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Wycliffe and the Beales [Kindle Edition]

W.J. Burley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Beales are an odd, reclusive family living in Ashill House, on the edge of Dartmoor: old Simon has withdrawn from active life; Nicholas and Gertrude confine themselves respectively to war games and the bottle; young Edward takes long painting expeditions on the moor. Only Frank Vicary, Gertrude's husband, is able to run the family business with enough drive to compensate for the failings of the others.

When there is a murder in the village, there seems no reason to connect it with the Beales. But once Chief Superintendent Wycliffe is on the case, his investigation uncovers far more than he - or the Beales - anticipated ...

Books In This Series (22 Books)
Complete Series


  • Product Description

    Book Description

    A mysterious death ... an eccentric family living on the edge of Dartmoor ... And Chief Superintendent Wycliffe has one of his most complex cases to date.

    About the Author

    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.

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 590 KB
    • Print Length: 192 pages
    • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (9 Dec. 2010)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B004H4XAYI
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,574 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best! 25 Feb. 2007
    By Jane Baker VINE VOICE
    Format:Paperback
    I love W.J.Burley and Wycliffe and this surpassed others I've read. The setting should be idyllic but it's dark and brooding with the dysfunctional family at the big house who are set apart from the rest of the village yet are a prominent part of local folklore and mystery surrounds them. There's little meaningful communication between them even though it's customary for them to meet for dinner each evening - except Fridays when one of them is always missing. This is a tale of repression and non-communication and Wycliffe enters their world and before very long is enmeshed in an "upstairs/downstairs" mystique. It is a typical can of worms with the lid removed. I still was unable to guess the identity of the murderer. I read this in 2 short sittings - unable to put it down. Gripping. My next Wycliffe is waiting - the goose chase.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Family life - red in tooth and claw 10 Jan. 2012
    By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Bunny Newcombe is found shot dead in his tumbledown cottage. While he was not popular because of his behaviour and his lack of personal hygiene there didn't seem to be anyone with a motive for wanting him out of the way permanently. As with any village the community is close knit and dominated by one family - the Beales.

    People seem to know a lot more than they are telling Wycliffe and his colleagues but there does not seem to be any way of finding out what is being hidden until another murder takes place.

    This is a fascinating portrait of a small community and a family with secrets which are poisoning the present. Wycliffe, it is clear, finds the Beales very difficult and somewhat less than honest. The book is well written with an interesting and likeable main character in Charles Wycliffe.

    He immerses himself in his cases and feels as though he is living the suspects' lives at the same time as they are. Detective Inspector Kersey plays a part in this story and he first appeared in an earlier episode of the series as a Detective Sergeant. He is a likeable family man with an excellent grasp of human nature.

    If you like the Gently series written by Alan Hunter then you will probably enjoy Wycliffe as well. The Wycliffe series, even though they contain very little violence or swearing, do have a psychological depth to them which is evident in the Gentle series as well. What are currently known as `cosy' mysteries do not need to be bland to be part of the genre as is evidences by this story and others in both series.
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    3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Rankin's and Robinson's standard 11 Mar. 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This is only the second Wycliffe book I've read, but it was enough to convince me that the Wycliffe series is not for me.

    Set against Ian Rankin's and Peter Robinson's in depth portraits of Rebus and Banks respectively, and their multi layer story lines, Wycliffe comes a poor third. Rebus and Banks are complex characters with whom you can relate, Wycliffe is too shallow, a mere plodder compared with the other two. And I found the settings lacked any depth as well - Edinburgh and the Yorkshire Dales are beautifully evoked by Rankin and Robinson, and play a real part in their stories, whereas in the two Wycliffe books I've read, the setting could be almost any rural part of England. Wholly lacking in atmosphere I'm afraid.

    Definitely not for me. And definitely not in the Rebus and Banks class.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't disappoint 3 Aug. 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I thoroughly enjoy WJBurley's Wycliffe mysteries and recommend them to all Kindle readers. A five stars fully deserved. Unlike so called top authors today W J doesn't need to use bad language which I really do appreciate, that is why Kindle readers should read decent books like Burley and Agatha Christie. Bad language shows a lack of a better word. Recommended gary c Atkins.
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
    Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
    4.0 out of 5 stars Those mysterious Beales 23 Mar. 2012
    By Mr. D. Beale - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    The reason I bought the book was because it was about the Beale clan. I wanted to see what my fictional family had gotten up to, so I bought the book from Amazon.com as Amazon.co.uk would not sell it to me in Australia. That hurdle being overcome, and having received my copy from America, I found it a very difficult book to put down. The plot was not insignificant, but kept happening right on to the end, and kept me wondering if Wycliffe really had a handle on the crime. Having never read a novel by W.J.Burley before, this book gave me a good introduction into the ability of the Author, and he rates fairly high in good solid criminal mysteries. A good read.
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