Read Suicide Excepted: An Inspector Mallett Mystery by Cyril Hare Online


Was the old man’s death an accident, suicide, or cold-blooded murder? A celebrated classic whodunit that fuses a baffling puzzle, a wire-taut thriller, and a panorama of English life into one ingenious tale, enriched by the author’s profound knowledge of English law....

Title : Suicide Excepted: An Inspector Mallett Mystery
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060806361
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 219 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Suicide Excepted: An Inspector Mallett Mystery Reviews

  • Diane
    2019-03-12 16:08

    Another amusing mystery by Cyril Hare, though rather odd in two aspects: 1. Inspector Mallett makes a brief appearance at the very beginning and the very end. The "detective" work is done by amateurs, who actually don't do a very good job of it. He shows up at the end and offers the solution. 2. The second twist is this concerns the alleged suicide of an elderly man, and his heirs are doing their utmost to prove that he was murdered. Haven't run across that before. An elderly man strikes up a conversation with Inspector Mallett in an inn, and then is found dead the next day, apparently due to an overdose. It is believed to be suicide, but is it? His family wants a verdict of murder - they cannot collect on his life insurance if he committed suicide, and they are in dire need of money. (Side note: What is it with all these characters in English mysteries who don't work? They just spend their time trying to get inheritances or live off other people. It's like they're allergic to the very idea of earning their own money. Okay, I'm off my soap box.)I wasn't sure if I liked this one or not, and finally decided that I did, though with some reservations. The characters are amusing (typical Hare) and likable (except Uncle George, who unfortunately doesn't get bumped off). I really didn't suspect the person who turned out to be the killer, which was nice. Hare did an excellent job with the red herrings in this one. Rather like Tragedy at Law, the ending isn't perfectly happy. Someone you liked is dead and it affects the other characters.

  • Katrina
    2019-03-12 10:05

    My first by Cyril Hare - won't be my last.

  • Bev
    2019-03-12 16:07

    Cyril Hare was the pseudonym of Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark who was an Engligh judge and crime writer. He chose his pen name as a mixture of Hare Court, where he worked in Roland Oliver's chambers, and Cyril Mansions, Battersea, where he made his home after marriage. His novels featured two main investigators, Francis Pettigrew--who was a barrister--and Inspector Mallett--a large police office with a huge appetite. He wrote nine detective novels which were published from 1937 to 1958. Suicide Excepted was his third book.Suicide Excepted is a lovely mystery novel that would likely appeal to both mystery fans and general readers who are fond of British work. The novel is a combination of intricate puzzle, a bit of a thriller, and a slice of British life. It starts out with the death of an odd elderly man who has kept a scrapbook of rather morbid quotations. He has been staying at an obscure country hotel and it would be convenient if the overdose of sleeping medication were just an accident or even suicide. But is it that simple? Is there a cold-blooded murderer at work? For you see, his family stands to lose a tidy sum in insurance money if the verdict is suicide--and the family can definitely use the money. Contrary to most mysteries where no one wants a murder to have happened, the heirs begin drumming up evidence to try and influence a verdit of foul play. The amateur "sleuths" do find some interesting clues, but while they're beavering away, Inspector Mallett of Scotland Yard is following his own line.Suicide Excepted works well as a traditional whodunit--there is a floor-plan, a houseful of suspects, and all kinds of suspicious activities going on behind the scenes. It also gives a humorous look at family life in 1930s Britain--with all the infighting between siblings and cousins. We are also given a good look at various levels of society. We are taken from the country hotel to a Lincolnshire country estate, from the shore of Brighton to the "sticky heat of London." The book has delightful dialogue filled with Hare's playful wit and the plot is informed by his profound knowledge of British law.

  • Whistlers Mom
    2019-03-15 14:21

    A tale of amateur detectives."Cyril Hare" was an English lawyer who wrote nine book-length mysteries and some short stories that were collected after his death in 1959. Although writing was never his primary occupation, his books are professional and notable for their wry humor and their quirky characters. TRAGEDY AT LAW is considered his best, but I think this one is a fascinating look at how sudden death affects a family and what happens when the cause of that death is uncertain.In Hare's books, the detecting is done by Inspector Mallet of Scotland Yard or lawyer Francis Pettigrew and sometimes both. This one features only Inspector Mallet and (in an interesting twist) most of the detecting is done by the family of the deceased. Mallet figures into it only by the accident of having been a guest at a country hotel on the night when the "suicide" occurred.But WAS it suicide? The dead man's son argues persuasively that his father would not have committed suicide and the evidence points completely away from accident. Who would have murdered a harmless, if peevish old man?The son is a bright, personable, intense young man who decides to try to find evidence that the police have overlooked. He enlists his energetic sister and her reluctant boyfriend and they proceed to find and interview anyone who might be able to shed light on the matter.This author was an intelligent, thoughtful man and his books have a great deal to say about human nature and the oddities of human relationships. The brother and sister and boyfriend form an uneasy and sometimes acrimonious triangle. The ending took me by surprise, but that's on me The clues are there. It's unfortunate that Hare's books aren't available on Kindle, but they were reprinted by Harper in the 1980's and copies can be found. If you like a good, literate English mystery, you shouldn't miss them.

  • Lisa Kucharski
    2019-02-25 15:04

    The economy of An English Murder was needed here in the telling of this story. While the layout of the situation and was unique, it languished in the overwhelming pile of dialogue and dimwitted characters. So, while I found the overall plot a great idea, I found the telling of the story- long winded.

