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An English Murder
Author Cyril Hare
Language English
Genre Crime mystery
Publication date 1951

An English Murder is a crime novel novel by Cyril Hare. Published in 1951, it combines traits of classical Golden Age murder mystery – a group of guests in a snowed in country house – with the realities of post-war Britain.

List of characters

  • Old Lord Warbeck, a peer
  • Robert Warbeck, the only son of Lord Warbeck
  • Sir Julius Warbeck, first cousin of Lord Warbeck, M.P., Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Lady Camilla Prendergast
  • Mrs. Carstairs, a wife of Alan Carstairs, colleague of Sir Julius and his likely successor at the position of the Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • James Arthur Rogers, sergeant in the Metropolitan Police, assigned as a personal guard to Sir Julius
  • Briggs, a butler in Warbeck Hall
  • Susan, Briggs's daughter
  • Wenceslaus Bottwink, Professor of History


During dinner, Robert Warbeck, the only son and heir of the old Lord, dies in front of the other guests. Because of heavy snowfall Warbeck Hall is cut off the outer world, and the phone line is broken. Detective Rogers takes upon himself the task of investigating the murder. Soon after, the old Lord Warbeck himself, who already was on his last legs, dies. A silent panic strikes the guests, who try to keep together. Still, another guest dies, this time it is Mrs. Carstairs. Both Robert Warbeck and Mrs. Carstairs seem to have been poisoned. Doctor Bottwink, who was originally invited to study centuries-old documents in the family library, becomes a witness to the dreadful events. Trying to make sense of the deaths, he finds the murderer.