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H. C. Bailey

Henry Christopher Bailey (1878 – 1961) was an English author of detective fiction. Bailey wrote mainly short stories featuring a medically-qualified detective called Reggie Fortune. Fortune's mannerisms and speech put him into the same class as Lord Peter Wimsey but the stories are much darker, and often involve murderous obsession, police corruption, financial skulduggery, child abuse and miscarriages of justice. Although Mr Fortune is seen at his best in short stories, he also appears in several novels.

A second series character, Josiah Clunk, is a sanctimonious lawyer who exposes corruption and blackmail in local politics, and who manages to profit from the crimes. He appears in eleven novels published between 1930 and 1950, including The Sullen Sky Mystery (1935), widely regarded as Bailey's magnum opus.


  • Call Mr Fortune (1920)
  • Mr Fortune's Practice (1923)
  • Mr Fortune's Trials (1925)
  • Mr Fortune, Please (1928)
  • Mr Fortune Speaking (1929)
  • Garstons / The Garston Murder Case (1930; Clunk)
  • Mr Fortune Explains (1930)
  • Case for Mr Fortune (1932)
  • The Red Castle / The Red Castle Mystery (1932; Clunk)
  • The Man in the Cape (1933)
  • Mr Fortune Wonders (1933)
  • Shadow on the Wall (1934; Fortune, cameo by Clunk)
  • Mr Fortune Objects (1935)
  • The Sullen Sky Mystery (1935; Clunk)
  • A Clue for Mr Fortune (1936)
  • Black Land, White Land (1937; Fortune)
  • Clunk's Claimant / The Twittering Bird Mystery (1937; Clunk, cameo by Fortune)
  • This is Mr Fortune (1938)
  • The Great Game (1939; Fortune, cameo by Clunk)
  • The Veron Mystery / Mr Clunk's Text (1939; Clunk, cameo by Fortune)
  • Mr Fortune Here (1940)
  • The Bishop's Crime (1940; Fortune)
  • The Little Captain / Orphan Ann(1941; Clunk)
  • No Murder / The Apprehensive Dog (1942; Fortune)
  • Dead Man's Shoes / Nobody's Vineyard (1942; Clunk)
  • Mr Fortune Finds a Pig (1943; Fortune)
  • Slippery Ann / The Queen of Spades (1944; Clunk)
  • Dead Man's Effects / The Cat's Whisker (1945; Fortune)
  • The Wrong Man (1946; Clunk)
  • The Life Sentence (1946; Fortune)
  • Honour Among Thieves (1947; Clunk)
  • Saving a Rope / Save a Rope (1948; Fortune)
  • Shrouded Death (1950; Clunk)


  • Murder Will Out: The Detective in Fiction, T. J. Binyon (Oxford, 1989) ISBN 0-19-219223-X pp.22-26

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