The Man Who Was Leo Bruce

A post today by Kate Jackson, who blogs at crossexaminigcrime, got my attention about an author, whose existence was practically unknown to me, and I decided to research more about him. Maybe my findings might be of some interest to readers of this blog.

The Man Who Was Leo Bruce, (Rupert Croft-Cooke, 1903-1979) by Curt Evans

Leo Bruce is a pseudonym for Rupert Croft-Cooke (1903-1979). Under this name, Bruce wrote several mystery novels. He created two series, one featuring Sergeant Beef, a British police officer, and a second in which Carolus Deene, senior history master at the fictional Queen’s School, Newminster, is an amateur detective. Croft-Cooke also wrote a large number of books, plays, short stories, and other work under his own name.

Sergeant Beef Series:

  • Case for Three Detectives (1936)
  • Case Without a Corpse (1937)
  • Case With Four Clowns (1939)
  • Case With No Conclusion (1939)
  • Case With Ropes and Rings (1940)
  • Case For Sergeant Beef (1947)
  • Neck and Neck (1951)
  • Cold Blood (1952)

Carolus Deene Series:

  • At Death’s Door (1955)
  • Dead for a Ducat (1956)
  • Death of a Cold (1956)
  • Dead Man’s Shoes (1958)
  • A Louse for the Hangman (1958)
  • Our Jubilee Is Death (1959)
  • Furious Old Women (1960)
  • Jack on the Gallows Tree (1960)
  • Die All, Die Merrily (1961)
  • A Bone and a Hank of Hair (1961)
  • Nothing Like Blood (1962)
  • Such Is Death (1963)
  • Death in Albert Park (1964)
  • Death at Hallows End (1965)
  • Death on the Black Sands (1966)
  • Death of a Commuter (1967)
  • Death at St. Asprey’s School (1967)
  • Death on Romney Marsh (1968)
  • Death with Blue Ribbon (1969)
  • Death on Allhallowe’en (1970)
  • Death by the Lake (1971)
  • Death in the Middle Watch (1974)
  • Death of a Bovver Boy (1974)

I look forward to reading Case for Three Detectives, A Sergeant Beef Mystery by Leo Bruce. Stay tuned.


(Facsimile Dust Jacket, Case for Three Detectives by Leo Bruce, Geoffrey Bles Ltd. (UK), 1936)

descargaPossibly the most unusual mystery ever written. A murder is committed, behind closed doors, in bizarre circumstances. Three amateur detectives take the case: Lord Simon Plimsoll, Monsieur Amer Picon, and Monsignor Smith (in whom discerning readers will note likeness to some familiar literary figures). Each arrives at his own brilliant solution, startling in its originality, ironclad in its logic. Meanwhile Sergean Beef sits contemptuously in the background. “But, ” says Sergean Beef, “I know who done it!” (Source: Chicago Review Press)

Leo Bruce was the pen name of Rupert Croft-Cooke, who wrote more than twenty highly-praised mysteries featuring Carlous Deene. He also wrote eight mysteries featuring Sgt. William Beef, a cockney police detective who invariably “knows who done it.” Croft-Cooke died in 1980.

9 thoughts on “The Man Who Was Leo Bruce”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: