‘The Maigret of the Dales’ Detective-Sergeant Cluff is at home in the bleak, moorland market town of 1960s Gunnarshaw. A gruff and gloomy loner, he has spent a lifetime observing local folk – and knows their lives inside out. They know him, too – a bulky, macintoshed figure who watches from the shadows of Gunnarshaw’s ginnels as they go about their daily business, his dog Clive always at his side.
But it’s not just criminals Cluff has to watch out for. Never satisfied with easy answers to cases, Cluff is a maverick and no flatterer to authority – much to the bemusement of Detective-Constable Barker, but much more so to the despair of thehapless Inspector Mole, who tries at every opportunity to outwit or contain Cluff’s singular methods of detection.
But beneath Cluff’s dour exterior beats the heart of a truly compassionate man who possesses a deep understanding of human nature, in all its sordid and depraved details – details which frequently push Cluff to bend the rules in his pursuit of moral justice.
Sergeant Cluff Goes FishingWhen Detective-Sergeant Cluff, on the lookout as ever, overhears a conversation in Gunnarshaw concerning the Amblers’ estate in Egilsby, he grows suspicious. But when Colonel Ambler is found dead at the riverside, Cluff – unorthodox as ever – promptly embarks on a fishing trip to investigate, much to the despair of Inspector Mole.
Events begin to spiral: the rector’s corpse is discovered in his bathtub; and Sims, a penniless adolescent, who has somehow bought himself a motorbike, has apparently killed himself on it within twenty-four hours.
True to form, Cluff has his own opinions about the deadly events unfolding, but, in his pursuit of justice, he gets much more than he bargained for.