Mystery #5 for Literary Snobs: A Murder of Quality by John leCarre

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9780141196374[1]John leCarre toiled for years in the vineyards of another low-status genre, the spy thriller, before critics “discovered” that his potboilers happened to be, well, exceptional novels.

But way back in 1962 — the year before The Spy Who Came In From The Cold — LeCarre published a short mystery masterpiece, A Murder of Quality. The murder victim is the wife of the snooty dean of a British prep school. Better yet, the detective is none other than George Smiley, the dumpy hero of leCarre’s finest spy novels.lecarre[1]

In his only book set outside the espionage community, Smiley puts in a turn at detective that would have made Sherlock Holmes chuckle with admiration. The novel offers an exquisite, satirical look at an elite private school as it chronicles the early development of George Smiley.

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  • John Burns
    February 24, 2013

    These are excellent recommendations. I’m a big fan of Le Carre’s Smiley, so I’m intrigued. Also, a previous week’s – “Labyrinths” has made its way to the very top of my fiction reading list. Keep them coming!

  • Michael Kahn
    February 24, 2013

    Thanks, John. Enjoy!