Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Wycliffe and the famous author
on 14 January 2012
Charles Wycliffe and his wife Helen are on holiday when they are introduced to David Cleeve who writes as Peter Stride. He has made himself a fortune and Helen is a fan. But the author steers clear of all publicity and is a very private person. He consults Wycliffe on a professional basis once her realises he is a detective because he feels his life is in danger.
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.