Friday, May 06, 2011

A Murder of Quality, by John le Carré

(hb; 1962, 1963: second novel in the George Smiley series)

From the inside flap:

"George Smiley reveals that behind his 'breathtakingly ordinary' exterior there lies a razor-sharp mind as he tackles this bizarre case: a murder has taken place in one of England's leading public schools - a murder that was forecast by the victim."


Smiley, clever as ever, puzzles out the vicious murder of an unpopular woman in a stuffy British school where gossip and hinted-at resentments run unchecked.

Chatty, sometimes frustrating, lead-up - given its milieu and characters, it's appropriate - with a stunning, sly wrap-up.

Worthwhile read, if you don't mind characters who are full of themselves, and hung up on rigid class distinctions.

Followed, in a loosely-connected fashion, by Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the first novel of the Karla Trilogy.

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