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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and not the last Peter Lovsey book I will read.
As my review title suggests The Circle is the first of Peter Lovesey's books I have read. I really enjoyed it - it's a shame there arn't more faverable reviews. The book was well written with nicely fleshed out characters and an interesting plot. The basic plot concerns a series of murders centred around a book circle. I for one will be reading more of Peter Lovesey's...
Published on 23 Feb 2010 by David

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather clunky, but easy enough to flick through
I suspect Lovesey can actually do better than this. The tone and settings were very old-fashioned, the characters one-dimensional and the plot not very well thought-out, I'm afraid. I didn't like that policewoman - she seemed very arrogant. And I didn't know why the male MC got so heavily involved with the writers' circle in the first place - it was rather unrealistic, I...
Published on 3 Aug 2006 by Ms. A. Brooke


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and not the last Peter Lovsey book I will read., 23 Feb 2010
By 
David (SPECTRE Island) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Circle (Paperback)
As my review title suggests The Circle is the first of Peter Lovesey's books I have read. I really enjoyed it - it's a shame there arn't more faverable reviews. The book was well written with nicely fleshed out characters and an interesting plot. The basic plot concerns a series of murders centred around a book circle. I for one will be reading more of Peter Lovesey's work - as a matter of fact I've just started The House Sitter. So if you enjoy a good murder mystery then why not give The Circle a go.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well, I enjoyed it...., 25 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Circle (Kindle Edition)
Perhaps because I live near Chichester and belong to a writing group I really enjoyed this book. Yes, some of the 'Circle' members were a little over the top and fiercely antagonistic to fellow writers but writing is very personal and often attracts off-beat characters. It may not be his best but I think Peter Lovesey is an excellent writer and I look forward to reading more of his work.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather clunky, but easy enough to flick through, 3 Aug 2006
By 
Ms. A. Brooke "Anne Brooke" (Godalming, Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Circle (Paperback)
I suspect Lovesey can actually do better than this. The tone and settings were very old-fashioned, the characters one-dimensional and the plot not very well thought-out, I'm afraid. I didn't like that policewoman - she seemed very arrogant. And I didn't know why the male MC got so heavily involved with the writers' circle in the first place - it was rather unrealistic, I thought. I couldn't find it in myself to care about any of it.

Not one I'm able to recommend.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good if you live in Chichester, 18 Dec 2008
By 
C. Wilson "Christine" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Circle (Paperback)
A Publisher is murdered and a writers' circle fall under suspicion ...

I don't disagree with the other 3 reviews but I did enjoy it slightly more than them because I used to belong to a writers' circle and it was a bit like this. Sadly it never became as exciting as this. I think for Chichester readers it was probably fun to spot the places that Peter Lovesey wrote about, like we do with Bath locations. It is funny that he writes about Bath better although I understand he lives in Chichester.

I was a little disappointed that Peter Diamond doesn't really appear in the story and probably wouldn't have bought it if I'd known or would have bought another one - (actually I got it from the library). I had liked the character of Hen from a previous book but liked her less this time round. I'd hate to work for her.

I read it to the end and didn't regret the time spent so give it a go - but possibly save it until you've read all the other ones.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars How not to write a novel in ten days, 6 Mar 2007
By 
E. A. Walker (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Circle (Paperback)
The first of Peter Lovesey's books that I have read and, quite frankly, likely to be the last. Not because I didn't read it to the end, because there were elements in the story that made you want to know whodunit, or whodunthem, but because I had thought it would be rather better written. Peter Lovesey is obviously a prolific writer, so perhaps it would be only fair to read a few more of his books before passing judgement. However I felt quite strongly that this had been "knocked off" in a pretty short time in order to help the cashflow. The characters were superficial; the language very outdated - in particular the use of colloquial terms which surely must date from at least the early 70s. Fair enough if you want to set your novel at that time but not if you expect your readers to believe that it is now, here in 2000 plus.

Here we have a writers' circle in Chichester. Mr Lovesey informs us he was horrified to discover there really is a writers' circle in Chichester. Where does Mr Lovesey live? Chichester. There is such a thing as research. The members of this mythical circle are, to say the least, eccentric, not to say unbelievable. A large percentage of them have very murky pasts which doesn't seem to have helped their writing ability and, in some cases, leads to dirty deeds at midnight - well, 4am. It's not too kind about the mental ability of hairdressers, either.

Yes, I did read the book, but no I was not impressed.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Substandard Whodunnit, 3 Jun 2010
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Circle (Paperback)
I like a nice traditional British mystery as much as the next person, but this effort from the prolific Lovesey just doesn't measure up. Set in the "city" of Chichester (population roughly 25,000) just inland from the English Channel, the story is a classic whodunit. A small-time vanity publisher is killed by an arsonist, and suspicion falls upon the amateur writer's group he recently spoke before. A series of further arson attacks ensue, and Lovesey tries to play a shell game to keep the reader from figure out who had motive, means, and opportunity to be the culprit (or culprits). Most readers will suspect that the solution lies in the background of the initial victim, and they'd be right -- which is why the amount of time it takes for the police to ferret his background out feels rather artificially prolonged.

Of course, this allows more scope in the first half of the book for the amateur (and rather inexplicable) sleuthing of the newest member of the group, a quick-witted delivery driver named Bob Naylor. Then, about halfway into the book, a new lead investigator is appointed. Cue the entrance of tough talking, no BS-taking Hen Mallin -- it's her perspective dominates the second half of the story. It's a rather awkward shift in point-of-view to introduce a co-protagonist so deep into the story, and it doesn't work very well. Worse than this is the cast of supporting characters, who have barely a hint of any life beyond the confines of the book. The group of amateur writers doesn't have any family or friends beyond those needed to serve various plot points or act as red herrings, and the same goes for their life histories. There's also a very weak subplot about a leak from within the police department, the motive for which makes no sense whatsoever, and seems only to exist to give D.I. Mallin something else to do besides solve the relatively straightforward mystery.

The whole thing feels quite creaky, from the love interest subplot for Bob, to the strange co-protagonist construction, to the somewhat lame solution to the murder. Despite being published only five years ago, it feels much older, especially some of the language and parts of the story relating to computers. Lovesey would have been about 70 when this came out, and I have to wonder to what extent his powers have faded.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does (just barely) in a pinch, 20 Jan 2010
By 
Wendell Ricketts "Wendell Ricketts" (South Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Circle (Paperback)
As a murder mystery, this is slight enough to blow away in a moderate wind, and its improbable murderer and even less probable motive don't help. What makes it reasonably worthwhile for a rainy winter day is the derisive tone of the plot (occasionally a bit overdone) and the relentless pettiness of the novel's nasty crop of characters (all of it done in a terribly understated, veddy British sort of way that owes some debt to David Lodge). Lovesey's obvious ambivalence about writers, a race whose foibles he charts at the beginning of each chapter with an incipit from a famous author, will certainly raise a smile if never a guffaw, and it does keep the story bumping along. I didn't find a single one of the characters even remotely believable, and Lovesey's handling of the police becomes nothing more than parody, but if you take The Circle as a satire on writing, the vanity of writers, and the perfidy of publishers, you might be convinced to make it all the way through to the end. There are many better books out there, though, so you may want to stick it out only if, as I was, you're stuck on a delayed train with no end in sight.
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The Circle
The Circle by Peter Lovesey (Paperback - 5 Jun 2014)
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