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Tenant for Death (1937) was the debut 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.
Two young estate agent’s clerks are sent to check an inventory on a house in Daylesford Gardens, South Kensington. Upon arrival, they find an unlisted item – a corpse. Furthermore, the mysterious tenant, Colin James, has disappeared. In a tale which uncovers many of the seedier aspects of the world of high finance, Hare also introduces his readers to the formidable Inspector Mallett of Scotland Yard.
Upon the novel’s first publication the Times Literary Supplement praised Tenant for Death as ‘a most ingenious story’ while the Spectator celebrated its ‘wit, fair play, and characterization’ and also declared that ‘a new star has risen’.
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