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A Murder Of Quality

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  3,958 ratings  ·  316 reviews
Miss Brimley recebera uma estranha carta de uma sua conhecida. "Não estou louca e sei que o meu marido tenta matar-me".

Quem lhe poderia valer? Miss Brimsley pensou que, dos seus amigos, o mais adequado seria George Smiley, o mais inteligente e o mais estranho de todos...

O inspector Rigby aceitou a colaboração de Smiley. Durante a guerra ouvira falar, muito vagamente, do tr
Paperback, import, 192 pages
Published 2006 by Sceptre (first published 1962)
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All this time I had been clear in my mind that George Smiley was a spy master and that John le Carré writes spy novels. A Murder of Quality , the second novel in the George Smiley series, blew both of those assumptions away completely. While you could argue that Smiley is technically a spy, he's retired from the service. When his friend and former colleague from their days in the intelligence services, Ailsa Brimley, receives a paranoid letter from a subscriber to her magazine, The Christian Vo ...more
My husband is quite a fan of John LeCarre and convinced me that I should read this one. It is a small novel (146 pages) compared to his later books of 300 or more pages and a little mystery instead of a cold war spy novel. Not being the greatest fan of a mystery novel (I tend to read them too fast, or peek at the ending - because I can't stand the suspense -- or I'm up until the wee hours of the morning because I can't go to sleep until I find out "who did it"), I was surprised how much I enjoye ...more
I just checked this out from the library for some light reading during a trip, thinking it was the only Le Carre I hadn't read--only to discover a few pages into it that I had read it after all. So, I read it again.

I'm a real fan of Le Carre's spy novels (especially "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy,.." and "The Night Manager," most of which handily transcend the genre and wrestle with deeper issues in much more sophisticated ways than do the works of any other writer of spy fiction save Graham Green
Started off brilliantly but ended with a whimper, as the ending felt contrived and unrealistic. I think as the author himself put it not bad as a social satire but weak as a thriller.

The story starts when a colleague of Smiley contacts him to help with a letter she has received from a reader of the magazine she edits. As Smiley gets more involved all the great ingredients you find in le carre`s book are there - great characters minutely observed, a taste for the depressing england of the post w
Reading John Le Carre's writing is like treating yourself to a fine wine. It is not to be sped through or swigged. His words and passages lend themselves to being slowly consumed and savored.

A Murder of Quality was set in present day when it was published over 50 years ago. Thus the sound of a milk truck chugging from house to house in the early morning hours with the milkman making his front porch deliveries is not out of place. Elevator lifts still boast a uniformed elevator operator, "What f
I'd heard of this as a minor le Carré novel, but as there's only a limited number of 'em I thought I should go back and read it. Unlike the other Smiley books this is not about espionage at all, but is a fairly straight-forward murder mystery. It's pretty efficient and functional as those things go, with clues and red herrings and a cast of plausible murderers. The actual resolution wasn't perfectly satisfying, but overall it was pretty well crafted.

If you (like me) really enjoy the Smiley nove
Paul Curd
Carne School, with its cloisters and woodworm and a line in the Doomsday Book, is one of the Great Schools, where the rich send their sons to be instructed. And it is from Carne that Miss Ailsa Brimley, editor of the small Christian Voice newspaper, receives a letter for the paper’s problem page. The writer of the letter is Stella Rode, the wife of one of the school’s junior masters. Previously, Stella had written about cake mix for the ‘kitchen hints’ competition. This time, she asks for help b ...more
The second book in the George Smiley series is another intriguing mystery. Miss Brimley, editor of a small Christian newspaper, receives a letter from Stella Rodes, a long-time subscriber, asking for advice. Stella is the wife of an assistant master at the Carne School and she claims her husband wants to kill her. Brimley contacts her friend Smiley and shows him the letter. His preliminary check into the matter finds the woman has already been brutally murdered. Using his personal connections wi ...more
I love le Carré so much that I put off reading this, because a domestic murder mystery seemed too pedestrian for my favorite espionage novelist (probably favorite novelist). Luckily, he concerns himself with many of the same themes, as evidenced by this quote about Smiley: "Making his way through the Carne streets, he reflected for the hundredth time on the obscurity of motive in human action: there is no true thing on earth. There is no constant, no dependable point, not even in the purest logi ...more
Smiley as Miss Marple, solving the brutal murder of an unpopular teacher's unpopular wife at an upper class prep school, predating The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. This book takes place fifteen years after the end of World War II, a time when England's sharply divided classes merged to fight against a common enemy. The plot explores the ragged edges between town and gown, between ordinary people and Gentlemen, and the awful people to whom these things matter.

