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Caroline Minuscule [Paperback]

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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4.0 out of 5 stars Synopsis Dec 24 2003
Format:Paperback
A Pierre Chambrun Mystery*Larry Welch, a well-known journalist, is sitting on a story so big, it could lead to international disaster-or even war. He seeks sanctuary in New York's luxurious Hotel Beaumont to decide his story's fate, throwing ledgendary manager Pierre Chambrun into the biggest crisis of his career.
Men in high places want Welch's information. They also want Welch buried along with his secrets. To that end, Betsy Ruysdale, Chambrun's invaluable personal secretary and lifelong friend, is kidnapped. Chambrau is ordered to leave Welch a sitting duck. No cops. No security. Or no more Betsy Ruysdale.
As a reign of terror sweeps the hotel, Chambrun fears he is about to be an accessory to murder. But will it be Welch or Betsy's?
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Minuscule 5, Caroline June 15 2007
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was Taylor's 1st mystery novel, and it's quite novel. The 1st part of the book involves the uncovering of a mystery based upon a medieval script called Caroline Minuscule (named for the Carolingians of France). The 2nd part involves a thriller over who will survive the uncovering/unraveling--and keep the loot. There is significant character development in some of the players & some humor too (esp. with one supporting character). The ending is unusual & somewhat surprising, but hinted at. I did figure out one of the main mysteries during the book. Some are, however, just revelations--not susceptible to reader analysis. It's a terrific 1st book, and I believe it won a mystery writers award of some kind. Some of his later books are also set in Rosington, but are not IMHO as good as this one: the Roth Trilogy (The Last Four Things, The Judgment of Strangers, & The Office of the Dead). However, his fantastic An Unpardonable Crime: A Novel is even better IMHO than this one. Note: I read the out-of-print hardback.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Booked for death... June 29 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have read plenty of short story with Pierre Chambraun in it. This is the first full length book I've read and was not disappointed. It is a tale of mounting suspense, some glamour and the ineveitable murder.
from the back cover of book:
A Pierre Chambrun Mystery*Larry Welch, a well-known journalist, is sitting on a story so big, it could lead to international disaster-or even war. He seeks sanctuary in New York's luxurious Hotel Beaumont to decide his story's fate, throwing ledgendary manager Pierre Chambrun into the biggest crisis of his career.
Men in high places want Welch's information. They also want Welch buried along with his secrets. To that end, Betsy Ruysdale, Chambrun's invaluable personal secretary and lifelong friend, is kidnapped. Chambrau is ordered to leave Welch a sitting duck. No cops. No security. Or no more Betsy Ruysdale.
As a reign of terror sweeps the hotel, Chambrun fears he is about to be an accessory to murder. But will it be Welch or Betsy's?
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TAYLOR'S BEST May 9 2004
By Cynthia Snowden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mystery readers tend to confine their interests to one corner of the genre, and in my case, it's English mysteries, particularly golden-age cozies. Alas, there are only so many of them, and this is not one. But never mind. It is a brilliant story. The narrative drive sweeps you along; the characters are believable; one event unfolds into another for a build-up to a deliciously clever ending. It is in the form of a scavenger hunt, informed by a pleasant, witty intelligence. The rest of the books in the series are not as good. I also like Taylor's Lydmouth series; those stories are satisfying, but not the good clean fun that this is.
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is this out of print? Feb. 26 2009
By Jody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
With its twists, turns, and question mark ending, Caroline Miniscule is a splendid thriller. Mr. Taylor's writing style is reminiscent of the better writers from the Golden Age of whodunits, and the characters and plot are an Alfred Hitchcock lover's dream come true.

The story follows William Dougal, a semi-reluctant scholar in an obscure field, who isn't thinking quite straight after finding the murdered body of his tutor. He is immediately commissioned to analyze a fragment of a medieval document by a mysterious man he suspects knows more than he should about the murder, but takes the job for much needed cash. When his employer is murdered, a letter from the man is delivered to William with an invitation to a treasure quest. William and his girlfriend set out on the trail and encounter smiling bad guys, nebbishy good guys, church ladies and vicious dogs along the way. It's a very entertaining romp, and William's angst over some of his less than admirable choices make this much more than a formula chase.

I was thrilled to find out that William Dougal appears in more of Mr. Taylor's books and I can't wait to read them. This was the perfect way to spend a winter afternoon!
4.0 out of 5 stars Graduate Student Breaks Bad June 6 2014
By Benjamin Shaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is another of the books garnered from a dollar-a-bag book sale. In comparison to the others I have so far read, this one is a keeper, and a solid invitation to more books by the same author.

The story begins with a graduate student discovering his dissertation advisor murdered. He sees that no one else is around, and slips out of the building without being noticed, and does not call the police. His inaction develops into intrigue and murder in the pursuit of a fortune in diamonds. The book was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. According to the back cover of the book, the review included the statement, “It’s a rather unusual book … with sharply etched characters and a rather shocking amorality.” What was “rather shocking” in 1982 no longer is. In fact, the book is an illustration of what happens when one “chip[s] away a couple of layers—inexperience and outmoded, secondhand morality.” It is very much the same kind of thing seen in Breaking Bad, where Walt sloughs off that same sort of “outmoded, secondhand morality.”

Nonetheless, the characters are very well-drawn, and the narrative, both as to style and to plot, well-done.
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