Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin

W. J. Burley, Author Doubleday Books $12.95 (179p) ISBN 978-0-385-23549-5
On Christmas Eve, after appearing in the parish play as the Virgin Mary, Francine Lemarque disappears. Fortunately, Chief Supt. of Scotland Yard Charles Wycliffe is in the audience as a holiday guest of the Bishop family, local aristocrats. When he decides to help find the girl, he instead discovers her mother dead and her father (recently released from prison) missing. When Francine returns and her father turns up dead, suspicion is thrown on a wide range of characters. Is the murderer the neighborhood artist, who's been sleeping with half the women in town? Or the ambitious M.P. married into the aristocracy? Or perhaps Wycliffe's friend, a bachelor lawyer who collects flies as a hobby? Burley does a fine job of bringing Wycliffe to life, and flashes of beauty occasionally pierce his descriptions of the Cornish countryside and coast, the setting for this novel. But the plot is formulaic and has a tendency to plod, producing a mystery that the attentive reader will solve before Wycliffe catches on. This is the fourth Wycliffe novel Burley has written, and the second this year. One hopes that in the future, the author works out more interesting and difficult murder puzzles for his likable inspector. (November 7)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-70510-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 192 pages - 978-0-552-13435-4
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-385-51293-0
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-0-7528-4933-1
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