  • Vivienne
    2019-03-13 11:08

    Insurance PickleThis is the third Inspector Mallet, but the second one I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one and am hoping for the same with this one. Inspector Mallet was in from the beginning in this case, although not in a professional capacity. Mr Dickson died. Was it an accident or suicide? All the evidence points to suicide, but his adult children, Stephen and Anne don’t believe it. Stephen, in the first instance, because he wants the insurance money, whereas Anne doesn’t believe their father was the type to commit suicide, plus she also wants to remove the stigma from the family name.Stephen, Anne, and Martin, Anne’s fiancé, all take part in trying to solve the death of Mr Dickinson, with some unexpected help from Eleanor, the mother of Stephen and Anne. Her contribution is vital and sheds new light on a possible motive for murder. How they go about investigating is interesting, to say the least. Exactly what does an amateur investigator do, with no credentials and no experience? We find out as we read the book. Stephen had gone to Inspector Mallet in the beginning but Mallet, apart from opening a file, did nothing as he was satisfied with the coroner’s verdict, and so he doesn’t really play much part in this story until the end.The author’s usual delightful, understated humour runs through the book and adds to my enjoyment. The characterisations are first-class, the writing is skilful, the plot seems quite puzzling, and the final reveal is a ….. surprise. I was sure I knew who had actually committed the murder, right up to the last few pages, but I was wrong. This is an excellent murder-mystery by a master of the craft. Recommend.

  • William
    2019-02-23 10:16

    Quest for a Christie-like: Cyril Hare edition.This is really a 2.5. I'll give it the extra half because I think some folks will have a better experience with it than I did.As a later contemporary of Christie, Hare isn't very well-known or celebrated. However, I had read from the people-that-know, that this was his best. Stung a bit from my tendency to save the best for last, I pounced upon this one. What followed was a slog.First of all, Hare's style here lacks the brevity of Christie or Marsh. People sit around talking and bickering for far too long (and this is coming from someone with a tolerance for that). It might be something if these characters were interesting, but they aren't. They're bog standard cosy mystery characters...they have no right to go on for this long.Second, I found the book all too predictable. I shall not say at what point I had things wrapped up, for that is a spoiler in affairs such as these, but once I knew, I knew without question and skipped straight to the end, where I found my deductions validated. Now, there is some cleverness at work here, and the fact that I solved it so easily owes a great part to my deductive abilities (fed on a steady diet of scores of these books). I imagine that a genre neophyte would be very much interested by the conclusion of the book- if he or she could make it there to begin with.Ultimately, the pacing prevents me from recommending this, and it will be some time before I dare give Hare another shot.

  • Berry
    2019-03-08 10:18

    Fans of John Dickson Carr and Agatha Christie will very much enjoy this Cryil Hare. His books, the ones I've read so far, lack the atmosphere of the former and the humor of the latter, but they more than make up for both with their fairplay, reasoning, and straightforwardness.If that sounds a little dry, maybe that reflects the workmanlike quality of these well-written stories. That's a good thing for those looking for a good puzzle in which to escape.But speaking of those masters of mystery supra, the last chapter of Suicide Excepted is definitely very Dickson Carr. The thunder of a satisfying conclusion is stolen by a yet more satisfying conclusion. You don't often get that in whodunits but when you do it reminds you why you read them in the first place.Suffice it to say, this reader is more than pleased to discover the author of An English Murder isn't a one-hit wonder--quite the opposite. In fact, because I want to savor the rest of his mysteries, I'm in no rush to fly through the remainder. I heartily recommend Hare. He's a wildly, wildly underrated mystery maker.

  • Margaret
    2019-03-01 16:31

    Inspector Mallett's stay at the country house hotel of Pendlebury Old Hall has been a disappointment. Room, food & service have been a letdown & he eagerly anticipates the end of his holiday. His last trial is to sit & listen as the hotel boor, whose family once owned the house, sits down at his table. The next day the man is dead & Mallett unwittingly finds himself investigating the suspicious 'suicide'.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Read this quite a while ago - kind of liked the "policeman on holiday" angle.

  • Jill Robertson
    2019-03-24 12:23

    If you like a good old-fashioned murder mystery in the style of Agatha Christie/Ngaio Marsh, you'll enjoy Cyril Hare's 1939 story 'Suicide Excepted'. A strange title maybe, but it's a straightforward tale (with the usual twists of course) involving an apparent suicide, family squabbles and an assortment of characters, some likeable, some not. It moves steadily towards its conclusion and keeps you engaged even if you guess the outcome. While it may lack the atmosphere and intrigue of a Christie, it's a cosy tale where the characters actually seem real people.

  • John Carter
    2019-03-08 11:15

    Although it’s marked as “an Inspector Mallet mystery” he’s virtually absent. In at the beginning and in at the end and that’s about it. The detective work is largely done by amateurs (and as their solicitor points out, pretty ham-handedly). But just when you’re convinced the answer’s been handed to you—only a few pages left, after all—Hare twists your head around 180° and shows you that you’d missed the boat completely. A very good read.

  • Dave
    2019-03-10 08:24

    I've liked all the Cyril Hare books so far--they are Agatha Christie-type mysteries with less creativity but with (mostly) real characters behaving normally. A little like Ngaio Marsh. This one is not my favorite--the characters are so real that a number of them are positively annoying, and they slow the book down. Excellent and terse lawyers and detective, though.

  • Sally Anne
    2019-02-28 14:25

    Good solid mystery fun. Well-plotted enough to keep it interesting. Well-written enough to not get in the way of the plot. Recommended.

  • Polly
    2019-02-28 16:28

    Probably my least favourite Cyril Hare.

  • Mike Ward
    2019-03-19 12:26

    a great read!full review here