Erin (PT)
With another slow start from Le Carré, and my husband's pronouncement that he didn't like the book at all, I had a really hard time getting into A Murder of Quality and I was nervous about what I'd find. At the end of it all, I think I enjoyed the book a lot more than my husband did…but it's still something of a disappointment.

Like Le Carré's first book, A Murder of Quality has the same problems for me as a) a book placed in time before my birth and b) a book set in England—and in the English bo
Aug 23, 2010 rabbitprincess rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like Le Carré
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: browsing on dad's bookshelf
From the Grade 6 reading log files (yes, I read this in Grade 6. Doesn't everybody read spy fiction at that age?):

"The author is trying to tell everyone the truth about the spy world. The truth is not like James Bond-style, but it is very low-class and dangerous. The enemy might be staying at the same HOTEL as you, so trust nobody. He describes everything in perfect detail, so it feels like you're actually there, watching it all happen. His language is also very realistic too. Like Shane Hecht w
Zakariah Johnson
The second book featuring spymaster George Smiley, A Murder of Quality, is essentially a cozy. In it, the apparently retired Smiley is called in to investigate a murder at a second-rate upper-crust boarding school where class considerations prevent the local police from asking indelicate questions of high-placed people. Through this set-up, the story simultaneously takes aim at two oft-derided cultures--the fading British class system and the catty world of second-rate academia. Though this time ...more
it got four stars because the writing was impeccable and because I like the character George Smiley so much, he's such a sympathetic character.
I kind of wanted three an a half though, because of my intense disappointment in the author's development of the Stella character.
(view spoiler)
Nicole Marble
An awful murder in the English countryside. A prestigious school. George Smiley of 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold' fame. The plot is properly complex, the clues abundant and misleading, and Smiley solves the case. But there is an aftertaste to this book - the overwhelming feeling that murder is such a tawdry thing, just plain depressing.
Arun Divakar
A very alluring fact about a murder mystery in a secluded setting is the close border that tranquility shares with terror in such a backdrop. There have been a lot many books in such environs : set in villages, monasteries, small towns, factories and so forth. The murderer could be someone you know and the motive could have been something you saw or heard but overlooked. It takes a lot of literary talent to pull off such a plot line & Le Carre in this book does not aim specifically for succe ...more
The second of the George Smiley novels. This is a departure from the murky world of cold war espionage as Smiley is asked by a friend to investigate a murder.

The novel follows the classic set up of an english murder story - a sleepy english village, traditional public school, snobbery, gossip and an unassuming amateur sleuth who deduces the indentity of the perpetrator. This is murder by numbers and could have been written by any english crime writer be it Agatha Christie or Margery Allingham. T
One of my guilty pleasures is reading good ol’ fashioned cold war espionage novels. While not long on traditional literary value, I find them to be eminently enjoyable. Over the years I have read a great many of John le Carre’s more notable works but hadn’t really dove too deep into his back catalog. With that in mind, I ordered A Murder of Quality recently and gave it a go.

Originally published in 1962, A Murder of Quality is a slightly divergent effort from what I was accustomed to from Mr. Le
Jesse Adler
Inspired by a talk on the flow of non fiction to fiction by amazing writers, journalists and ex intelligence consultants at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival I started on the classic British spy / crime series by John La Carre.

A Murder of Quality is the second George Smiley book. It's a gentle yet eerie view of elitist private boy schools in England. He has beautifully captured the snobbishness and small mindedness that kept such institutions both respected and feared for generations.

He pai
Robert Morris
John Le Carre really doesn't like English boarding schools. This is his second book, and apparently the only one that does not involve the world of espionage. The book is a murder mystery, but mostly an extended take-down of the sort of high toned boarding education that the author received. I assume that George Smiley doesn't spend the rest of Le Carre's books running around English boarding rooms solving murders, and that's probably a good thing, but it's amusing enough. The social interaction ...more
My liking of revived by my re-read of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SpyJohn le Carréand by recently seeing the film version, I am going to work my way through all his book. This shorter one is not set within espionage circles , chronoloogically before Smiley's re-entry into that arena in the Tinker Tailor series. The plot involves Smiley getting called in to help solve a murder at a private school. Complete with English class division, town and gown divides it is classic Le Carre and read in his usua ...more
Actually, I would give this book a 3.5 if possible. I don't read a lot of murder mysteries, but this one was on my shelf so I gave it a go. This was a short novel set in at a prissy English prep school. A teacher's wife is found murdered and semi-retired former spy George Smiley winds up on the case.

