Best Detective Stories of Cyril Hare

By Cyril Hare

First published: UK, Faber & Faber, 1959; US, Walker, 1961.  Published as Death Among Friends, Harper Perennial, 1984.

Contains:

  • “Where There’s a Will—”
  • Miss Burnside’s Dilemma
  • Name of Smith
  • Murderer’s Luck
  • The Tragedy of Young Macintyre
  • Weight and See
  • “It Takes Two…”
  • Death of a Blackmailer
  • The Old Flame
  • “As the Inspector Said…”
  • Death among Friends
  • The Story of Hermione
  • A Surprise for Christmas
  • The Heel
  • The Rivals
  • The Ruling Passion
  • The Death of Amy Robsart
  • I Never Forget a Face
  • A Life for a Life
  • The Markhampton Miracle
  • A Very Useful Relationship
  • Sister Bessie
  • Line Out of Order
  • Dropper’s Delight
  • Monday’s Child
  • Tuesday’s Child
  • Wednesday’s Child
  • Thursday’s Child
  • Friday’s Child
  • Saturday’s Child

 


My review

Hare’s short stories, collected and introduced by Michael Gilbert.  Some very good ones (most of the legal ones, especially “Murderer’s Luck”; “Weight and See”; “The Death of Amy Robsart”).  However, too many are slight tales of career crime or Ilesian twist tales.


Contemporary reviews

Times Literary Supplement (Philip John Stead, 18th December 1959):

The late Cyril Hare’s stories were always remarkable for their dry humour, their legal mischievousness and their sound craftsmanship.  These qualities are all to be found in his Best Detective Stories, a selection of short tales made by Mr. Michael Gilbert, who contributes an introduction of which all this lamented author’s readers will be glad, informative biographically and critically useful.  The true lover of detective fiction will value this volume, in which so many of the classical virtues of the form are to be found.