Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy (Wycliffe #1)
by W.J. Burley
The peace of the village of Kergwyns has been shattered by a bizarre murder. A young woman has been shot. The only thing taken from a scene is the shoe and stocking from her left leg…exposing her deformed foot. Wycliffe uncovers evidence of an unhappy woman who routinely manipulated the men in her life. As half the men in the village have been known to visit her, and most
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Orion Publishing
(first published 1968)
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W J Burley's books are a quick crime read, with sufficient of a puzzle to keep me reading. First published in the late 60's, this novel feels dated. Wycliffe's attitudes to homosexuals and to the female victim are of their time, but stop me warming to him. Burley has a good feel for the seaside setting, but for me is less good at creating memorable characters. I found myself getting confused about who was who.
Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy is the first novel in the Charles Wycliffe series by author WJ Burley. A young woman known as Pussy Welles is found murdered in her home with her deformity placed on show. Wycliffe is called in to investigate. What he discovers is a woman who was more than what she seemed on the surface. She was a manipulator of men and used her beauty to get on in life. She has left a trail of destruction in the lives of those in the village and therefore multiple suspects for...more
This book was written in the 60s, and is a product of its time in many ways. It is set in a fictional small English village, so the lack of technology is not particularly jarring. However, some of the cultural pieces were annoying to me. There is a gay couple in the mix, and there are a fair number of homophobic comments, which do nothing to advance the plot. The woman who is killed to start is a strong, if manipulative, woman. The author seems to be playing with an approach that brands a strong...more
Despite the rather off-putting title, this is a pretty good little mystery. The first ten pages or so, out of about 220, kind of dragged, but then it picked right up and became a fast, easy-to-read murder story with a most original solution. Characters, especially the victim, are quite well-developed and the plot moves along unexpected lines. A good book for those hard times when the mind wants to be lightly engaged in a puzzle but not overwhelmed with ART.
Interesting plot with a detective who was eminently likeable. Lots of characters, all with some motive to have committed the crime. The ending had a few twists and turns and culminated in a gathering of all the suspects together where all was revealed - a la Christie. This is the first of a number of Wycliffe novels and has definitely left me wanting to read more.
I thought this had a great deal of charm. Although set in a small English village this is not a cozy. More like a Midsomer Murders episode, it has many eccentric, sharply drawn characters and a number of murders. As time allows I plan on reading more of these (there are a lot!).
The first in the series and it introduces Wycliffe who is new to the area after transferring from the North. What looks like a fairly obvious murder of the local good time girl is complicated by lots of red herrings. There is an unexpected twist to the ending.
Burley was born in Falmouth, Cornwall. Before he began writing, he was employed in senior management with various gas companies, before giving it up after the Second World War when he obtained a scholarship to study zoology at Balliol College, Oxford. After obtaining an honours degree he became a teacher. Appointed head of biology, first at Richmond & East Sheen County Grammar School in 1953,...moreMore about W.J. Burley...