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on 17 January 2013
This is a wonderfully funny and articulate read set amongst a group of young lawyers practising at Lincoln's Inn. Julia goes on a trip to Venice - but when a fellow traveller is found stabbed in his bed she's soon `helping the police with their enquiries'... while her colleagues back in London try to find the real murderer.

This was first published in 1981 but I think written earlier and does depict a far more innocent world where people can joke about `extremists' hijacking planes, and where people write each other long letters on a daily basis.

It is set in an elite environment of Oxford-educated lawyers and academics (poor Cantrip is pitied for his deficient education - he only went to Cambridge!), and is full of effete, beautiful young men, and ambiguous sexualities.

What makes this book are the narrative voices: sly, witty and slightly malicious. Like Wodehouse and Nancy Mitford, the humour and enjoyment of the book is as much, perhaps more, in the style of telling as in what is told. Hugely enjoyable!
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on 26 April 2013
I discovered this book when Amazon offered it for 99 pence as a Kindle download. At that price I thought it was worth a go, especially after reading the reviews given it was an author I had never heard of.

I am so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and have gone on to read the other three titles in the series. Sarah Caudwell's stories are based around a group of lawyers and their mentor Professor Hilary Tamar who get involved with and solve 'legal' mysteries. Each story has a financial/legal/tax background and so there are many mantions of the law relating to those areas. Don't let this put you off, as in my view Sarah Caudwell makes it understandable.

The books are witty, sophisticated, and funny and the crimes themselves are well thought out with many twists and turns. They are not the sort of book you can skim through, you do have to concentrate on the story in order to avoid missing anything important but in my view this makes them a very satisfying read.
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on 2 February 2013
Sarah Caudwell is a brilliantly witty writer. I am sure she would be brilliant whatever she wrote and I am just grateful that she chose with this series to please those of us who choose humour over everything else. She has invented a set of wonderful characters whose language is extremely English, erudite and funny, and I have just finished my second reading of this book which I enjoyed even more than the first since I was able to concentrate on the writing instead of the plot. It is a whodunnit, but who cares? The writing is what counts.
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on 3 June 2014
Written by a former legal-eagle, this is full of legal-speak and not engaging at all (unless you are called to the Bar). I was called to the 'bar' with a small 'b' as I couldn't be bothered to continue reading this book.

I really don't care who dunnit or if I ever finish this book.

ZZZzzzzzzzzz.
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on 7 May 2017
Close to an Edmund Crispen novel in style and humour. It should appeal to those who like classic British whodunits and Woodhousian satire. All set in the bizarre world of Lincolns Inn.
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on 11 May 2014
I understood and appreciated the obvious skill in the author's aim to parody the style of the barristers, solicitors etc, involved, to produce an ironic comedic romp, but it's a style that is soo heavy going for anyone not in the business.
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on 3 December 2010
The opening paragraph is very off putting. The narrator, being an Oxford Professor, has a tendancy to talk like a text book. However with the tale turning to letters from one colleague and conversations between others, it becomes easier to read.
The story has tones of Agatha Christie but is charming and, more importantly, at the end you feel that all the clues had indeed made sense.
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on 8 January 2014
Maybe I was just being grumpy, but I found the cast of over-educated, plum-in-the-mouth insiders deeply annoying. If you like books almost entirely filled with "bright young thing" repartee, you'll love it. It's intelligent, and well-written of its type, just not for me.
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on 27 June 2016
Very Oxford, Very Chancery, Very Funny (but if you don't love it, you'll hate it)
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on 4 September 2013
A bit overly wordy but an absolute delight nonetheless.
As gently humorous as a murder mystery can be. Just a shame that more weren't written.
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