Nick Petrie Series

Mark Hebden Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Inspector Pel Books

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

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

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

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

Leave a Reply