Wednesday, the 17th of February, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today’s pick is once again a classic mystery; I seem to have an endless number of these on my TBR pile. This is When the Wind Blows by Cyril Hare, the third in his series featuring the not-very-successful barrister and amateur detective Francis Pettigrew. Cyril Hare was the pseudonym of author Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark, which he based on Hare Court where he worked and Cyril Mansions, where he lived in the 1930s. Born in Surrey to the family of a wine merchant, he studied law and was called to the bar in 1924. He has written nine novels, a short story collection, and several short stories besides a radio play and a couple of stage plays. His best known work is Tragedy at Law published in 1942. Find a full list on Wikiepdia (here) from which most of the biographical information is also taken.

When the Wind Blows (also titled The Wind Blows Death) was first published in 1949 and is centred around the murder of a solo violinist Lucy Carless during a concert by the Markshire orchestra. She has been strangled with a silk stocking. This mystery has suspects aplenty, among them her first and second husbands, a womaniser, and also clarinetist and fellow Polish émigré Zbartrowski with whom she has had a violent argument (of course!). Our lawyer-detective Francis Pettigrew is honorary treasurer to the Markshire Orchestra and is thus caught up in the case. He finds himself assisting the police with their investigations.

Cyril Hare is a classic mystery writer whose works I’ve heard of quite a few times but not read as yet. This sounded quite interesting in its description–how would a performer die during a concert? I mean the killer would have to have been quick enough to do away with her without anyone noticing for she would surely be expected on stage? And with quite a few suspects on hand, how would our detective arrive at the answer? An interesting sounding plot and its setting in the 1940s makes this one I would certainly be interested in picking up.

Have you read this one? Hos did you like it? Or any others by Cyril Hare? How does he compare with other classic mysteries that you’ve read? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Book info from Goodreads as is the cover image (here)

Find Lisa’s pick this week, Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Enders here, a short-story collection with, among others, an interesting sounding tale of a man who can see the one foreordained future and a woman who can see all the possible futures, and another, a tale of three wishes with a brilliant twist.


4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #127: When the Wind Blows by Cyril Hare

  1. I don’t know about the contents but the harlequin-like cover looks arty and attractive. However, though I’m no clarinettist I’m not totally convinced by the way the instrument is being fingered…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The cover isn’t the one I have but I liked the image so featured that one. I suspect you might be right about the clarinetist, though I haven’t much idea how it’s played either. But the mystery sounds interesting all the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can tell you straight off that the hands are in the wrong place: the left hand should be above the right. And the fingers seem to be missing the keys they are supposed to be touching. And I can’t see that the note that emerges from this configuration would be anything but a squeak…

        Liked by 1 person

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