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In With a Bare Bodkin (1946) Cyril Hare (nom de plume of Alfred Gordon Clark) revived the character of Francis Pettigrew, the barrister and amateur sleuth introduced to us in 1942’s Tragedy at Law.
The Blitz has forced the evacuation of various government offices from London and Pettigrew accompanies his ministry to the distant seaside resort of Marsett Bay. In this strange atmosphere, Pettigrew begins to fall in love with his secretary, who is also being courted by a widowed man much older than her. Bored and restless, the ministers start playing a light-hearted game of ‘Plan the perfect murder’ to pass the time. Pettigrew is detached from the silliness – until a real murder happens, and he is drawn into solving the mystery.
‘One of the best detective stories published for a long time.’ Spectator
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