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I'm a sucker for British mysteries on tv, to the point where I even keep watching some series that I don't much like as long as they have some redeeming features. Such is the case with Wycliffe, where Jack Shepherd plays the lead and is so emotionally explosive and anti-religious that it's hard to like him. More than that, he rides his deputy, DI Doug Kersey (played by the fine Jimmy Yuill), far too hard for his every mistake, given how inappropriately personal his own reactions to cases tend to be.

This book though is based on one of the best entries in the series, pitting the mercurial Shepherd against the always great Bill Nighy, as David Cleeve, a best-selling pseudonymous novelist. Between the Cornwall setting and the interaction between the two stars, the series seemed full of promise.

The book obviously lacks this dynamic. Indeed, it justifies the criticism of Burley as a writer that the mysteries were altogether too workmanlike for the books to be considered classics. It's diverting for a few hours, but nothing more than that.


Grade: (B)


See also:

William Burley Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA : W. J. Burley
    -WIKIPEDIA: Charles Wycliffe
    -OBIT: Wycliffe Author Dies in Cornwall (BBC, 11/25/02)
    -TRIBUTE: WJ Burley (Martin Edwards Books)
    -BOOK LIST: WJ Burley's Wycliffe Books in Chronological Order (Book Bag)
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Wycliffe (IMDB)
    -GUIDE : Wycliffe (
    -VIDEOS: Wycliffe (YouTube)
    -November read: Wycliffe and the Scapegoat – WJ Burley: This month we’re getting to know Cornwall’s famous detective (Cornwall Today)
    -REVIEW: of The Wycliffe Omnibus by WJ Burley (John Byles, Tangled Web)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and the Four Jacks (DJ's Krimiblog)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy y WJ Burley (DJ's Krimiblog)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and Death in Stanley Street by WJ Burley (Book Every Five Days)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and the Winsor Blue (Jules Jones)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and the Dead Flautist by WJ Burley (Kirkus Reviews)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and the Dead Flautist (Lee, Cornish Literature)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and The Last Rites by WJ Burley (Publishers Weekly)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and the House of Fear (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of Wycliffe and the House of Fear (Publishers Weekly)

Book-related and General Links: