The Circle (Inspector Mallin Series #1)

The Circle (Inspector Mallin Series #1)

4.5 4
by Peter Lovesey
     
 

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"Widowed van driver Bob Naylor is prodded into joining the Chichester Writers' Circle by his teenage daughter. Bob is very fond of writing limericks and jingles, but is afraid he will be out of his class amongst the literati. He needn't have worried." "The members of the circle come from all walks of life and practice many forms of writing, from fantasy to torrid… See more details below

Overview

"Widowed van driver Bob Naylor is prodded into joining the Chichester Writers' Circle by his teenage daughter. Bob is very fond of writing limericks and jingles, but is afraid he will be out of his class amongst the literati. He needn't have worried." "The members of the circle come from all walks of life and practice many forms of writing, from fantasy to torrid romance to household hints. Yet there seems to be nothing about any of them to incite a serial killer. But it becomes clear that there is an arsonist in their midst who is determined to burn his victims to death. And, as he strikes again and again, Bob becomes a suspect." To clear himself, and to save his own life, he must cooperate with formidable Detective Chief Inspector Hen Mallin who is in charge of the investigation of the Chichester murders by fire.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Inspector Henrietta "Hen" Mallin, an ingenious and acerbic sleuth who played a supporting role in Lovesey's Peter Diamond novel The House Sitter (2003), proves herself fully capable of carrying a story on her own when she takes over a serial murder case connected with the Chichester Writers' Circle, an eccentric amateur writers' group The chair of that group, an author hoping to make a splash with a work on unsolved mysteries, has already been arrested for the arson that killed an unscrupulous publisher who used a speaking invitation before the writers' group to lure his eager audience into a vanity publishing racket. But while the writer's incarcerated, a similar attempt is made on the life of an aspiring poet who's the group's newest member, followed by two more fatal fires. Lovesey's trademark dark humor and playfulness are very much in evidence, as he presents a crafty fair-play puzzle replete with quirky, three-dimensional characters. As with his classic Diamond novel, Bloodhounds, Lovesey employs the device of competing amateur detectives to good effect, increasing suspense and conveying valuable clues through their efforts. While there's every reason to believe Diamond has plenty of life left in him, traditional mystery fans will have no regrets if Lovesey's next few books continue to focus on Mallin. (June 7) FYI: Lovesey has won the CWA Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An old-fashioned whodunit with the style and deviousness you'd expect from a master storyteller. The day after publisher Edgar Blacker addresses the Chichester Writing Circle, someone pours petrol through the letter slot in his door and incinerates him and almost everything inside. The police ask Maurice, the writing circle chairman, to help them with their inquiries. They learn Blacker was refusing to publish Maurice's book unless he subsidized the print run and promptly arrest him. Rushing to his defense, several members of the circle begin their own investigation, calling on Bob Naylor, a new participant, to act as their spokesman. Poor Bob. When he tries to help out Miss Snow, who's received a mysterious phone call, he's waylaid in a boathouse and almost burned to death himself. After two more fires further winnow the circle membership, Detective Chief Inspector Henrietta (Hen) Mallin from Bognor (The House Sitter, 2003) is called in to deal with the arsons, the murders, the circle members' egos and an unknown member of the constabulary leaking information. Frazzled and almost flummoxed by the writers playing amateur detective, Hen ultimately narrows her field of suspects and sets a trap for the villain. Lovesey, who can out-Christie Dame Agatha when he sets his mind to it, offers a smorgasbord of red herrings, a nifty plot twist, charming bits of doggerel and delicious digs at writers of the unpublishable.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569473924
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/01/2005
Series:
Inspector Mallin Series, #1
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.77(h) x 1.14(d)

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