Well-Schooled in Murder Mass Market Paperback – Jun 1 1991
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From Library Journal
Thomas Lynley (the earl turned policeman) and Sergeant Havers focus their prodigious talents on uncovering the murderer of a young boy from an exclusive independent school near London. While author George necessarily centers the plot on solving the case, she adroitly plumbs the emotional and psychological depths of fully fleshed characters coping with various forms of personal stress in addition to the murder. As in her previous work ( A Great Deliverance ; Payment in Blood , LJ 7/1/89), George offers refined, feeling prose, an abiding sense of humanity, and a pervasive undercurrent of mystery. A necessary purchase, exceedingly fair and full of grace. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"George is a master...an outstanding practitioner of the modern English mystery."—Chicago Tribune
"A spectacular new voice in mystery writing."—Los Angeles Times
"A compelling whodunit...a reader's delight."—Daily News, New York
"Like P.D. James, George knows the import of the smallest human gesture; Well-Schooled in Murder puts the younger author clearly in the running with the genre master."—People
"Ms. George may wind up creating one of the most popular and entertaining series in mystery fiction today."—The Sun, Baltimore
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the third book in the series. You can read this book as a stand-alone, but it will work better for you if you first read A Great Deliverance and Payment in Blood.
As the story opens, Lynley is still reeling from having destroyed his relationship with Lady Helen. She's gone off to Greece and sends him occasional noncommittal post cards. Lynley is burying himself in his work. That's making life hard on Barbara Havers whose parents are not doing well.
John Corntel, an old school chum from Eton, approaches Lynley for unofficial assistance in locating a missing student who was under the chum's care. The situation soon changes when the student is found in an unlikely place dead, nude and having been tortured. Lynley takes on the case to avoid having free time to mourn his lost love. A delayed autopsy means that Lynley has to develop a sense of means, motive and opportunity without knowing the facts. The various "suspects" and "witnesses" do their best to mislead him, adhering to a code of silence that protects their most delicate secrets as well.
As the case evolves, it's not a pretty picture that is revealed behind the "privileged" walls of Bredgar Chambers.
There's little to complain about with this book and much to praise.Read more ›
Interestingly enough, Well Schooled In Murder upset me very much. I am not sure what the main issue is for me here, but the murder of the child Matthew, and the graphic depiction of his parents, first happy and full of joy in their world, and then plunged into horrifying grief, really bothered me. I almost stopped reading several times, and then decided that I neede to persevere. I'm glad I did, I guess, and I will certainly continue with Elizabeth George's series, which I have really loved so far, but this was hard for me.
I also found the estrangement of Deborah and Simon Alcourt St. James difficult and painful. As I think about it now, Simon's comment to Deborah's question of "how do we get back?" is important. He says "we go on," and maybe that is the answer to most of the pain in this book.
Although I found the subject matter extremely disturbing, i.e. the torture and murder of a young male student, the level of detail Elizabeth George gives to the physical setting and the fleshing out of her characters, made me feel as though I were an internal observer of the events themselves, rather than simply a reader on the outside.
Despite this, I felt the primary characters and array of suspects lacked warmth; I didn't experience any particular empathy for them and, consequently, focused my attention more on the brilliantly-conceived plot, which kept me eagerly turning the pages as each layer of the story was revealed.
"Well-Schooled in Murder" is well-crafted and an excellent addition to the Inspector Lynley series and has spurred my interest in reading other books in this British mystery series.
In this novel, the murder is again solved (and committed) through luck. In this case, a lucky, if completely illogical, suicide. The killer himself seems unnaturally lucky to have been able to drag a bound child through the school and its grounds and then drag his dead body back through the school campus without being noticed once. Apparently there is no night watchman or janitor at this "prestigious" boarding school.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The plot thickens, but not just the mystery! Of much greater intensity is the playing out of personal relations in the lives of Lynley and Havers. Read morePublished 20 months ago by GeoEng51
I haven't been able to concentrate on a book in several months. This book broke through and got me back into enjoying reading as much as I used to. Read morePublished on June 3 2014 by Tammy Rossetti
This is an amazing crime fiction, very complex and chilling, highly critical of social class. The subject matter is very disturbing. Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2007 by Toni Osborne
Very interesting book. This is the first I read of this author. Althought I was very disappointed with the last book she wrote, the ones before are all well worth the read. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2004
This is an awesome book. Each time I read another of her books I never cease to marvel at how well done they are. Read morePublished on May 7 2002 by Shirley Schwartz
As seems to the norm with books written by this author, there are lots of narrative paragraphs that go off on tangents. Read morePublished on March 11 2002