Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark (eptember 4, 1900 – August 25, 1958) was an English judge and crime writer under the pseudonym Cyril Hare.
He was educated at St Aubyn’s, Rottingdean and Rugby, where he won a prize for writing English verse, before reading history at New College, Oxford, where he gained a first class degree.
His family tradition indicated a legal career and he was duly called to the bar in 1924 and he joined the firm of famed lawyer Ronald Oliver and went on to practice in the civil and criminal courts in and around London.
He was 36 when he began his writing career. His first literary endeavours were short, flippant sketches for Punch magazine and he had articles published in the Illustrated London News and The Law Journal. His first detective novel, ‘Tenant for Death’ was published in 1937 and it was called ‘an engaging debut’.
During the early years of World War II he toured as a judge’s marshall and he used his experiences as the basis for his fourth novel ‘Tragedy at Law’, which was published in 1942. In that same year he became a civil servant with the Director of Public Prosecutions and in the latter stages of the war he worked in the Ministry of Economic Warfare, where his experiences proved invaluable when writing ‘With a Bare Bodkin’ in 1946.
He was appointed county court judge for Surrey in 1950 and he spent his time between travelling the circuit trying civil cases and writing his detective fiction.