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Wycliffe and the House of Fear [Hardcover]

W. J. Burley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 July 1995
The Kemps have lived in Kellycoryck for centuries, but their dynasty is starting to crumble. When the wealthy second wife of Roger Kemp disappears, people begin to talk. Didn't his first wife, also rich, vanish in similar circumstances? Chief Superintendent Wycliffe is called in to investigate.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; hardcover edition (27 July 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575059958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575059955
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,305,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Whenever a character comes back as many times a Chief Superintendent Wycliffe, a reviewer is faced with a dilemma: What can you say that you haven't already said? We called attention to Burley's solid plotting, well-described and colorful settings, and intriguing characters . . . Finally, we have no choice but to repeat ourselves by emphasizing one more time how pleasurable the familiar conventions of the genre can be in the hands of a writer as good as Burley." --"Booklist" --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Book Description

Detective Superintendent Wycliffe gets drawn into the troubled world of an ancient Cornish family. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Reads 19 Oct 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
As always with Amazon I'm very happy with the speed of delivery. The books are great fun. Wycliffe contains the element of history as it does not have the latest scientific influences. It also has a good geographic element as it is based in South West England. If you enjoy Inspectors Barnaby and Frost, Wycliffe has a similar approach to detecting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 29 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this story immensely, the plot was very good and it led one to believe that anyone could have been the murderer, therefore I give it a well deserved five stars and recommend it to all kindle readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Busman's holiday for Wycliffe 4 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wycliffe and his wife, Helen, are staying in a seaside cottage to give him a chance to recover from an illness. He is intrigued by a run-down country house, Kellycoryk, close to where they are staying and encounters the owner, Roger Kemp, when he trespasses on his property.

When Roger's wife, Bridget, disappears in mysterious circumstances Wycliffe finds himself involved in the case. Inevitably when Bridget's abandoned car is found at the top of a cliff there are some awkward questions to be asked and the death in a boating accident of Roger's first wife, Julia, is brought to the fore again.

What follows is an interesting and complex story with many unpleasant undercurrents and a dysfunctional family. I thought it was well written and there are sufficient suspects to keep most readers guessing until close to the end. The book examines some interesting themes about the burdens inheritance places in families and how the past can prevent people living in the present.

If you enjoy your crime novels when they are written in the classic mould then give this series a try. It started with Wycliffe and the Three Toed Pussy (Wycliffe Mystery) but the books can be read in any order. I can remember watching the television series starring Jack Shepherd many years ago and enjoying it though I actually think the books are better than the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Holidays 13 Nov 2013
By stuart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I feel Wycliffe is too eager to get back to work and yet again leaves Helen to entertain herself. The history of the family could be developed further
5.0 out of 5 stars http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0752881442/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_title 22 Nov 2012
By BOOKISHLEE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
well written by an author who was an extremely able craftsman; all his books are an enjoyable read and hold one's interest. He has been sorely missed by his readers.
4.0 out of 5 stars Determining whether a character needs a lawyer, a doctor, a priest 17 Oct 2009
By Mary E. Sibley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Julia Kemp dies in a boating incident and Roger marries Bridget three years later. The two children of the earlier marriage are Crispin and Isobel. Another member of the household is Roger's sister, Agnes. A brother, Francis, lives on the property. It is an ancient estate. Isobel has taken to attending seances and seeking messages from her mother's spirit.

Charles Wycliffe is vacationing with his wife, Helen, to recover from a bout of influenza. Isobel believes the Kemp family is dragged down by the house, Kellycoryk. Roger Kemp is ready to sell the estate. Bridget's empty car is found at an unusual location. The problem with the theory of suicide is that it doesn't fit her observed mental state. Crispin claims he saw his father Roger driving Bridget's car, and friends tell Crispin to keep his observations to himself.

The fact that Bridget is missing causes the police to open a case and Wycliffe to terminate his vacation. A van is sent for Wycliffe's use until an incident room can be set up. In dealing with the solution to cases, Wycliffe tries to form patterns in his mind. He notes that the members of the family of Roger Kemp tend to live in mental isolation.

This work is sufficiently mysterious and atmospheric to enchant crime novel aficionados.
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