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Wycliffe Books In Order

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Publication Order of Wycliffe Books

Wycliffe and the Three Toed Pussy (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and How to Kill a Cat (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Guilt Edged Alibi (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and Death in a Salubrious Place (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and Death in Stanley Street (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Pea Green Boat (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe And The Schoolgirls (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the School Bullies (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Scapegoat (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe in Paul's Court (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe's Wild Goose Chase (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Beales (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Four Jacks (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Winsor Blue (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe And The Tangled Web (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Cycle of Death (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Dead Flautist (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Last Rites (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Dunes Mystery (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the House of Fear (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Redhead (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Charles Wycliffe by W.J. Burley

Wycliffe is the main character in a series of crime mystery books by an English author W.J. Burley. Wycliffe is a detective chief superintendent, a man who openly admits that he has never felt like a real policeman and he wonders why he joined the force, hating regimentation, discipline and at times order even though he doesn’t love violence. He is also the type of a cop who loses confidence in himself at the beginning of a case avoiding his juniors for fear of their criticism and being forced into their company.

Born in Falmouth, Cornwall, W.J. Burley is a mystery and thrillers writer. He is a source of inspiration for any writers or aspiring authors out there who’re trying to start writing life late in life. He began his career as an engineer, then went back to college to study zoology, became head of biology and later published his first novel at the age of 51. According to an interview published online, the author stated that he intended to write detective fiction which does not involve sex or extreme violence. The author went on to publish more than 15 novels in the Wycliffe series as well as six other novels including a science fiction book where Wycliffe is considered as the English Simenon.

Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy

The novel has many special features that characterize the Golden Age. Some of these hallmarks include rural setting, fair play, murder mystery, a small list of possible suspects and the end to the end when Wycliffe unites the main suspects.

True to Burley’s philosophy, this novel doesn’t feature any mention of the four-letter word or extreme violence or sex, though there are some scenes of sex seen through a victim, Pussy both for her style of life and for the double meaning of her name.

The book begins with Wycliffe studying the corpse of Wells, an attractive 26-year-old who crafts crossword puzzles to make a living. She was shot, and only one of her shoes and socks was stolen, revealing a three-fingered, deformed foot. Wycliffe doesn’t dig deep to discover that that Wells was a very complicated and disturbed young woman, intelligent but scheming and also cruel. She was also very unchaste and used men as puppets, creating a group of suspects in the small village of Kergwyn. As Wycliffe delves deeper in his investigations, he finds connections between another attempted murder and a suicide attempt related to Pussy’s death which leaves a strong impression on the Superintendent than any other of his experience.

Wycliffe and…..Toed Pussy was originally published in the 1960s, and as expected it’s the product of that period in many ways. It’s set in a small rural town, and so the lack of technology isn’t something to worry about. The author did a fantastic job in both characterization and plot setting. The main character, Charles Wycliffe isn’t your typical police inspector. He is the type of guy who lets the forensics and other experts do their job but tend to abstain from their conclusions. He prefers to wander about, investigate, interview people and lets his instincts solve the case. He finds himself crabby when he’s forced to listen to theories from other investigators.

Kergywns is small rural coastal town and Pussy; the murder victim held court with a group of clients. She had an intimate relationship with all the men whether married or no and user her influence to gain an advantage. So this means that she wasn’t popular, especially to the wives of the men she had affairs with and most of them were happy to see her dead.

Wycliffe digs deeper, thinks, talks to the possible suspects and thinks some more. There are more other deaths all related to Pussy’s past. Could these deaths be related to her death? This series debut novel isn’t more about the homicide or finding out the person who murdered Pussy, but instead the story is more about the main character’s interactions with other people and feelings. The story moves along nicely giving the readers a good perspective on Wycliffe’s personality.

If you like reading crime novels that don’t feature bad language or graphic violence, it’s recommended you give Burley’s series a try. It’s a crime writing in the classic and highly recommended for anyone who enjoys reading Margery Allingham, Patricia Wentworth, Gladys Mitchell, and Georgette Heyer.

Wycliffe and the Guilt Edged Alibi

DCS Charles Wycliffe cannot take a peaceful vacation with his loving wife when someone gets killed; the local cops find out that he’s within town and request for his help. And for Mrs. Wycliffe, he’s glad not that the little girl was strangled in a cheap hotel but the fact that her husband has something important to do rather than occupying his time in the innocent seaside.

Just like the form of this crime mystery, (initially published in the ’70s) the main character is very British and also very traditional. He follows every possible clue, makes connections in his head using logic and intuition and applies his upper-middle-class characteristics both to the crime and the possible suspects. It never occurs to Charles that there could be an underlying justification to the crime and that the murder victim might have played a role in her self destruction.

Additionally, as fits his point of view, the girl’s death serves even a higher purpose and the homicide must be solved and the killer brought to justice but if also it can be used to shatter the goals of other villains the better. Even though Charles has seasonal brushes with love, his overall demeanor is uncaring, and his approach to life crime is practical as his approach to life.

This is a brilliantly crafted and the second in Wycliffe series and just like the first book in the series, it’s a traditional crime novel with no bad language and very little page violence, but this doesn’t mean that the story avoids the seamier sides of crimes. The characters are believable, likable and with motivations.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Wycliffe

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