A murder mystery in the finest tradition of English detective novels, John le Carré's A Murder of Quality is an ingenious puzzle featuring his best-loved character George Smiley, published in Penguin Modern Classics.
Stella Rode has twice disturbed the ancient cloisters of Carne School: firstly by being the wrong sort, with her doilies and china ducks, and secondly by being murdered. George Smiley, who has his own connection with the school, is asked by an old Service friend to investigate. Smiley knows that Stella feared her husband would murder her, but as he probes further beneath Carne's respectable veneer, he uncovers far more than a simple crime of passion. In his second George Smiley novel, le Carré moves outside the world of espionage to reveal the secrets at the heart of another particularly English institution. The result is a pitch-perfect murder mystery, with Smiley as master detective.
John le Carré (b. 1931) was educated at the University of Berne and at Lincoln College, Oxford. From 1959 to 1964 he was a member of the British Foreign Service, serving first as Second Secretary in the British Embassy in Bonn and subsequently as Political Consul in Hamburg. He started writing novels in 1961, and has since published twenty-one titles, including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974), The Tailor of Panama (1996) and The Constant Gardener (2001).
If you enjoyed A Murder of Quality, you might like le Carré's Call for the Dead, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'Beautifully intelligent, satiric and witty'