This first volume of the Inspector George Gently Collection comprises the original two novels that established Gently as one of Scotland Yard's fictional finest. These are the stories on which the hit BBC TV series was based, written with a charm that conveys Alan Hunter's love of the East Anglian setting and demonstrating his expert use of dialogue to keep the plot moving along at a cracking pace. The first of Gently's cases, Gently Does It, has him enduring the holiday from hell when he is caught up in a mysterious murder and locks horns with the local police over their handling of the affair. In the second book, Gently By The Shore, other people's holidays are disturbed when Gently is called in to investigate the discovery of a body on a pleasure beach.
The unflappable Inspector George Gently has become a household name through the hit BBC TV series starring Martin Shaw. These are the original books on which the TV series was based, although the George Gently in Alan Hunter's whodunits is somewhat different to his TV counterpart. He is more calculating, more analytical, and his investigations are even more enthralling. In this title: Following the death of a young musician, George Gently is assigned to the case, mainly because his boss is such a fan of the composer, Walter Hozeley. Things look bad for Hozeley when details emerge of a vicious argument between the composer and the murdered clarinetist, Terence Virtue, who was also Hozeley’s lover. The other musicians who were present at the rehearsal where the quarrel took place soon fall under suspicion when Gently begins to realise that Hozeley may not have been the only one who wanted Virtue dead. As the musicians prepare for a special performance, Gently’s investigation builds to a crescendo and the killer is set to take his final bow.
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Drifting upstream on the flood-tide in a dank October mist, a loosed dinghy carries the body of a once lovely girl, strangled. No mystery about who she was . . . everyone in the small Suffolk community devoted to music and sailing knew Hannah, the pleasant, reclusive Czech girl who lived alone in a Martello Tower by a lonely stretch of sand and shingle. The question is: who could have wanted her dead? Chief Superintendent George Gently, now living in the neighbourhood with his new wife, Gabrielle, is busy painting the stairs when the telephone rings: sighing, he agrees to help the local man with the initial stages of the investigation. But in spite of himself he's drawn into the mystery, as they start to question those who might have known Hannah well. Her ex-husband? Her bookshop employer? The local war-hero? The flashy ex-crook who now runs a pub? As the river ripples back and forth in the mellow autumnal sunshine, Gently and the lugubrious Inspector Leyston set about piecing together fragments from the dead girl's life: two dinghies drawn up on the riverbank by the church; a rendezvous note; two cigarette ends; a poem in Czech . . . it begins to seem that there was more to Hannah than met the eye. And gradually, into Gently's sympathetic and intuitive mind, understanding flows like the rising tide . . .