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A Murder of Quality: A George Smiley Novel | [John le Carre]

A Murder of Quality: A George Smiley Novel

Miss Ailsa Brimley is in a quandary. She's received a peculiar letter from Mrs. Stella Rode, saying that she fears her husband - an assistant master at Carne School - is trying to kill her. Reluctant to go to the police, Miss Brimley calls upon her old wartime colleague, George Smiley. Unfortunately, it's too late. Mrs. Rode has just been murdered. As Smiley takes up the investigation, he realizes that in life - as in espionage—nothing is quite what it appears.
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Publisher's Summary

John le Carré's second novel, A Murder of Quality, offers an exquisite, satirical look at an elite private school as it chronicles the early development of George Smiley.

Miss Ailsa Brimley is in a quandary. She's received a peculiar letter from Mrs. Stella Rode, saying that she fears her husband - an assistant master at Carne School - is trying to kill her. Reluctant to go to the police, Miss Brimley calls upon her old wartime colleague, George Smiley. Unfortunately, it's too late. Mrs. Rode has just been murdered. As Smiley takes up the investigation, he realizes that in life - as in espionage—nothing is quite what it appears.

©2012 John le Carre (P)2012 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (122 )
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4.4 (100 )
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-12-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 10-12-12 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Short break from le Carre's brilliant spy œuvre"

    Not le Carré's finest, but that is like saying here a minor Faulkner, a good-effort Chandler or even a throwaway Conrad. 'A Murder of Quality' finds George Smiley out of his element (although to be fair, Smily IS defined by always being just a little out of his element). Instead of in an espionage thriller, he is dropped by le Carré into a boys school murder.

    It is as if, with his second novel, le Carré is wondering whether spy fiction or detective fiction should be his future calling. It does make me briefly pause and imagine how the arc of his career might have turned out if le Carré had pursued crime instead of espionage writing.

    If you are new to le Carré, don't start with this one. If you love le Carré this will be a short and interesting break from his brilliant espionage œuvre.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 03-27-13
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 03-27-13 Member Since 2005
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    "very good murder mystery"

    Smiley is still "retired" apparently from secret service after Call for the Dead but this is a very good murder mystery that stands on it's own. Le Carre is a fine author thus far and I know #3 In from the Cold is genius and one of my favorite novels and so I am on my way to #4 in this series and plan to go on with more Smileys and more JLC in general.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie HEATH, OH, United States 01-07-13
    Valerie HEATH, OH, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Good"

    I prefer the espionage stories, although this is nice for a change.

    Anything by Le Carre will work for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William KNIGHTDALE, NC, United States 01-23-14
    William KNIGHTDALE, NC, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2004

    I love a good book...

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    "A wonderful Who-Done-It."

    George Smiley is a delicious character which captures my attention. It sort of feels a little like Columbo, but the books take me into the past as well. I enjoyed this story which proves that anyone can lie...and they often do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M United States 02-13-13
    M United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pleasant Book"

    The story was not as interesting some of the authors other works. This narator however was great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen N Bothell, WA 98011 01-17-13
    Karen N Bothell, WA 98011 01-17-13 Member Since 2012

    Karen Nichols

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    "Well-crafted Murder Mystery with Quirky Humor"
    If you could sum up A Murder of Quality in three words, what would they be?

    Lean. Logical. Engrossing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The down-to-earth humaness of all the characters coupled with the well-polished and logical plot.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Grand Prairie, TX, United States 01-08-13
    Amazon Customer Grand Prairie, TX, United States 01-08-13 Member Since 2010

    I was born near Chicago, and moved to Texas 22 years ago. I taught high-school English for probably too many years. Love a good mystery.

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    "Quality Mystery"
    Where does A Murder of Quality rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best mysteries I have read. The writing is excellent and the characters are different. The clues are clear but not obvious.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Had to read in one sitting to discover the murderer.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Jayston’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first time so I cant compare , but I thought he did a good job.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It is a film.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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