They Wouldn't Be Chessmen

Inspector Hanaud

A.E.W. Mason

978 0 7551 0758 2
Paperback | 280 pp
205 x 135 mm
Price: £7.99, $14.95, €13.95

978 0 7551 4120 3
Kindle eBook
Price: £3.99, $4.99, €4.99


Inspector Hanaud, Mason's cunning French detective, investigates a plot to steal a priceless pearl necklace belonging to the Rajah of Chitipur. A young opera singer is involved, along with her vanished accomplice. All is not as it appears and the many characters refuse to permit themselves to be moved about like pawns by the mastermind.


What an artist in story-telling is Mr. Mason.

A thoroughly intriguing mystery.

The Observer

Amid the sunshine, the business of the vintage and Mr. Ricardo’s personal interest in his food and his wine the author presents murder, mutilation, passion, hatred, cruelty, dark iniquity, a rescue in the nick of time, a strange arrest followed by a suicide which is also an execution and a variety of episodes which are full of mystery as they occur but fit in to an intelligible and convincing whole which makes as thrilling and uncomfortable a story as one could well wish to read.

The Times

Author biography:

A.E.W. Mason Alfred Edward Wooley Mason was born in 1865. He was educated at Dulwich College before going up to Oxford University. Once his formal education was completed, Mason went on to become an actor, which had been an ambition since schooldays.

He began his writing career with historical fiction, but then moved into the arena of politics, becoming a Liberal Member of Parliament for Coventry in 1906. However, his love of writing stayed with him and Mason further developed his repertoire and style to incorporate detective fiction, introducing one of the earliest fictional detectives, Inspector Hanaud, the Gallic counterpart to Sherlock Holmes. His detective fiction contains material clues and spontaneity.

Throughout the course of his life Mason produced over thirty titles. The most enduring work is ‘The Four Feathers’ which is the most filmed work of any writer in the 20th century, with seven versions in all. There have also been many other films and plays based on his novels, including the Hanaud series.

A.E.W. Mason died in 1948.

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ISBNs: 9780755107582 978-0-7551-0758-2 Title: they wouldnt be chessmen ISBNs: 9780755141203 978-0-7551-4120-3 Title: they wouldnt be chessmen