- Hardcover: 300 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate; First Edition edition (18 July 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007360479
- ISBN-13: 978-0007360475
- Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 3.1 x 20.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Norfolk Mystery (The County Guides) Hardcover – 18 Jul 2013
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Praise for ‘The Norfolk Mystery’:
‘A delightful, idiosyncratic mystery set in the Thirties … There is a touch of Sherlock Holmes and a dash of Lord Peter Wimsey, but the total is put together with a charm that is teasingly precious … Beautifully crafted by Sansom, Professor Morely promises to become a little gem of English crime writing; sample him now’ Daily Mail
‘Sansom is both celebrating and sending up the golden age of detective novels when, in the 1930s, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie were the queens of crime … A brilliant first outing that leaves you looking forward to the next maniacal mystery tour’ Mark Sanderson, Evening Standard
About the Author
Ian Sansom writes for the ‘Guardian’ and the ‘London Review of Books’. He is the author of nine books including, ‘Paper: An Elegy’, ‘Mr Dixon Disappears’, ‘The delegates Choice’ and ‘The Bad Book Affair’, some of the instalments of The Mobile Library series. He lives in Northern Ireland.
Top Customer Reviews
The principal character, named after a Norfolk village, is pretentious in the extreme, never having had an education worthy of the name but who has managed to establish himself in the tabloids of the day as the People's Professor.
He succeeds in avoiding any sleuthing of consequence until, in very typical Poirot style, he reveals all of his conjectures in the final dénouement, accompanied by excessive sniffling.
There is, undoubtedly, potential for the rest of the Guides, as threatened by the author, but I would suggest that the eccentricity of the Professor be reined in somewhat and the other two lead characters given more overt participation.
We found it disappointing. We both described it as a tedious, one- joke book. The book was mainly about an eccentric "know-all" professor who delights in intellectual put-downs, especially towards the main character and narrator. This was amusing initially but became very tedious about halfway through. The murder plot seemed of secondary importance and was not very interesting anyway. To compare this book in any way with the works of Christie, Sayers and Wodehouse (of which we are great fans), as some reviews do is, in our opinion very misleading. I don't think we will be travelling around the country with the obnoxious professor!
The first chapters give us the back story of the narrator which is interesting but doesn’t develop. Instead various tedious and boring conversations with the professor take place and I found myself skimming waiting for something to happen. Eventually a body is found – some more long irrelevant conversations take place, and then there is an announcement in church as to what happened. I couldn’t wait to finish this book so I could start something interesting.
• If you don’t speak Latin you’re in trouble – the author litters almost every page with some Latin saying without explaining what they mean. This was pretentious and disrespectful to the reader.
• The main professor character is presumably supposed to be a quirky character but comes across as an off-putting know-it-all bore
• His daughter is straight out of the cliché school of feisty young woman – even down to a risible fast driving escapade and has very little to do
• The narrator seems like the most interesting character but apart from his back story he isn't really involved
• There is no mystery – the biggest crime of all!
This is the first in a series set in various counties of Britain – I will not be continuing the journey and would advise anyone against buying a ticket.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mystery? That might be pushing the definition. This is a case of promise unfulfilled. We have three potentially interesting characters - an overly studied portrait of a not totally... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Peter Young
A typical product of a graduate of a creative writing course Too much in Latin and numerous references to other writers Some familiarity shown with Norfolk and the golden gorse... Read morePublished 1 month ago by constable59
"The Norfolk Mystery" is billed as a detective tale, but (although it is furnished half-heartedly with two deaths, suggestions of culprits, and a dénouement in which... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Martin Somerville
This was great fun, and I will buy more of the series from time to time.Published 8 months ago by Ivy Trott
I enjoyed reading this but not as a classical detective story: there seems to be remarkably little actual detecting. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jane
Gave up. I like Mr Sansom's Mobile Library series but this is tedious and dull. Mike Grady who narrates the audiobook sucks out what little life there is in the books to start... Read morePublished 13 months ago by fizz buzz