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Wycliffe and the Beales Paperback – 4 Nov 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (4 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752858726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752858722
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 763,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A mysterious death ... an eccentric family living on the edge of Dartmoor ... And Chief Superintendent Wycliffe has one of his most complex cases to date.

About the Author

W.J. Burley lived near Newquay in Cornwall, and was a schoolmaster until he retired to concentrate on his writing. His many Wycliffe books include, most recently, Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine. He died in 2002.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jane Baker VINE VOICE on 25 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
I love W.J.Burley and Wycliffe and this surpassed others I've read. The setting should be idyllic but it's dark and brooding with the dysfunctional family at the big house who are set apart from the rest of the village yet are a prominent part of local folklore and mystery surrounds them. There's little meaningful communication between them even though it's customary for them to meet for dinner each evening - except Fridays when one of them is always missing. This is a tale of repression and non-communication and Wycliffe enters their world and before very long is enmeshed in an "upstairs/downstairs" mystique. It is a typical can of worms with the lid removed. I still was unable to guess the identity of the murderer. I read this in 2 short sittings - unable to put it down. Gripping. My next Wycliffe is waiting - the goose chase.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bunny Newcombe is found shot dead in his tumbledown cottage. While he was not popular because of his behaviour and his lack of personal hygiene there didn't seem to be anyone with a motive for wanting him out of the way permanently. As with any village the community is close knit and dominated by one family - the Beales.

People seem to know a lot more than they are telling Wycliffe and his colleagues but there does not seem to be any way of finding out what is being hidden until another murder takes place.

This is a fascinating portrait of a small community and a family with secrets which are poisoning the present. Wycliffe, it is clear, finds the Beales very difficult and somewhat less than honest. The book is well written with an interesting and likeable main character in Charles Wycliffe.

He immerses himself in his cases and feels as though he is living the suspects' lives at the same time as they are. Detective Inspector Kersey plays a part in this story and he first appeared in an earlier episode of the series as a Detective Sergeant. He is a likeable family man with an excellent grasp of human nature.

If you like the Gently series written by Alan Hunter then you will probably enjoy Wycliffe as well. The Wycliffe series, even though they contain very little violence or swearing, do have a psychological depth to them which is evident in the Gentle series as well. What are currently known as `cosy' mysteries do not need to be bland to be part of the genre as is evidences by this story and others in both series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is only the second Wycliffe book I've read, but it was enough to convince me that the Wycliffe series is not for me.

Set against Ian Rankin's and Peter Robinson's in depth portraits of Rebus and Banks respectively, and their multi layer story lines, Wycliffe comes a poor third. Rebus and Banks are complex characters with whom you can relate, Wycliffe is too shallow, a mere plodder compared with the other two. And I found the settings lacked any depth as well - Edinburgh and the Yorkshire Dales are beautifully evoked by Rankin and Robinson, and play a real part in their stories, whereas in the two Wycliffe books I've read, the setting could be almost any rural part of England. Wholly lacking in atmosphere I'm afraid.

Definitely not for me. And definitely not in the Rebus and Banks class.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoy WJBurley's Wycliffe mysteries and recommend them to all Kindle readers. A five stars fully deserved. Unlike so called top authors today W J doesn't need to use bad language which I really do appreciate, that is why Kindle readers should read decent books like Burley and Agatha Christie. Bad language shows a lack of a better word. Recommended gary c Atkins.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Long-Running Series Continues to Satisfy 20 July 2016
By Alison S. Coad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Beales are an oddity in the village: Roman Catholic in a mostly Methodist world, rich, apparently tightly knit and aloof from the villagers. When the army gun of one of the family members is stolen, it isn’t long before a villager is dead, and the only thing that Chief Superintendent Charles Wycliffe is sure of is that somehow, the Beales are involved…."Wycliffe and the Beales" is the 11th in the long-running series by Cornishman W. J. Burley, although it isn’t necessary to have read the previous volumes to enjoy this one. There’s a nice mixture of old with new here, for example having young girls dancing around a maypole on May Day while cars drive by, and there’s a well-constructed plot and well-clued mystery. My favourite parts of the Wycliffe series, however, include the main character himself, who is of the intuitive-leap school of detectives, and the vistas of Cornwall, where I lived as a child. One doesn’t need that connection to enjoy this series, however, just bring your interest in police procedurals! Recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Those mysterious Beales 23 Mar. 2012
By Mr. D. Beale - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The reason I bought the book was because it was about the Beale clan. I wanted to see what my fictional family had gotten up to, so I bought the book from Amazon.com as Amazon.co.uk would not sell it to me in Australia. That hurdle being overcome, and having received my copy from America, I found it a very difficult book to put down. The plot was not insignificant, but kept happening right on to the end, and kept me wondering if Wycliffe really had a handle on the crime. Having never read a novel by W.J.Burley before, this book gave me a good introduction into the ability of the Author, and he rates fairly high in good solid criminal mysteries. A good read.
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