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Mark Hebden Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector Pel Books

with Juliet Hebden
Pel and the Parked Car / Death Set to Music (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Faceless Corpse (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel Under Pressure (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel Is Puzzled (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel And The Staghound (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Bombers (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel And The Predators (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Pirates (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Prowler (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel And The Paris Mob (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel Among the Pueblos (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel And The Touch Of Pitch (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel And The Picture Of Innocence (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Party Spirit (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Missing Persons (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel And The Promised Land (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel And The Sepulchre Job (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel Picks Up The Pieces (By: Juliet Hebden) (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Perfect Partner (By: Juliet Hebden) (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and The Patriarch (By: Juliet Hebden) (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Precious Parcel (By: Juliet Hebden) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel Is Provoked (By: Juliet Hebden) (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Death of the Detective (By: Juliet Hebden) (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Butcher's Blades (By: Juliet Hebden) (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pel and the Nickname Game (By: Juliet Hebden) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Lonely Voyage (By: John Harris) (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hallelujah Corner (By: John Harris) (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Claws of Mercy (By: John Harris) (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Getaway: Close to the Wind (By: John Harris) (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sleeping Mountain (By: John Harris) (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Road To The Coast: Adventure's End (By: John Harris) (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sunset At Sheba (By: John Harris) (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Covenant with Death (By: John Harris) (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spring Of Malice (By: John Harris) (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Unforgiving Wind (By: John Harris) (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cross Of Lazzaro (By: John Harris) (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eyewitness (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Right Of Reply (By: John Harris) (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Light Cavalry Action (By: John Harris) (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mercenaries (By: John Harris) (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Portrait in a Dusty Frame (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Courtney Entry (By: John Harris) (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Killer for the Chairman (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Kind Of Courage (By: John Harris) (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mustering of the Hawks (By: Max Hennessy) (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gallant Six Hundred; A Tragedy Of Obsessions (By: John Harris) (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark Side of the Island (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Pride of Dolphins (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Smiling Willie And The Tiger (By: John Harris) (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The League of 89 (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vardy (By: John Harris) (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cotton's War (By: John Harris) (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dunkirk: The Storms of War (By: John Harris) (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
North Strike (By: John Harris) (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Without Trace (By: John Harris) (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Harkaway's Sixth Column (By: John Harris) (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Live Free or Die! (By: John Harris) (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Crimson Wind (By: Max Hennessy) (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Up for Grabs (By: John Harris) (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thirty Days War (By: John Harris) (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Picture of Defeat (By: Max Hennessy) (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
So Far From God (By: John Harris) (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
China Seas (By: John Harris) (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Quick Boat Men (By: John Harris) (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Mark Hebden
Mark Hebden is John Harris’s pseudonym. The talented mystery and thriller writer is known for his adventure stories and quirky characters. During his lifetime, Hebden wrote 27 books under his pseudonym and 35 books under his name. He is also credited for 10 military stories written under Max Hennessy. Hebden was born in 1916 and worked as a reporter, cartoonist, and history teacher before serving in the second world war. After the war, he became a comedy and political cartoonist and published his first book in 1951. Hebden later settled in West Wittering in Sussex in 1955, where he continued to write until he died in 1991.

Death Set to Music
Death Set to Music comes first in the Inspector Pel series. The book stars the moody and sharp-tongued inspector Evariste Clovis Désiré Pel, a man who is always worrying about his health despite being a chain smoker. Pel is called to investigate the murder of Madame Chenandier, a beautiful and confident woman who could carry a tune whenever she wanted. Her body was still in the salon when Pel gets to the crime scene. The odd thing is that the Rigoletto record was still turning, and the shutters have not yet been drawn. The murder couldn’t have gone too far. What exactly happened here, and why is Madame Chenandier now laying lifeless in her home?

Madame Chenandier lived with her husband and daughter. The husband is a wine exporter who is not home at the time of her death, while her daughter Odile is a lonely girl who doesn’t have her mother’s charm. The family also has a live-in housekeeper, and any casual observer could tell that relationships in this household were a bit strained. Despite the obvious suspects, this murder case turns to be more complex than Pel anticipated. The suspects have no trace of blood on their clothes, and they all had alibis. However, when a second murder occurs, Pel is able to piece all the details quickly. The method used to kill Chenandier comes to light, and Pel manages to catch the person responsible for both murders.

This book was first written in 1979, which means that some stereotypes and misogyny may be unacceptable today. However, the story is quite intriguing, and it is fun following Pel as he interviews the witnesses, uncovers clues, and works to unravel the mystery. The setting in Burgandy, France, adds a lot to the story, not to mention the quirky characters who interact with Pel in the course of his duties. You will fall in love with Pel’s assistant Darcy and his bully of a housekeeper, among other characters. It is funny how Pel, with his grumpiness, isn’t the master of his house. The way he celebrates little victories will also leave you with a wide smile on your face.

Death Set to Music is a fascinating police procedural featuring interesting characters, an intriguing protagonist, and a solid plot. The mystery is quite soft, and the events unfold systematically, so it is easy to follow Pel as she uncovers secrets and digs through lies. Hebden’s writing is captivating, and he has created characters that will stay in your mind for a long time. There is also some good humor, making this an ideal choice if you like stories that also make you laugh.

Pel and the Faceless Corpse
Pel and the Faceless Corpse comes second in the Inspector Pel series. Pel has a lot on his plate, which is making him even more irritable. The last thing he needs is another murder case to complicate his life, but the universe seems to be conspiring to ensure he never enjoys a single day out of the office. His latest case involves a faceless corpse, so he is not only dealing with a ruthless killer but a man without an identity. If this murder was premeditated, why would the killer go to such lengths to obscure the victim’s identity? Where does Pel start his investigation with such scanty clues?

This case sees Pel move between Burgundy and the Frontier as he chases the clues. Throughout his journeys, he will be met by the trauma and horrors of the war and non-cooperation from those he interviews and asks for help from. It is hard to understand why the people he meets are hesitant to offer any information, but this becomes apparent towards the end. Despite Pel’s expertise, the trail of mistaken identities left by the killer slows him down, and he has to work harder to get headways in this case. However, despite the distractions, Pel manages to unravel the mystery before more people can lose their lives. He is also fortunate to have friends and neighbors who make his life out of the office more interesting.

This is a perfect mystery story with everything from characterization to the setting done just right. We continue to learn more about Pel, his dark sense of humor, and his family life. Again, the male characters come off as sexist, but this doesn’t make the story any less intriguing. As the truth about this murder comes to light, Pel will find the need to quicken his investigation for obvious reasons. It is hard to predict the killer until the last few chapters. The author keeps the tension at high levels through unexpected twists, and this, in addition to the pacing, will keep you reading to the end.

Pel and the Faceless Corpse is a brilliant detective story with interesting characters, flawless narration, and a steady pace. It is great that the story doesn’t have as many characters, so following Pel throughout the action is easy. There is also no cliffhanger at the end, and you can enjoy this book as a standalone. Reading this story feels like a walk to the past. Life was much easier despite the hardships brought about by limited communication and slow transport modes. You cannot help but envy Pel and his community of friends and neighbors and their dedication to each other.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mark Hebden

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