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The Mortal Sickness Hardcover – 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First American Edition edition (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312143710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312143718
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,040,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A great 50s-era murder mystery set in the isolated (and fictional) village of Lydmouth, on the Welsh-English border. It manages to both pay homage to and subvert the 'golden age' era of crime novels. If I had to compare the plotting and characterisation to anyone, then it would be to Ngaio Marsh; but the key word here is 'atmosphere' - you can just sense the austerity and the repressiveness of the time. My only criticism would be that the ending was not as revelatory as I had been expecting, but that's a minor criticism. A great book, one of a series featuring Inspector Thornhill. Recommended.
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By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Jill knew at once that the woman was dead.

English villages are not always peaceful. The vicar and his wife are relatively new to Lydmouth yet someone is doing their best to force them out by sending anonymous letters claiming the vicar has been having an affair with one of his parishioners. When the parishioner is found dead within the church, initial suspicion falls on the vicar.

Journalist Jill Francis is also fairly to Lydmouth. Her professional interest soon becomes personal after also being attacked.

Mr. Taylor's works reminded me of Agatha Christie only in Miss Marple's observation that the residents of St. Mary's Mead were a microcosm of people everywhere. There were quite a few characters and, although the author was kind enough to provide a list of characters, I found I didn't really need it as each came to life for me.

Being set in post-War 1950s, it depicted the, outwardly at least, the secondary role of women. Yet the strongest characters were the women, particularly Jill and the vicar's wife, Mary Sutton. There was a very strong sense of place and evocative descriptions which enabled me to stroll through this fictional village with the characters.

Taylor has a wonderful turn of phrase. I found myself stopping and re-reading occasional sentences for the pleasure of them. The plot was deceptive. It was fairly easy to spot a villain early on, but with a couple good twists along the way, I realized how well plotted was the story.

Such was my enjoyment; I've ordered two more books in this series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have now purchased and read the entire series. Make sure to read them in sequence as although they are stand alone stories, there are common threads. Excellent series if you enjoy English crime fiction. They all take place in the 1950s and the writing transports you back to that era.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Andrew Taylor Lydmouth crime novels series are well-written. I like the fact that they concentrate on developing the main characters and uncovering the truth about the crime that is featured, rather than veering into thriller territory where it all ends up with the detective in peril. The depiction of 1950's Britain was eerily good - and brought back a lot of childhood memories. Well worth reading,
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed the first and this the second in the Lydmouth series. They take you back to England in the 1950's. Well written with believable characters and good plot lines. Looking forward to reading the third in the series.
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