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A Murder of Quality Paperback – 21 Sep 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Paperback, 21 Sep 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (21 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340937564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340937563
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.5 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,005,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Beautifully intelligent, satiric and witty' (Daily Telegraph )

'Vastly entertaining' (Sunday Telegraph)

'For my money, le Carré is the equal of any novelist now writing in English' (Guardian)

Review

'Beautifully intelligent, satiric and witty.' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Vastly entertaining.' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'For my money, le Carré is the equal of any novelist now writing in English.' (The Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
An early day George Smiley is called to solev an murder mystery at one of the nations best public schools. Here you'll find many familiar elements which made Le Carre greater novels: a younger Smiley, an elitist environment and down to earth police inspectors. Smiley is not as much drawn out as in later novels, but is there allright. A Murder of Quality is one of Le Carre finer sketches, a prelude of much what was to come.
The books reads perfectly as a Murder Whodunnit, much like Agatha Christie, but with familair Le Carre characters. Between the lines, Le Carre takes a dig at some of teh snobbish and extraordinary characters of a public school.
I've read it at one go, didn't bore me at all. Recommended
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By A Customer on 14 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
... This is a murder mystery in the classic mould. It is also a sideways glance at class, via the ludicrous tradition and snobbery of an English public school.
We learn a little more about George Smiley [we never learn much, but every book sheds a little more light]and we see him in an unfamiliar setting.
The plot is well structured and, as ever, lucidly written. The whodunit element is present, but it isn't too hard to outguess George and get to the murderer quite swiftly.
I read this in one sitting-it is not a long book, but it is every bit as satisfying as the author's more sustained efforts.
Recommended.
Bill
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Format: Paperback
John Le Carre's second novel: 'A Murder of Quality' was first published in 1962 and features George Smiley after he has retired from MI6. I should start this review by saying that this novel is in no way like le Carre's excellent espionage novels, so if you are expecting something in the vein of `The Spy who Came in from the Cold' or `Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy' then you may be disappointed. That is not to say that this isn't a good novel - it is - but it is more of a `whodunnit' murder mystery, rather like an Agatha Christie or Josephine Tey, and if you approach the book with this in mind, it makes for an entertaining and enjoyable read.

Stella Rode, wife of a master at Carne School, an ancient place of education with its cloisters and its mention in the Doomsday Book, is not quite the right sort; she is from the North, is Chapel instead of Church of England, uses lace doilies and has china ducks on her wall. Even the boys at the school secretly ridicule her realizing she is not `quite the ticket'. Mr. Rode, ex-grammar school boy, who has carefully watched his `betters', tries hard to emulate them, but Stella Rode refuses to be other than what she is, and is often an embarrassment to her socially aspirant husband. Stella is generally considered to be a very down-to-earth person - however, when she confides to her Minister at the chapel that she thinks her husband is planning to murder her, he thinks she is delusionary. But then, one bitterly cold, snowy night Stella Rode is bludgeoned to death in her own home.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second novel featuring George Smiley; the first is Call for the Dead. This is unlike most of the Smiley books, in that it is really a classic crime story, much in the style of an Agatha Christie. Set in an exclusive boarding school, Carne School in Dorset, this is obviously something which the author feels strongly about, admitting that he spent much of his life from the age of five (so young!) in such institutions, as well as teaching at Eton.

In this book, Smiley is contacted by Miss Ailsa Brimley, who he knew from the war. She works at a small magazine, the Christian Voice, which has a loyal and long standing readership. One of the readers, who has subscribed since the beginning, is Stella Rode - now a wife of one of the masters at Carne. When she contacts the letters page to say she fears her husband is trying to kill her, Miss Brimley takes it seriously and turns to Smiley. However, when he investigates, he finds that Mrs Rode was killed the previous evening, in a vicious attack at her home.

This is an unusual novel in the Smiley series, but well worth reading if you enjoy crime and mystery books and also offers insights into the character of George Smiley - as the area where the story is set is the one in which his wife, Ann, grew up. It also has an interesting setting and Miss Brimley is an excellent character, as are the snobbish and tradition bound masters at the school. If you wish to read on, the next book is the classic The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Penguin Modern Classics).
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Format: Paperback
I think this is one of the first Le Carre novels, and Smiley appears in it for some reason or another, even if it is not a spy novel.

Murder has happened at a private school. A boy has been killed.

Based on this premise, Smiley has to become acquainted with the small inner life of this school, its apparent grandeur and fashionable respectability, and its mean everyday life which hides behind the surface. Investigation is a way to expose the inanity of British society in the 50s before the great crisis of the 60s.

Very well written as all Le Carre works, this is your novel if you like Agatha Christie, if you prefer murder in the parish yard instead of the gutter crime of the black series.
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