Circle Audio CD – Unabridged, 1 July 2006
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|Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged||
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- ISBN-10 : 0792740564
- ISBN-13 : 978-0792740568
- Dimensions : 17.37 x 3.99 x 18.03 cm
- Publisher : BBC Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (1 July 2006)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Lovesey employs the device of competing amateur detectives to good effect, increasing suspense and conveying valuable clues through their efforts.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
Lovesey's portrait of the Chichester Writers' Circle and its members is agreeable and amusing, and the mystery itself is engaging enough to keep us turning the pages.-- "Booklist"
About the Author
Peter Lovesey, the author of more than thirty highly praised mystery novels, has won the British Crime Writers' Association Silver and Gold Dagger awards as well as the Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement and the Strand Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. In the United States, he has received Edgar and Dilys nominations, an Anthony Award and a Macavity Award, and the Ellery Queen Readers Award, among others. In 2018, he was named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master.
Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile's Golden Voices, he has received thirty-seven Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.
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Top review from Australia
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That is the plot of British author Peter Lovesey's novel, "The Circle: A Hen Mallin Investigation". Mallin - who has appeared in several of the "Peter Diamond" novels, is highlighted in "The Circle" and a couple of others. She brings a feminine perspective to Lovesey's writing about crime solving that contrasts nicely to Peter Diamond's more masculine one. In "The Circle", Mallin is brought in to investigate a murder-by-arson of a small-time, crooked book publisher in Chichester. Someone has stuffed petrol-soaked rags through the mail slot of his thatch house, killing the man and destroying most of his house. The victim is quickly linked to a local "writing circle", where an interesting group of would-be authors gather to critique and help each others' writing.
Okay, if an author is going to use a "group" as victims/murderers, he or she should put together an interesting group of people. Peter Lovesey certainly does this in his book; the "writing circle" is filled with off-beat stereotypes one can assume live in an English town. And one by one the members fall victim to death-by-fire. Several possible murderers are eliminated by Hen Mallin and her group by because they actually had alibis for the times of the murders. Finally, though good police work, the murderer is found and the "writing circle" - quite a bit smaller - resumes its meetings.
Peter Lovesey does an excellent job creating interesting characters. The reader is sympathetic to the victims, and even the murderer is somewhat sympathetic. He highlights Hen Mallin and her fellow officers as they try to solve the crime. The book is a very good read.
Top reviews from other countries
His books all succeed in delivering watertight plots against a backdrop of gentle humour, and Lovesey revels in ridiculing and puncturing pomposity wherever he can I am disappointed that he has never enjoyed the mainstream commercial success that his books so patently deserve. I am also surprised that the Diamond novels have not been snapped up for television, as the Bath setting would have similar visual appeal, and international marketability, to the Oxford of Morse and Lewis.
The Circle is not one of the Diamond series, although he does feature very fleetingly. The investigation is (eventually) conducted by Chief Inspector Henrietta (“Hen”) Mallin, an associate and friend of Diamond’s who works in West Sussex, who finds herself faced with what rapidly develops into a series of murders, all through arson, around the scenic Sussex city of Chichester. The victims are all associated with the Chichester Literary Circle, a group of aspiring writers who meet regularly to swap ideas and read each other passages from their latest work. The first victim is a local publisher who had recently attended a meeting of the Circle, and whose house is set alight one evening, with him inside it.
Lovesey puts forward some cleverly drawn characters among the Circle, all of whom have markedly different literary tastes and styles, and he gently satirises their shared propensity to fall into the clichés attendant upon their respective genres. The setting of Chichester gently reverberates throughout the book – this might almost be a tract from the local tourist board.
Taken all together, this is a very enjoyable and entertaining book.
The plot is complex enough to be interesting without being over-elaborate.
A publisher is murdered shortly after giving a talk to a local writers' circle. The chairman of the circle is arrested but then members of the writers' circle are murdered. The surviving members of the circle are prime suspects but other suspects from outside the group emerge as we learn more about the backgrounds of the circle members.
The police investigation does not feature until about 100 pages into the book. Until then the story focuses on amateur sluething by some members of the writers' circle. DI Hen Malin enters the story whilst having a drink in a pub with Peter Diamond after giving evidence in court for another case. This neatly links back to the previous book, which features both of these detectives. But this one is a Hen Malid story so after Peter Diamond has bought her a gin & tonic he does not feature again (I notice one reviewer is dissapointed about this but this book is billed as a Hen Malin story rather than a Peter Diamond story - Peter Lovesey's has written a number of books that do not feature Peter Diamond).
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It's a shame that the other Hen Malin book seems hard to buy and expensive when you do find a copy. I'll keep looking...
Love Peter Lovesey books.