They Wouldn't Be Chessmen

They Wouldn't Be Chessmen is a 1934 British detective novel by A.E.W. Mason. It is the fourth book in the Inspector Hanaud series of novels.[1]

They Wouldn't Be Chessmen
First edition (UK)
AuthorA. E. W. Mason
SeriesInspector Hanaud
GenreDetective fiction
PublisherHodder & Stoughton (UK)
Doubleday Doran (US)
Publication date
Media typePrint
Preceded byThe Prisoner in the Opal 
Followed byThe House in Lordship Lane 

Plot summary

Nahendra Nao, heir to the Maharajah of Chitipur, unwisely lets Elsie Marsh of the Casino de Paris wear his ancestral pearls, which react badly to her skin. In order to restore their lustre his secretary, Major Scott Carruthers, hires a beautiful, down-on-her-luck opera singer, Lydia Flight, to wear them while they heal. They take a houseboat on the Seine near Caudebec-en-Caux, and while there make the acquaintance of Julius Ricardo. When the pearls are stolen Ricardo teams up with his old friend Inspector Gabriel Hanaud to solve the mystery.


  1. Bargainnier p.38


  • Bargainnier, Earl F. Twelve Englishmen of mystery. Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1984.

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