Francis Hancock by Barbara Nadel
Francis Hancock is the main character in a series of historical mystery novels by British author Barbara Nadel. During the 1940s and World War II in London, England, Francis Hancock works as an undertaker. He is a World War I vet who is suffering from symptoms of what today would be referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Barbara Nadel began her Francis Hancock series in 2005 with the novel Last Rights. The series lasted four novels, concluding in 2009 with the novel Sure and Certain Death. Below is a list of Barbara Nadel’s Francis Hancock books in order of when they were first released (which is the same as their chronological order):

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Publication Order of Francis Hancock Books

Last Rights(2005)Description / Buy at
After the Mourning(2006)Description / Buy at
Ashes to Ashes(2008)Description / Buy at
Sure and Certain Death(2009)Description / Buy at

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Francis Hancock Synopsis: The first book in Barbara Nadel’s Francis Hancock series is entitled Last Rights, published in 2005. It is October 1940 in West Ham, London. Bombs are raining down on the London borough and Francis Hancock, an undertaker, is feeling the stress. Having fought in the Great War, when he hears the explosions, Hancock relives his days in the trenches. When he sees a man lurching through the rubble, screaming about being stabbed but with no visible wound, Francis at first thinks someone else has is having a bout of insanity… until his body ends up at Francis’ funeral home a couple of days later. It becomes of interest to Francis to figure out how this man’s body got there, and he suspects it was due to foul play. But in order to find out the answer to this mystery, he must go up against some violent thugs, a web of lies and his own fragile mental state.

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