An English Murder (1951) was the sixth crime novel by ‘Cyril Hare’, nom de plume of Alfred Gordon Clark and one of the best-loved names in English ‘Golden Age’ crime writing. Gordon Clark was a county judge at the time of the novel’s composition.
Snow is falling fast as a group of family and friends come together for Christmas at the country residence of Lord Warbeck, an ailing peer who wants to be among loved ones for what he thinks will be his last Christmas. But as midnight strikes on Christmas Eve there is a murder by poisoning. The local police cannot attend as snowfall has made Warbeck Hall inaccessible. So the case lands with the only policeman to hand – the personal bodyguard of Lord Warbeck’s politician brother.
Who can be responsible? The scorned young lover? The Lor’s passed-over cousin? The social-climbing politician’s wife? The Czech history professor? The obsequious butler? And perhaps the real question is: can any of them survive long enough to tell the tale?