‘Gil North’s atmospheric writing shows the influence of Simenon, and Gunnarshaw’s finest, Sergeant Caleb Cluff, is a memorable detective – the Maigret of the Dales.’
Martin Edwards, CWA Diamond Dagger winner 2020
and author of Mortmain Hall.
When Detective-Sergeant Cluff, on the lookout as ever, overhears a conversation in Gunnarshaw concerning the Amblers’ estate in Egilsby, he grows suspicious. But when Colonel Ambler is found dead at the riverside, Cluff – unorthodox as ever – promptly embarks on a fishing trip to investigate, much to the despair of Inspector Mole.
Events begin to spiral: the rector’s corpse is discovered in his bathtub; and Sims, a penniless adolescent, who has somehow bought himself a motorbike, has apparently killed himself on it within twenty-four hours.
True to form, Cluff has his own opinions about the deadly events unfolding, but, in his pursuit of justice, he gets much more than he bargained for.
Gil North’s novels, which follow the investigations of Detective-Sergeant Cluff in the fictional and close-knit moorland market town of Gunnarshaw, were first published in the 1960s.
Gil North was the pen-name of Geoffrey Horne (1916–1988). He was born in Skipton, North Yorkshire, where his father was Town Clerk. Horne was educated at the local grammar school, then studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge, before embarking on a career as a civil servant in Nigeria and Cameroon.
He later returned to pursue his writing ambitions in his native Skipton – the inspiration for Gunnarshaw.