Monday, December 20, 2021

Mystery Monday: Who was Cyril Hare

Mystery Monday: Who was Cyril Hare?

Despite being one of the prolific authors from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, Cyril Hare has been largely forgotten by the reading public. A combination of Hare Court (where he worked) and Cyril Mansion (where he lived), the name is a pseudonym for Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark, who was born on September 4, 1900. His family was part of the Matthew Clark & Sons drink distribution company founded in 1810. 
Clark was educated at St. Aubyn’s, then Oxford where he graduated with a First. He studied law and entered the Bar in 1924. Nine years later he married Mary Barbara Lawrence, daughter of Sir William Lawrence, 3rd Baronet, horticulturalist, hospital administrator, and collector. They had three children, a son and two daughters, all of whom were very successful. 
At some point in the 1930s, Clark began penning mystery stories. The first, Tenant for Death, a story he adapted from a stage play he’d written, was published in 1937. That same year he also published a short story titled The Death of Amy Robsart. He published another novel and some short stories, but his breakout success came in 1942 with the publication of Tragedy at Law
Most scholars feel he based the plotline on his experiences during WWII when he toured as a judge’smarshal. He worked for the Director of Public Prosecution as well as serving with the Ministry of Economic Warfare. His wartime job must have kept him exceptionally busy because Clark wouldn’t publish another novel until 1946: With a Bare Bodkin
In 1950, he was appointed a county court judge in Surrey but managed to continue writing with regularity, publishing three to five short stories per year, mostly for "The Evening Standard." Tragedy at Law has never been out of print and has been praised by critics and authors as being among the best legal whodunits ever written. All in all, Clark published ten novels, forty short stories, one radio play, and two stage plays. 
Because of a bout with tuberculosis during WWII, his health suffered, and he passed away August 25, 1958, ten days before his 58th birthday. 

Have you ever heard of Cyril Hare? 


Murder at Madison Square Garden 

The dream of a lifetime becomes a nightmare. 
Photojournalist Theodora “Teddy” Schafer’s career has hit the skids thanks to rumors of plagiarism. With any luck, a photo spread with Charles Lindbergh at the America First Rally will salvage her reputation. After an attempted assassination of Lindbergh leaves another man dead, Teddy is left holding the gun. Literally. Can she prove her innocence before the police lock her up for a murder she didn’t commit? 
Private Investigator Ric Bogart wants nothing to do with women after his wife cleaned out their bank account and left him for another man, but he can’t ignore the feeling he’s supposed to help the scrappy, female reporter who is arrested for murder at the America First rally. Can he believe her claims of innocence and find the real killer without letting Teddy steal his heart?

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