Book review: W J Burley — Wycliffe and the Three Toed Pussy

In the first book of the long-running series, Detective Superintendant Wycliffe has recently moved from the Midlands to Cornwall, and is facing his first case on his new patch. A young woman, Pussy Welles, has been murdered. It becomes clear that the small village she lived in holds a good many people with motive to kill her. It seems that the case is easily solved when the gun used to kill her is found by chance, and a woman comes forward to report a telephone conversation with Pussy on the evening she was killed which implicates the gun’s owner.

Wycliffe has to arrest the man, but is not satisfied–something feels wrong to him. He keeps digging, and finds evidence exonerating the man–and a second potential suspect being offered to him. Someone is playing a game with Wycliffe, and there is more death to come before he manages to unravel the workings of a macabre puzzle.

Burley has packed a good many layers of move and counter-move into this short novel, and draws some fascinating characters–not least Wycliffe himself in this first outing for the detective. It’s an absorbing read, and I’m glad to see it’s being re-released by Orion towards the end of 2006 (ISBN 0752880845).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s