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Gil North Books In Order

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Publication Order of Sergeant Cluff Books

Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Methods of Sergeant Cluff (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sergeant Cluff Goes Fishing (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
More Deaths for Sergeant Cluff (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sergeant Cluff and the Madmen (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sergeant Cluff and the Price of Pity (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Confounding Of Sergeant Cluff (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sergeant Cluff & the Day of Reckoning (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Procrastination of Sergeant Cluff (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Choice for Sergeant Cluff (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sergeant Cluff Rings True (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Corpse for Kofi Katt (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of British Library Crime Classics Books

The Notting Hill Mystery (By: Charles Warren Adams) (1862)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Poisoned Chocolates Case (By: Anthony Berkeley) (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
It Walks by Night (By: John Dickson Carr) (1930)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret of High Eldersham / The Mystery of High Eldersham (By: Miles Burton) (1930)Description / Buy at Amazon
Castle Skull (By: John Dickson Carr) (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mystery in the Channel (By: Freeman Crofts) (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Incredible Crime (By: Lois Austen-Leigh) (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder of a Lady (By: Anthony Wynne) (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Gallows (By: John Dickson Carr) (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Z Murders (By: J. Jefferson Farjeon) (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Corpse in the Waxworks / The Waxworks Murder (By: John Dickson Carr) (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Division Bell Mystery (By: Ellen Wilkinson) (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
Portrait of a Murderer (By: Anne Meredith) (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in Fancy Dress (By: Anthony Gilbert) (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
Family Matters (By: Anthony Rolls) (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hog's Back Mystery (By: Freeman Crofts) (1933)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mysterious Mr. Badman (By: William Fryer Harvey) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Underground (By: Mavis Doriel Hay) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scarweather (By: Anthony Rolls) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of an Airman (By: Christopher St. John Sprigg) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spy Paramount (By: E. Phillips Oppenheim) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
The 12.30 from Croydon (By: Freeman Crofts) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chianti Flask (By: Marie Belloc Lowndes) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Weekend at Thrackley (By: Alan Melville) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Quick Curtain (By: Alan Melville) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lake District Murder (By: John Bude) (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death on the Cherwell (By: Mavis Doriel Hay) (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cornish Coast Murder (By: John Bude) (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Traitor (By: Sydney Horler) (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Santa Klaus Murder (By: Mavis Doriel Hay) (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sussex Downs Murder (By: John Bude) (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of Anton (By: Alan Melville) (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in the Tunnel / Dark in the Tunnel (By: Miles Burton) (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in Piccadilly (By: Charles Kingston) (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mystery in White (By: J. Jefferson Farjeon) (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bats in the Belfry (By: E.C.R. Lorac) (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cheltenham Square Murder (By: John Bude) (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Excellent Intentions (By: Richard Hull) (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in the Museum (By: John Rowland) (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Antidote to Venom (By: Freeman Crofts) (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thirteen Guests (By: J. Jefferson Farjeon) (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Port of London Murders (By: Josephine Bell) (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (By: Leonard R. Gribble) (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seven Dead (By: J. Jefferson Farjeon) (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
Verdict of Twelve (By: Raymond Postgate) (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Scream in Soho (By: John G. Brandon) (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of a Busybody (By: George Bellairs) (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dead Shall be Raised & Murder of a Quack (By: George Bellairs) (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
Somebody at the Door (By: Raymond Postgate) (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder's a Swine: A Second World War Mystery (By: Nap Lombard) (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Checkmate to Murder (By: E.C.R. Lorac) (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fell Murder (By: E.C.R. Lorac) (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder by Matchlight (By: E.C.R. Lorac) (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trouble on the Thames (By: Victor Bridges) (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fire in the Thatch (By: E.C.R. Lorac) (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Makes a Prophet (By: John Bude) (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Smallbone Deceased (By: Michael Gilbert) (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Calamity in Kent (By: John Rowland) (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Has Deep Roots (By: Michael Gilbert) (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Danger Within / Death in Captivity (By: Michael Gilbert) (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in the Mill-Race (By: E.C.R. Lorac) (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crossed Skis (By: Carol Carnac) (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death on the Riviera (By: John Bude) (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man Who Didn't Fly (By: Margot Bennett) (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Colour Of Murder (By: Julian Symons) (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Christmas Egg (By: Mary Kelly) (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Progress of a Crime (By: Julian Symons) (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spoilt Kill (By: Mary Kelly) (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Body in the Dumb River (By: George Bellairs) (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Due to a Death (By: Mary Kelly) (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Surfeit of Suspects (By: George Bellairs) (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Belting Inheritance (By: Julian Symons) (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Best Friend (By: George Sims) (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The End of the Web (By: George Sims) (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Capital Crimes: London Mysteries (By: Martin Edwards,Richard Marsh) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Resorting to Murder (By: Martin Edwards) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silent Nights (By: Martin Edwards) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at the Manor (By: Martin Edwards) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Serpents in Eden (By: Martin Edwards) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crimson Snow (By: Martin Edwards,Fergus Hume) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Foreign Bodies (By: Martin Edwards,Palle Rosenkrantz) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Long Arm of the Law (By: Martin Edwards) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miraculous Mysteries (By: Martin Edwards) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Continental Crimes (By: Martin Edwards) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood on the Tracks (By: Martin Edwards) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories (By: Martin Edwards) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Golden Age of Detection Puzzle Book (By: Kate Jackson) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deep Waters: Murder on the Waves (By: Martin Edwards) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Measure of Malice (By: Martin Edwards) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pocket Detective 2: 100+ More Puzzles, Brainteasers and Conundrums (By: Kate Jackson) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Settling Scores: Sporting Mysteries (By: Martin Edwards) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Surprise for Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries (By: Martin Edwards) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two-Way Murder (By: E.C.R. Lorac) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Guilty Creatures: A Menagerie of Mysteries (By: Martin Edwards) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of an Author (By: E.C.R. Lorac) (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Gil North is the pseudonym of Geoffrey Horne, a British author best known for his detective stories. His novels mainly revolve around Sergeant Cluff, based in Yorkshire. The series was adapted for the big screen dubbed Cluff by BBC in the 1960’s. Gil North was born in Skipton, Yorkshire, and attended Ermysted’s Grammar School and later Christ’s College in Cambridge. In 1949, he married Betty Duthie. From 1938 to 1955, Gil served as a Civil Servant in the UK’s African Colonies. He passed away in Skipton in 1988.

Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm is book one in the Sgt. Cluff crime book series by Gil North, part of the British Library Crime Classics collection. Although North’s series enjoyed significant success, it had faded into obscurity. Thankfully, North’s initial two novels, along with various other forgotten British crime classics, have been republished. The series is based in Yorkshire, and its allure lies in its descriptions of the harsh landscapes, challenging weather, and desolate moors, as well as the central character, Sergeant Cluff.

When Sergeant Caleb Cluff responds to a sudden death scene, it appears to be a straightforward case of suicide. Amy Wright is found on her bed with doors and windows sealed and the gas turned on. She was 48 years old, devoting much of her life to caring for her well-off father and then her mother.

After her mother’s death, Amy entered into an ill-fated marriage with a man 20 years her junior who was only interested in her money. Although everyone holds Alf Wright morally accountable for her death, legally, he appears to escape blame. Cluff, burdened by his knowledge of Wright’s cruelty toward Amy, cannot accept the coroner’s verdict. With no official police investigation planned, Cluff takes leave and launches his pursuit of Wright.

The narrative is told in a concise style, with short sentences and limited exposition or background information. Sergeant Cluff, an older, confirmed bachelor, is not the most likable character. He is steadfast and quick to anger, and there’s a sense that something from his wartime experiences has brought him back to his hometown.

After the initial chapters and the death investigation, the focus shifts away from Amy to Wright’s behavior following the funeral and inquest and his response to Cluff’s persistent, silent pressure. Wright’s visit to a nearby farm he used as an alibi draws attention to the farm’s residents and the death of the much older farmer, Cricklethwaite, and his young wife, Jinny. An unhealthy relationship between Alf, Jinny, and another man named Ben leads to heightened tension and unexpected developments.

This book offers a departure from the typical style and tone of titles in the British Library Crime Classics series, featuring a level of violence that sets it apart from the traditional Golden Age books and places it firmly in the 1960s. The characterizations, including those of minor characters, are excellently crafted, adding depth to the portrayal of the town and its inhabitants.

Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm features a delightful and enlightening, spoiler-free introduction by Martin Edwards. He provides insights into the author’s life and places his works within the broader context of detective story development. It’s a fantastic beginning to the series, leaving one to wonder why such excellent books tend to fade into obscurity.

The writing style of this book is straightforward and unadorned, using minimal adjectives and adverbs. Despite this, the author masterfully paints a vivid picture of the characters, their environment, and the way of life of those involved in the story. This book could almost serve as a model for anyone studying creative writing, showcasing how to convey a compelling narrative with economy and precision.

The Methods of Sergeant Cluff is the second novel in the Sergeant Cluff book series, published in 1960. Even though Sergeant Caleb Cluff is still on leave following the events of the previous book when the body of a young woman is discovered in Gunnershaw, he’s the only CID officer in town, so he’s summoned to the scene. As a local man, Cluff knows the townspeople well and quickly identifies the girl as Jane Trundle. He immediately suspects a young man who has been in love with her despite her constant rejection. However, Cluff is not convinced that Jack could commit such a brutal act. He decides to widen his investigation, much to the frustration of his superiors, who prefer a swift resolution to the case.

Sergeant Cluff is paired with a uniformed officer, PC Barker. But he’s something of a loner and an early version of the unconventional cop we often see today.

He relies on his local knowledge, intuition, and an acute understanding of human emotions to determine who might be the culprit. He quietly intimidates and harasses his suspects until they either confess or reveal incriminating behavior.
Cluff has a strong sense of justice, but he doesn’t always believe that following the law is the best way to achieve it. His methods sometimes go beyond what was considered acceptable, even in the less politically correct early 1960s. Despite clashing with colleagues, his track record of getting results allows him to continue his unconventional approach.

The climax of the story becomes increasingly dramatic, pushing the boundaries of credibility, but somehow it works. The plot takes a dark turn, and Cluff’s actions, to put it mildly, raise moral questions. He resembles the old-school amateur detectives who let justice unfold outside the bounds of the law. Unlike the typical detective story with chases and a focus on finding clues, Cluff solves crimes by understanding the people in his village and their surroundings and by listening closely to what they say or don’t say to him.

The village setting is ideal, representing a working-class community left behind by the rapidly evolving industrial landscape, with some newcomers bringing middle-class sensibilities to the area. This reflects the post-World War II changes in many northern towns and villages. If you enjoy reading police procedurals set in the 1960s, then Gil North’s book series is a highly recommended read. Alternatively, you can opt to watch the adaptation version, Cluff, which was aired from 1964-1965.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Gil North

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