Inspector Hanaud

Inspector Gabriel Hanaud is a fictional French detective depicted in a series of six novels and one short story by the British writer AEW Mason. He has been described as the "first major fiction police detective of the Twentieth Century".[1]

Inspector Hanaud
First appearanceAt the Villa Rose
Last appearanceThe House in Lordship Lane
Created byA. E. W. Mason
Portrayed byTeddy Arundell
Richard Cooper
Dennis Neilson-Terry
Kenneth Kent
Oskar Homolka
OccupationPolice Officer


Hanaud was modelled on two real-life heads of the Paris Sûreté, MM Macé and Goron,[2] whose respective memoirs Mason had studied.[3] Émile Gaboriau's Monsieur Lecoq was also an inspiration.[4]

Mason wanted Hanaud to be a professional detective who was as physically unlike Sherlock Holmes as possible[3] so, in contrast to the slender Holmes, Hanaud became stout and broad-shouldered.[5] He was to be a genial and friendly soul ready, "as the French detective does", to trust his flair or intuition and to take the risk of acting upon it.[3] In the stories, Hanaud often relies on psychological methods to solve cases.[6] He is generally assisted by his friend, the fastidious Julius Ricardo, a former City of London financier.

Hanaud made his first appearance in the 1910 novel At the Villa Rose set in the south of France. He appeared in a further four novels and a short story. His last appearance was in the 1946 novel The House in Lordship Lane. Hanaud has been portrayed on screen several times – with adaptations of At the Villa Rose and its sequel The House of the Arrow.

He has been seen as one of a number of influences on the creation of Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

Hanaud novels

Film adaptations


  1. Pitts p.85
  2. Queen p.67
  3. Green 1952, p. 124.
  4. Bargainnier p.37-38
  5. Bargainnier p.38
  6. Bargainnier p.36


  • Green, Roger Lancelyn (1952). A. E. W. Mason. London: Max Parrish.
  • Bargainnier, Earl F. Twelve Englishmen of mystery. Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1984.
  • Pitts, Michael R. Famous Movie Detectives III. Scarecrow Press, 2004

Queen, Ellery Queen's Quorum: a History of the Detective-Crime Short Story. New York, 1969.

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