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Publisher's Summary

George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged, and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess 'the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin'.

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 realises that in life - as in espionage - nothing is quite what it appears. His investigation raises a multitude of questions. Who could have hated Stella Rode enough to kill her? Why was her dog put down shortly before the murder? And what did Mad Janie see on that fatal night? To discover the truth, Smiley must lift the lid on a world of hidden passions and dangerous hatreds.

©1962 le Carré Productions (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. H. Watson
  • 08-15-16

A must for any connoisseur of Le. Carre

The narration beautifully added perfection to an already stunning work. Well done Michael Jayson.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle
  • 05-24-16

Smiley as crime sleuth is excellent

It's amazing how vividly Le Carré makes the characters & setting with such pared back description. The setting of an outdated boarding school is interesting & the plot mostly keeps you guessing. As much a whydunnit as a whodunnit. This was the last of the major Smiley books I have read. It's also interesting to note the social changes of the past 56 years.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • H. Fosdike
  • 05-03-18

An Enjoyable Murder Mystery

Another short book from Le Carré’s early days, this one follows George Smiley as he ventures to Dorset to investigate the murder of a private school master’s wife. Le Carré writes in a way that I really enjoy and although it’s a somewhat different style to most murder mysteries, it works well and keeps you interested throughout. Whodunnit?

That’s something you’ll just have to find out for yourself! This one didn’t grab me quite as much as the first Smiley book but it was still good. Less about espionage and more about solving a case, perhaps the third (and arguably most celebrated) pushes us more on to a spy footing? As it is though, a very enjoyable listen and excellently read by Michael Jayston! I'm certainly looking forward to the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark R.
  • 04-18-18

A good short involved story.

Loved the story... Good to hear about George outside of the circus. would recommend completly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue
  • 01-03-18

Marvellous.

A whodunit with George Smiley, not the usual spy tale with our gentle hero.
Absolutely marvellous!
Michael Jayston is the perfect narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mollyeyre
  • 05-01-17

Very enjoyable

As usual Mr le Carre weaves a tale that keeps one guessing all the way through, a very interesting story with well described characters. Shorter than some of his novels, but good just the same.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • FD
  • 04-15-17

A conventional murder mystery beautifully written

This is the second novel featuring George Smiley. Unlike the others this book is not set in the world of the Secret Service. It's actually a conventional murder mystery, quite true to the genre. Yet with Le Carré's terrifically descriptive writing. Michael Jayston is an outstanding narrator.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon Zohhadi
  • 03-30-17

Entertaining Whodunnit

John Le Carre's second novel, A Murder of Quality, is an entertaining whodunnit. Not as good as his first nor does it have the complexity of his later books. Nevertheless, it features the brilliant George Smiley. I enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pamela
  • 06-19-16

A good old who dunnit

I really enjoy the first two le Carre books in this one, George Smiley is contacted by a wartime co-worker, Miss Brimley, who runs a Christian magazine and receives a letter sent by Stella Rode,claiming her husband is going to murder her.Then Smiley finds out that the woman has already been murdered and decides to go investigate. Now read on... Excelently read as wel

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • JL
  • 09-15-18

Brilliant

Loved this. Michael Jayston was wonderful.


I wanted to listen to it all in one go - unfortunately I had work to do!

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  • david x kelly
  • 03-17-16

standard held

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

I very much enjoyed this thriller but it is not my favourite Le Carre. It maybe that the genre, its different, moves away from the cold war, and revolves around a private school for which I personally hold very negative memories. But I have to say that the writing is quite brilliant as per usual.I must also also mention Michael Jayston who adds another dimension to the written word (that I have read previously with admiration). He is clear and concise and the change to tone of voice when characterising females in the narrative is brilliant.I have given this an overall 4 star rating (rather than my usual almost automatic 5 for Le Carre) but please don't let that discourage. Its a fine story with fine characterisation and a beautiful example of how to use the English language to its best. Highly recommended.