Wycliffe and the Four Jacks (Wycliffe Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 3 Mar 2005
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Wycliffe might be on holiday, but he still finds himself landed with a murder to solve...
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately Cleeve won't give Wycliffe enough information to follow it up and see if the threats are genuine. Then a young girl is found dead - poisoned by means of a dart spiked with nicotine. Naturally Wycliffe is asked to take over the case.
At first it seems an almost motiveless crime but gradually Wycliffe and his colleagues uncover layers of deceit and secrets long hidden. No one is exactly as they seem and many leads trace back to an archaeological dig which Cleeve has funded on his own land. I enjoyed this well written and complex story and the clues are well placed - including plenty of red herrings. Cleeve is a memorable character - larger than life but never tipping over into excess.
I recommend this series to anyone who likes their crime novels in the classic mould but with plenty of psychological depth. These books are far more than bland police procedurals and Wycliffe himself makes a change from the usual hard bitten detective with the drink problem and the impossible personal relationships. He has his moments of irritability and he prefers to mull over his theories by himself but overall he is a likeable character.
W.J.Burley combines so much in his crime fiction novels and this is one of the best for me.
Complex as usual so far as character and plot are concerned; the usual evocative scenery in elusive areas of Cornwall, known only to locals. Wycliffe is supposed to be on holiday with the ever patient Helen but becomes involved in a crime involving a complicated network of relationships in a small community which stretches back over 3 decades. There's so much here: Wycliffe's recall of academic memorabilia; his relations with colleagues; an underlying sexuality which is only ever subliminal but makes the reader feel that a night with him might be memorable!!!! His interest in food and wine - and then there's his cynicism which seems to be always in conflict with his idealism. He states his politics in this novel but it's still mystifying. Wycliffe is an enigmatic character yet his wife accepts that even though they have just started their holiday she understands his immediate involvement in a local crime and she goes her own way taking ferries, doing local sight-seeing alone withour a murmur of complaint - and serves veal cutlets and wine when he finally turns up for supper. They both deserve medals. Brilliant. I read this in 2 sittings. I love Wycliffe but I could not be married to him!!!!!!!!!
The standard of printing was below normal. On Page 53 'Condemned,' was spelled as 'Contemned.' there was also, constant misuse of the phrases 'Each Other,' and 'One Another.' the former is used for two people, and the latter, for more than two. these should have been corrected, prior to publication.
The story differed a lot, on TV, particularly the ending, as a lot of them do.this is possibly, because they have to be condensed into about 50 minutes, and the different tastes of that audience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
each of the authors books are spell binding you do not get bored with the story line very addictive if you like these kinds of booksPublished on 10 Sept. 2013 by Hazel Owen
I have enjoyed reading WJBurley but I'm afraid to say this title didn't come up to scratch therefore three stars. Maybe other readers may find it interestingPublished on 15 July 2013 by Gary C Atkins (Chloe Hurst)