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 “If you read about a thing like this in a novel, you’d say it was a bit overdone, wouldn’t you?” – Inspector Cromwell, Surfeit of Suspects (1964)

George Bellairs was  a crime writer and bank manager born in  Lancashire, who settled in the Isle of Man on retirement. He wrote more than 50 books, most featuring the detective Inspector Littlejohn. He also wrote four novels under the alternative pseudonym Hilary Landon. His first novel Littlejohn on Leave was published in 1941. If you are looking for great whodunits, which keep you up at night with plenty of clues and red herrings you can rely on his Inspector Littlejohn series.  His books are regularly set on the Isle of Man and portray the topography of the Isle in great detail.  Many of the later books are set in France, usually in the Provence and Alps-Maritime area. Otherwise quiet English country villages are the most common with Bellairs.  You will find some gothic and sensationalist themes as a spill over from the Victorian fin de siècle, as well as a continuation of the earlier British Golden Age fiction style.

Famous as Inspector Littlejohn, the Scotland Yard sleuth received a promotion to Superintendent late in his career. Littlejohn is very conscious of his age and fears he is being “kicked upstairs.” He also fears that he is patronized by the younger men with whom he works, and that they consider his methods dated. He has, however, lost none of his ability to sift through clues to arrive at a correct solution.

Littlejohn on Leave (1941)

The Four Unfaithful Servants (1942)

Death of a Busybody (1942)

Murder Will Speak (1942) aka The Dead Shall Be Raised

The Murder of a Quack (1943)

The Case Of The Seven Whistlers (1944)

Death in the Night Watches (1945)

The Case of the Scared Rabbits (1946)

The Crime At Halfpenny Bridge (1946)

Death On the Last Train (1948)

Outrage On Gallows Hill (1948)

The Case of the Demented Spiv (1949)

The Case of the Famished Parson (1949)

The Case of the Headless Jesuit (1950) aka Death Brings in the New Year

Crime in Lepers’ Hollow (1950)

Dead March for Penelope Blow (1951) aka Dead March for Penelope

Death in Dark Glasses (1952)

Half-Mast for the Deemster (1953)

A Knife for Harry Dodd (1953)

The Cursing Stones Murder (1954)

Death In Room Five (1955)

Death Drops the Pilot (1956)

Death Treads Softly(1956)

Death in High Provence (1957)

Death Sends for the Doctor (1957)

Corpse at the Carnival (1958)

Murder Makes Mistakes (1958)

Bones in the Wilderness (1959)

Toll the Bell for Murder (1959)

Corpses in Enderby (1960)

Death in the Fearful Night (1960)

The Body in the Dumb River (1961) aka Murder Masquerade

Death of a Tin God (1961)

Death Before Breakfast (1962)

The Tormentors (1962)

Death in the Wasteland (1964)

Death of a Shadow (1964)

Surfeit of Suspects (1964)

Death Spins the Wheel (1965)

Intruder in the Dark (1966)

Strangers Among the Dead (1966)

Death in Desolation (1967)

Single Ticket to Death (1967)

Fatal Alibi (1968)

Murder Gone Mad (1968)

The Night They Killed Joss Varran (1970)

Tycoon’s Death-bed (1970)

Pomeroy, Deceased (1971)

Murder Adrift (1972)

Devious Murder (1973)

Fear Round About (1975)

Close All Roads to Sospel (1976) aka All Roads to Sospel

The Downhill Ride of Leeman Popple (1978)

An Old Man Dies (1980)

Turmoil in Zion (1943) aka Death Stops the Frolic

Calamity At Hardwood (1945)

Officer That’s Your Man! (1948)


Written as Hilary Langdon

Murder at Morning Prayers (1947)

Circle Around a Corpse (1948)

Choose your Own Verdict (1949)

Exit Sir Toby Belch (1950) [/one_half_last]

‘Pure British detective story’ – The New York Times

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