Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Wycliffe Omnibus
Detective Chief Superintendent Wycliffe series
W J Burley

28 April 2011 (US 1 October 2011)/ ISBN 1409132765
British Mystery / 1968 to 1974 Cornwall, England
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

A few years ago a popular TV series was made from these stories about murder and mayhem in the English West Country, and now here are reprints of Burley’s first five novels. Exeter-based Detective Chief Superintendent Wycliffe is called down to Cornwall to investigate various murders, ranging from a young woman living in a remote Cornish village to a pop star.

Although not precisely classics of their kind these novels have been deemed good enough for reprinting, and I for one enjoyed reading Burley’s descriptions of various renames but guessable Cornish places. It is also fascinating to read about how different things were in the comparatively recent past. This is one of the joys of reading any books that were actually written in a bygone age as opposed to historical novels, but what else have they to offer the modern reader? The victims are invariably attractive women of loose morals, and anybody interested in social history will be comparing changing attitudes toward extramarital affaires, sex and sexism.

There is something of sameness to these novels regarding choice and character of victim that makes this a book not to read all in one go. Wycliffe’s detecting and the stories in general are good reads however, with plenty of red herrings, character sketches and a lively, readable style.

Reviewer's Note:
Reviewed 2011
© 2011