the house is actually murdered, killed with the same weapon the game players intended for their perfect crime.
In When the Wind Blows (1949), considered by some critics to be the best of Hare's work, we find Francis Pettigrew now married to Eleanor, formerly his secretary at the Ministry of Pin Control. They have settled in Markhampton, south of London, Francis is drafted into service as treasurer of the Markshire Orchestral Society, where Eleanor plays violin. During the first concert of the season a beautiful guest artist is strangled with a nylon stocking, apparently by an unidentifiable clarinet player. A full array of police--inspector, sergeant, constable, and chief constable--is not enough to unravel the snarl of jealous husbands, old and new mistresses, mysterious Poles, amorous bon vivants, and zealous patrons. So reluctantly Pettigrew, with no particular interst in music but a deep admiration for Charles Dickens, lends a hand. And to his surprise--and everyone else's--Pettigrew's knowledge of Dickens is the key to the case.« less