Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Review: 'Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin' by W J Burley

A Wycliffe book is very much in the spirit of Agatha Christie, just slightly down the social scale. Where Christie sets her murders in the country house mansions of the upper classes, Wycliffe deals with the well-to-do upper middles. Still a biggish house, a servant or two and afternoon tea, but everyone has a (respectable) job. So when one of the characters in this book is just released from 3 years in jail, it's not GBH or a bank robbery, but the very middle-class crime of business fraud.

This is one of the better Wycliffes, still formulaic, but nicely done. The author has a way of sketching in the salient features of a character in just a few words, in an economical but very effective way. This makes the inevitable large cast quite easy to get to grips with, and the story easy to follow.

I have to say that the twists and the big reveal of the murderer weren't particularly astonishing. Nevertheless, the ride was enjoyable. This is a good 3 stars. [First written August 2011]

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