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Published in the stunning series cover style alongside WYCLIFFE AND THE LAST RITES and WYCLIFFE IN PAUL'S COURT All three previous novels published in Orion paperback reprint regularly Wycliffe not only attracts a wide readership, the television series, starring Jack Shepherd, has also been extremely successful The critics on W. J. Burley's Wycliffe novels: 'Wycliffe teases out the truth with delicate skill that leaves the reader intrigued and convinced' MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Another must for collectors' SUNDAY TIMES 'You can always count on Wycliffe ... he inevitably guarantees a good story, convincing characters and appealing landscape' FINANCIAL TIMES
W.J. Burley lived near Newquay in Cornwall, and was a schoolmaster until he retired to concentrate on his writing. His many Wycliffe books include, most recently, Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine. He died in 2002.
On Christmas Eve, after appearing in the parish play as the Virgin Mary, Francine Lemarque disappears. Fortunately, Chief Supt. of Scotland Yard Charles Wycliffe is in the audience as a holiday guest of the Bishop family, local aristocrats. When he decides to help find the girl, he instead discovers her mother dead and her father (recently released from prison) missing. When Francine returns and her father turns up dead, suspicion is thrown on a wide range of characters. Is the murderer the neighborhood artist, who's been sleeping with half the women in town? Or the ambitious M.P. married into the aristocracy? Or perhaps Wycliffe's friend, a bachelor lawyer who collects flies as a hobby? Burley does a fine job of bringing Wycliffe to life, and flashes of beauty occasionally pierce his descriptions of the Cornish countryside and coast, the setting for this novel. But the plot is formulaic and has a tendency to plod, producing a mystery that the attentive reader will solve before Wycliffe catches on. This is the fourth Wycliffe novel Burley has written, and the second this year. One hopes that in the future, the author works out more interesting and difficult murder puzzles for his likable inspector. (November 7)
Wycliffe teases out the truth with delicate skill that leaves the reader intrigued and convinced--MAIL ON SUNDAY You can always count on Wycliffe . . . he inevitably guarantees a good story, convincing characters and appealing landscape--FINANCIAL TIMES Another must for collectors--SUNDAY TIMES