A Murder of Quality wasn't a rip roaring edge-of-your-seat thriller, but the writing was solid and literary--good descriptions that did not over do it and since it was written in the 60's it had tha
Rick Morrison
This is the second of the George Smiley novels, and here I feel the character getting closer to the one I know in various adaptations.

In A Murder of Quality, the plot moves further away from the world of espionage and is closer to a conventional murder mystery. Smiley, currently in retirement from the Circus, is asked by an old colleague to look into a letter sent by a woman claiming her husband is planning to kill her. The woman is indeed murdered and Smiley decides to visit the school to assi
When I was young I would read Doestoyevsky. Not all the time of course, although it did require time, in fact time in abundance. I did not always understand everything I read, but I would pretend I did. And, I liked telling people I read Doestoyevsky, it made me feel deep. But most of all, I liked reading Doestoyevsky because afterwards, I felt smarter, and that was something I needed.

Now I'm older, I know my limitations. So, whenever I need to feel smarter I read Le Carre. For one thing, the b
I started reading John le Carre because I became interested in spies. Not those with fancy gadgets but those who work in the dark, not drawing attention to themselves, carefully collecting intel and coding their messages. But after this book, I have to say I love his writing style, and I would read anything he writes, spy novel or not.

This book is about a murder, no espionage.

Smiley having quit his job after getting fed up with his idiot boss a book ago is asked by a friend to investigate a mur
Hoàng Nguyễn
Phải nói là sau khi đọc xong mình mới hiểu tại sao quyển này hồi đó không được fan của John le Carré đón nhận cho lắm, đến bây giờ cũng vậy, chính bởi vì nó không phải là một quyển sách về âm mưu chính trị kì bí trong giới điệp viên mà chỉ đơn thuần là một tác phẩm trinh thám theo kiểu Sherlock Holmes. Nhưng mình thích nó lắm, thật ấy. Lí do mà mình chỉ cho nó 4/5 sao chứ không phải 5/5 là bởi vì cái kết nó quá là hụt hẫng đi thôi, không, mà quan trọng nhất chính là...

The 2nd of LeCarre's Smiley books. As other goodreaders have noted, this is, surprisingly, not a spy novel, but a murder mystery. The setting is an elite English boarding school for boys, and LeCarre happily skewers its elitism and venom. In the introduction, he freely speaks of his disdain for such institutions, based on his personal experience of school. The mystery part is just OK. So, come for the mystery; stay for the barbs.
Deborah Byrd
Not up to le Carre's usual standard of awesomeness, but still enjoyable. Plus ... it seemed like a good he just had to write, to purge some demons from his English boarding school days? This was his second novel.

Before reading this one, I went back and re-read his first novel (A Call for the Dead). It was really the better book, but, again ... seemed like he just had to do this one.

His third novel was his masterwork (one of them), The Spy Who Came In From the Cold.

After reading this, my though
David Streever
I really enjoyed this mystery, although it felt a bit more like a genre read than either 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' or 'Call for the Dead'.

It's an entertaining plot, although my one genuine moment of disbelief was that Smiley would be involved at all; I wasn't sure how or why he was tolerated in a murder case by the police. Purely on the strength of his first meeting with the officer? Is that part of his charm?

I also was wondering what had happened between the ending of the last book an
LeCarre’s second novel in the Smiley series and a great story. Again, tight, quick and easy to read. Smiley is drawn into an investigation of a murder in a small town in Northern England. The setting is a small college conclave where those involved in the University are all encapsulated by their insular, and quite pretentious, society. Smiley is an outsider, as was the murder victim.
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John le Carré, the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell (born 19 October 1931 in Poole, Dorset, England), is an English author of espionage novels. Le Carré has resided in St Buryan, Cornwall, Great Britain, for more than forty years where he owns a mile of cliff close to Land's End.
More about John le Carré...
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy The Spy Who Came In from the Cold Smiley's People The Russia House The Constant Gardener

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