DCI Wilfred Dover series (Books 1-10) by Joyce Porter
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Overview: Joyce Porter (1924-1990) was born in Marple, Cheshire, and educated at King’s College, University of London. In addition to the Dover mysteries, she was the author of a series featuring secret agent Eddie Brown, and another about the “Hon-Con,” a gentlewoman/detective. She lived in Wiltshire, England.
Genre: Fiction > Mystery/Thriller
Dover One (DCI Wilfred Dover 1)
For its own very good reasons, Scotland Yard sends Dover off to remote Creedshire to investigate the disappearance of a young housemaid, Juliet Rugg. Though there’s every cause to assume that she has been murdered—she gave her favors freely and may even have stooped to a bit of blackmail— no body is to be found. Weighing in at sixteen stone, she’d be rather hard to overlook. But where is she? And why should Dover, of all people, be called upon to find her? Or, for that matter, even bother to solve the damned case?
Dover Two (DCI Wilfred Dover 2)
Dover is undoubtedly Scotland Yard’s strangest detective, but also one of the most original and intriguing sleuths to come along in years. He adds a new dimension of horror all by himself when he is faced with solving the double murder of a single girl.
Dover Three (DCI Wilfred Dover 3)
Dover Three is another adventure of Chief Inspector Wilfred Dover of Scotland Yard. Dover is still as dyspeptic, unappealing, and insensitive as ever. With his assistant, young Sergeant MacGregor, he is sent off to isolated Thornwich in bleak mid-winter to look into an epidemic of lewd poison-pen letters.
To Dover’s mind, no one is above suspicion, neither a Dame of the British Empire, nor the venerable Dr. Hawnt; neither a dubious teacher of French, nor the inoffensive Mrs. Tompkins, to whom death comes not long after a windfall of some half-million dollars.
As to Dover’s success—well, the letters do cease and he alone identifies the true criminal. But you will have to read the book through to learn why Dover, who normally claims all credit going, whether due or not, declines, in this instance, the honors which should rightfully be his.
Dover and the Unkindest Cut of All (DCI Wilfred Dover 4)
When Mrs. Dover witnesses a young policeman’s suicide and has the bad taste to report it, Dover’s vacation ends abruptly at the seaside wasteland of Wallerton. As he sluggishly investigates the matter, an earlier case of murder and mutilation turns up as well. Suspecting that the town’s Ladies’ Club may be oddly involved, Dover devises and elaborate and utterly wicked trap. His bait: his overworked, unsuspecting assistant MacGregor.
Dover Goes to Pott (DCI Wilfred Dover 5)
The town of Pott Winckle owes its prosperity to the firm of Wibbley Ware. Naturally, when the owner’s daughter is murdered, the call goes out for Scotland Yard’s finest. Once again. Dover is off, the reluctant Sergeant MacGregor in tow. All Dover has to do to cinch this one is settle back in Wibbley’s Rolls Royce. perhaps bend a bit of evidence, or maybe a few fingers. Oddly enough—and not for the first time—his methods result in something resembling a solution.
Dover Strikes Again (DCI Wilfred Dover 6)
Inspector Wilfred Dover, the disgrace and shame of Scotland Yard, is once more on the loose, stepping with oafish insensibility on the lives of the guilty—everyone in Dover’s book is guilty until somehow proven innocent—as he investigates the murder of a local construction tycoon in the middle of an earthquake and landslide that nearly demolished a remote English village. Sergeant MacGregor, poor fellow, comes along as keeper, provider of free cigarettes and booze, and an unheeded voice in defense of British fair play. Unfortunately for MacGregor, Dover’s accommodations are not up to the standard of his majesty (it is, after all, a disaster area) and life is grim all around. If the sleepy little village of Sully Martin thought it had seen the worst that fate had to offer, it just didn’t know Dover.
The case is one of such complexity that the talents of a Holmes or a Maigret, at least, are required. But all we get is Dover, the man whose murky mind may, just may, blunder through the mud and accidentally trap the murderer. Meanwhile, can England survive him?
It’s Murder with Dover (DCI Wilfred Dover 7)
Scotland Yard sends Chief Inspector Dover and his assistant Detective Sergeant MacGregor to look into the murder of a local lad, Gary Marsh. Lord Crouch and his sister own Beltour, the stately home in whose grounds the body was found, and Dover is looking forward to their hospitality. Dover soon can’t wait to finish the investigation – but chief suspects are numerous. His inertia, foul manner and striking ineptitude are legendary – but there’s work to be done, and as he says, ‘I always get my man’.
Dover and the Claret Tappers (DCI Wilfred Dover 8 )
Be warned: this case is something of a departure—and the very first to depart is none other than Dover himself.
The detective’s sudden disappearance from Scotland Yard one evening is followed by an ultimatum from a gang of kidnappers calling themselves the Claret Tippers. Demanded in exchange for the hostage are not only a stout ransom, but also the release of two prisoners—one turning out to be a multiple bigamist, the other a sharp-tongued nymphomaniacal shoplifter.
How Dover gets out of this one, though, is only the beginning. For just as the case is getting cold, the Claret Tippers strike again. And once more Dover is brought into the center of the action in a most unexpected way, one that will prove a trial not only to his hapless assistant, Sergeant MacGregor, but to all of Scotland Yard as well.
Dead Easy for Dover (DCI Wilfred Dover 9)
The surly, slovenly Shame of Scotland Yard — Detective Chief Inspector Wilfred Dover — is back on his best murder case yet, with the reluctantly loyal Sergeant MacGregor at his side. When the body of a pregnant young woman is found in an alley, Dover is uncharacteristically eager to pursue the case rather than sleep in the back of his car. A large industrial firm is looking for a new Security Chief and he wants to be that man. Why? For that most solemn of reasons: there’s more money in it.
But first he needs a resounding success with which to dazzle his prospective employers. The murder of this unknown, unimportant girl doesn’t look very promising, but Dover flings himself into the investigation with a verve and enthusiasm that brings tears to the eyes of his long-suffering sergeant.
In the process of tracking down murderer and motive, insulting the local constabulary, and dining to excess in the village inn, Dover and MacGregor run roughshod through the neighborhood where they uncover secret drinkers, perverts, heiresses, and demagogues with skeletons in their closets. The solution emerges through an atypically astute bit of detective work which Dover attributes to genius and Sergeant MacGregor to dumb luck. Dead Easy for Dover is a witty, unpredictable, and uproarious murder mystery of the highest order.
Dover Beats the Band (DCI Wilfred Dover 10)
Having survived a kidnapping and various other indignities in Dover and the Claret Tappers, Chief Inspector Dover, Scotland Yard’s “most unwanted man,” is called to action (!) once again, along with his ever-unwilling assistant, MacGregor. The naked, burned, and mutilated body of a middle-aged man has been found. When the autopsy reveals a very peculiar clue in the victim’s stomach, the detectives set off on a trail that leads them to a squalid resort—Rankin’s Holiday Ranch at Bowerville-by-the-sea. A mysterious organization, they learn, convened there recently, and its members must dutifully be checked out.
What begins with routine inquiries, however, brings Dover and MacGregor smack into the midst of an undercover, Special Branch investigation of a demented, right-wing, secret society called the Steel Band. Never before has Dover been in such an equivocal spot. Though a vicious murder cries out to be solved, one does not tamper lightly with the delicate and risky operations of State Security. The problem is, one doesn’t readily tamper with Dover’s legendary inertia either.