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15 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book of an excellent author
sarah caudwell has written very fine mysteries featuring hilary tamar and a group of lawyers. Her books are witty and well written. The charcaters are astounding and the plotting and pacing are at perfect pitch. While all three are top-notch, this story of finacial skulduggery in the channel islands is my favorite. I hope Ms. Caudwell graces with another book...
Published on 29 Oct. 1998

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Verbiage unchained!!
Quite enjoyed this book once I got over the style of writing. The story itself is not deep but it jogs along okay. I don't know much about Sarah Caudwell except that she obviously does revel in using the English language over and beyond the sense of duty!! Cut out the verbiage, though, and the story line wouldn't amount to much more than a few pages. Nevertheless, as I...
Published 16 months ago by Jan BS


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book of an excellent author, 29 Oct. 1998
By A Customer
sarah caudwell has written very fine mysteries featuring hilary tamar and a group of lawyers. Her books are witty and well written. The charcaters are astounding and the plotting and pacing are at perfect pitch. While all three are top-notch, this story of finacial skulduggery in the channel islands is my favorite. I hope Ms. Caudwell graces with another book someday soon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest of all, 26 Mar. 2004
By 
L O'connor (richmond, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sirens Sang of Murder: Number 3 in Series (Hilary Tamar) (Paperback)
All four of Sarah Caudwell's legal whodunnits are very, very funny, but this one is defintely the funniest. I haven't read many books that have reduced me to tears of laughter, but this is one of them. As with all her books, the plot is very, very complicated and full of legal technicalities that I find quite incomprehensible, but this only adds to the enjoyment. Once again legal historian Hilary Temple gets involved in solving a mystery with her young friends at the Chancery Bar. The educationally disadvanteged Michael Cantrip (poor boy, he went to Cambridge)finds himself travelling from the Channel Islands to Monte Carlo in pursuit of a supposed villain, while meanwhile his long-suffering colleagues back in London have to cope with the antics of his dotty uncle. The part where Cantrip gets locked in the cellar of a French restaurant by someone else's barmy uncle is perhaps the funniest in the book, but it is hilarious throughout.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (3.5 stars) Third in a witty and very funny series of legal murder mysteries, 3 Feb. 2013
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Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This is the third of Caudwell's witty and intelligent murder mysteries - and, sadly, not quite as good as the others. While many of the best elements are put to work here: the complex legal and tax background to the crime, the quirky characters of the Lincoln's Inn lawyers, the erudite style of writing - the formula isn't quite as successful as in the two previous outings.

One of the standard motifs of these books is that one of the lawyers goes away and writes back to the others in London - this works brilliantly in Thus Was Adonis Murdered when Julia is on holiday in Venice, and The Shortest Way to Hades when Serena is sailing around the Greek islands. Here it's the turn of Cantrip, telexing (it's a new technology!) back to London, and he's always been the weakest of the group for me. His voice is too much like a modern-day Bertie Wooster to work for me, but that is a very subjective opinion.

So this is still a fun, funny, clever, articulate and witty romp of an elegant mystery - and fans of Cantrip will love it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A triumph of wit and style over improbable plotting, 5 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
Sarah Caudwell's books always speak with her own very distinctive siren voice: witty, erudite, mildly malicious. The Sirens Sang of Murder continues the tradition first established in Thus Was Adonis Murdered of centering a rather improbable story around a very plausible legal environment, peopled by characters whom it would be a pleasure to meet in the Corkscrew their favourite winebar in Holborn. Though their professional services might be a little erratic, their company would be stimulating.Once again Hilary Tamar is dragged reluctantly from Oxford, and his master-work on common law, to perform feats of deduction, driven by a case in Chancery that takes his young associates from Monaco to the Cayman Islands, while investment advisers suffer a mortatlity rate that would drive wiser men into a safer profession. But, in true Tamar tradition, all is finally, resolved literally deus ex machina, leaving the reader to regret yet again Sarah Caudwell's own untimely death last year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another delightful legal mystery, 19 April 2013
Who would have thought that entertaining mysteries could be based on tax law! The prose is legally fusty and contrasts amusingly with the farcical characters and situations. It is so sad that the author did not live long enough to write more books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 13 Jan. 2015
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Sarah Caudwell was an author with a talent for entertaining with her quirky tales of murder involving the Bar. She had the ability to make each character speak with his or her own voice & her books are laugh out loud funny. Anyone with connections at the Bar or aware of the rivalry between Oxford & Cambridge will recognise characters & types but they are brought to life with great affection. Every one of her books (I believe she wrote 4 but I have read 3) is a delight which will make you laugh &try to work out "who done it"!
And there is another little twist - the sex of Professor Hilary Tamar is never revealed!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Verbiage unchained!!, 8 Jan. 2014
By 
Jan BS (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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Quite enjoyed this book once I got over the style of writing. The story itself is not deep but it jogs along okay. I don't know much about Sarah Caudwell except that she obviously does revel in using the English language over and beyond the sense of duty!! Cut out the verbiage, though, and the story line wouldn't amount to much more than a few pages. Nevertheless, as I said, I did quite enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not so comfortable tax planning, 5 Nov. 2013
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I really liked this book (the second by Sarah Caudwell that I have read). The young lawyers are an endearing bunch and Professor Tamar is an interesting sleuth with s scholar's approach to solving the mystery. I much enjoy the prose style with its legal and literary allusions, and find it often amusing. Quite a lot of the book is set in the Channel Islands, in particular Sark, which I have had the pleasure of visiting.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get into, 24 Sept. 2013
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I found the style of writing quite dull. Do people really talk to each other like this? Quite witty but very wordy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good fun, 4 Sept. 2013
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good fun and interesting insight in to tax affairs. might read more by this author in due course. good value
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The Sirens Sang of Murder: Number 3 in Series (Hilary Tamar)
The Sirens Sang of Murder: Number 3 in Series (Hilary Tamar) by Sarah Caudwell (Paperback - 29 Aug. 2002)
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