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Well-schooled in Murder [Mass Market Paperback]

Elizabeth George
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 1991
When thirteen-year-old Matthew Whately goes missing from Bredgar Chambers, a prestigious public school in the heart of West Sussex, aristocratic Inspector Thomas Lynley receives a call for help from the lad's housemaster, who also happens to be an old school chum. Thus, the inspector, his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, and forensic scientist Simon Allcourt-St. James find themselves once again outside their jurisdiction and deeply involved in the search for a child—and then, tragically, for a child killer. Questioning prefects, teachers, and pupils closest to the dead boy, Lynley and Havers sense that something extraordinarily evil is going on behind Bredgar Chambers's cloistered walls. But as they begin to unlock the secrets of this closed society, the investigation into Matthew's death leads them perilously close to their own emotional wounds—and blinds them to the signs of another murder in the making....


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA; Reprint edition (1 Jun 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553287346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553287349
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,944,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Life and death in an enclosed society - excellent (Mail on Sunday)

Impressive . . . Her form is P.D. James and her characters by Dorothy Sayers (Newsweek) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The third novel in the best-selling Inspector Lynley mystery series. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Code of Silence Destroys Lives! 31 May 2005
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Well-Schooled in Murder is a fascinating and critical look at social class, the traditions of English public schools and the problems with having a "stiff upper lip." What is more remarkable is that those themes are developed in the context of an unusually complex and rewarding murder mystery. This book barely misses becoming a classic in detective fiction and will greatly reward fans of Elizabeth George's series about Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers and those who do not know the novels.
This is the third book in the series. You can read this book as a stand-alone, but it will work better for you if you first read A Great Deliverance and Payment in Blood.
As the story opens, Lynley is still reeling from having destroyed his relationship with Lady Helen. She's gone off to Greece and sends him occasional noncommittal post cards. Lynley is burying himself in his work. That's making life hard on Barbara Havers whose parents are not doing well.
John Corntel, an old school chum from Eton, approaches Lynley for unofficial assistance in locating a missing student who was under the chum's care. The situation soon changes when the student is found in an unlikely place dead, nude and having been tortured. Lynley takes on the case to avoid having free time to mourn his lost love. A delayed autopsy means that Lynley has to develop a sense of means, motive and opportunity without knowing the facts. The various "suspects" and "witnesses" do their best to mislead him, adhering to a code of silence that protects their most delicate secrets as well.
As the case evolves, it's not a pretty picture that is revealed behind the "privileged" walls of Bredgar Chambers.
There's little to complain about with this book and much to praise.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder, Abuse, Adultery & Miscarriage! 9 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
Another excellent book from Elizabeth George. As Deborah struggles to recover from her miscarriage (precipitated by aborting Lynley's child many years earlier) she comes across the body of a child in a graveyard and... the story goes from there! As usual the characters and places are more-than-life-like, the plot is entralling and the book is un-put-downable!
There are so many strands of plot to keep you interested! We watch Lynley and Havers struggle to come to terms with the apparently inexplicable nature of the case, and despair as Lynley's preoccupation makes him insensitive to the breakdown of his best friends' marriage - he nearly loses their friendship when he places extra strain upon them by sharing the demands of his case.
If you like crime novels and enjoy excellent writing then you will love this book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Set in a second-rate boys public school, the novel captures the feeling of an instituion that's hardly moved on since the days of "Tom Brown's School days" where not to "sneak" on fellow pupils is the main code, even it means covering details for a murder. As the investigation progresses Lynley & Havers uncover many different secrets - but which are red herrings and which are linked with young Matthews death ? Mixed with this the detectives are also dealing with problems in their personal lives. It keeps you guessing and coming up with different solutions - but I never guessed before the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Code of Silence Destroys Lives! 31 May 2005
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Well-Schooled in Murder is a fascinating and critical look at social class, the traditions of English public schools and the problems with having a "stiff upper lip." What is more remarkable is that those themes are developed in the context of an unusually complex and rewarding murder mystery. This book barely misses becoming a classic in detective fiction and will greatly reward fans of Elizabeth George's series about Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers and those who do not know the novels.
This is the third book in the series. You can read this book as a stand-alone, but it will work better for you if you first read A Great Deliverance and Payment in Blood.
As the story opens, Lynley is still reeling from having destroyed his relationship with Lady Helen. She's gone off to Greece and sends him occasional noncommittal post cards. Lynley is burying himself in his work. That's making life hard on Barbara Havers whose parents are not doing well.
John Corntel, an old school chum from Eton, approaches Lynley for unofficial assistance in locating a missing student who was under the chum's care. The situation soon changes when the student is found in an unlikely place dead, nude and having been tortured. Lynley takes on the case to avoid having free time to mourn his lost love. A delayed autopsy means that Lynley has to develop a sense of means, motive and opportunity without knowing the facts. The various "suspects" and "witnesses" do their best to mislead him, adhering to a code of silence that protects their most delicate secrets as well.
As the case evolves, it's not a pretty picture that is revealed behind the "privileged" walls of Bredgar Chambers.
There's little to complain about with this book and much to praise.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-Schooled In Murder 10 July 2010
By Rich
Format:Paperback
Lynley and Havers investigate the murder of a boarding school pupil whose naked body is found miles away from the school.

The murder mystery is well-thought out, the pupils are characterised well and George takes enough blind turns to keep you guessing. Some food for thought here.

Unfortunately it's when George tackles her regulars that it starts to go wrong. I personally found the marital difficulties of Simon and Deborah tedious along with Lynley's pining for Lady Helen. The problem for me, is that when George starts to describe their feelings and emotional states, I can hear the London Philharmonic start to tune up, and it feels like a 1940's romantic epic. I'm also irritated that she seems to think that working-class people are dirty and don't wash. Lynley, Lady Helen, etc are always well groomed, immaculate. Everyone else wears filthy clothes and smell. Where she scores is her depiction of Havers' bleak family life. There's some restraint here and it works well.

All in all, though I did enjoy this book, oddly perhaps because of its faults, rather than inspite of them. The murder mystery has more resonance than the heartaches of Lynley and his friends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fine
Published 14 days ago by Caroline Large
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 1 month ago by KGPOORE
1.0 out of 5 stars Abuse covered up?
This novel is well written with enough leads, plots and twists to keep the reader guessing until the end. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pat T.
4.0 out of 5 stars Public School Murder
This highlights the public school code of honour and what it can cost for those who get involved in it.
Published 4 months ago by Reverend James Dobson
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Schooled in Murder
I loved the first 2 Inspector Lynley novels but was a bit disappointed with this one. I think I will give them a miss for a while.
Published 5 months ago by Trudy D
3.0 out of 5 stars A little bit slow
Well written, Its the third Elizabeth George that I have read recently ,but I am now ready to move to another author.
Published 11 months ago by ginnaman
5.0 out of 5 stars A very well plotted story with believable characters. The setting is...
The writer has studied the setting very well indeed and assembled the characters to create suspense beautifully. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Published 16 months ago by Peter Halliwell
4.0 out of 5 stars A VRY GOOD READ
WELL WORTH READING
I DEFFINATELY RECCOMEND IT
I HAVE NOW PURCHASED ANOTHER ELIZABETH GEORGE 'LYNLEY' BOOK AND AM ENJOYING IT AS WELL
Published 16 months ago by Jane Thorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars What a writer if Elizabeth George!!!
Having read this I am now totally hooked on Elizabeth George and intent to read all her books in order. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lady Wendy
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Schooled in Murder. - Good story but poor kindle translation
A reasonably clever plot and story, with a few too many "coincidences" particularly at the beginning. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
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