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L'omicidio è un affare serio
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L'omicidio è un affare serio

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  423 ratings  ·  29 reviews
All'inizio degli anni Trenta, Anthony Berkeley, l'autore di Il caso dei cioccolatini avvelenati, adottò l'ulteriore pseudonimo di Francis Iles per operare la sua personale rivoluzione all'interno della letteratura poliziesca. L'omicidio è un affare serio (1931) è infatti considerata un'opera fondamentale per il mutamento di gusto e di concezione che introdusse: da una part ...more
Paperback, I bassotti #14, 315 pages
Published 2003 by Polillo (first published January 1st 1931)
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Some would argue that Malice Aforethought is a murder mystery only in the sense that a murder is committed and, for the greater part of the book, there is a mystery as to whether the murderer will be arrested and found guilty. That is indeed true. It is also true that one of the mysteries explored in the book is why seemingly ordinary people commit murder. Yet another mystery explored is the way in which readers, when invited into the point of view of a particular character, often find themselve ...more
DeAnna Knippling
WOW. I was totally blown out of the water on the characterization in this book. It's note-perfect and just insane, as perfectly looney as American Psycho, and almost harder to read. It's very uncomfortable being in the main character's head; he's so mild and justified at every level. Whew. Don't know if I'll ever be able to read it again, but I was utterly impressed.
No surprise to see this novel described as 'The famous thriller of the Thirties' because it is certainly a spine-tingler and must have made quite an impression when it was first published.

Hen-pecked husband Dr Edmund Bickleigh gradually becomes less and less enchanted with his dominant wife, at the same time courting various ladies while on his rounds as a GP.

The tension builds nicely and it is no surprise when the good doctor decides that he must get rid of his wife. He plans it well, so well t
Helen Kitson
When first published, this crime novel was truly groundbreaking. It broke the crime fiction rule that the murderer must be unmasked only at the very end of the book. In 'Malice Aforethought', the killer is identified in the very first sentence. One can only imagine the howls of outrage this must have caused at the time! In spite of the fact that we know who the murderer is, the story is suspenseful and satisfying. The structure of the novel means that we are granted access to the murderer's thou ...more
I enjoyed this. It’s a light read and against the protocols of 1930s detective fiction you’re introduced to the murderer on the very first page. Edmund Bickleigh is a rather stereotype fictional murderer – very much of his time – short, bullied by an overbearing wife, with a strong inferiority complex and a liking for other women. It is how murderers were supposed to be in those days, inspired I think by Crippen.
The other stereotype too is that Bickleigh is a Doctor – handy for all those medicin
I first saw this in the BBC four-part series on PBS in the mid-1980s, and have never forgotten it. It is apparently a famous example of the 'inverted detective story' pioneered by R. Austin Freeman in 1907 with his Dr. Thorndyke series. I just read the first of his short stories on Gutenberg, and look forward to reading the rest. You can be sure Agatha Christie was very familiar with Freeman's work. Too bad this vintage author has had his books removed from the Victoria Public Library - no doubt ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in January 2000.

Malice Aforethought is touted as the first modern crime novel. This is because it dropped the central feature of the genre from its beginnings to the twenties, the puzzle, to concentrate on the psychology of murder. This is clear from the very first sentence, which announces the identity of the killer. However, though innovative, I don't think Malice Aforethought particularly good. I found the psychology unconvincing and the surprise ending bo
Definitely one of those cases where the book is better than the film (or in this case the TV series).

The humour in the writing is worth many chuckles and reminded me oddly enough of Jane Austen in the way the middle class characters hide behind language while using it carefully to cut and wound. Obviously there's some Agatha Christie (and Midsomer Murders!) in the plot of murder in the moneyed classes, but Iles is all about motive and character rather than finding the villain.

He happily makes f
I read this some time back, in a French translation because I was in France at the time and for a reason which I cannot fathom but which might be interesting to learn, this writer is particularly popular in France (he was highly praised by the famous French novelist Roger Nimier). I hesitantly award three points becaus 2 or 1 means I think the quality is very low. On the other hand, I can remember almost nothing about the book except that it is not a whudunnit but a psychological thriller follow ...more
Overall very good, a fast paced fairly short story that's a real page turner, set in rural England of the 1920's, dark humour and snobbish witticisms abound.

The ending was a slight let down so only four stars.
Written with style and elegance, but predictable with stock characters, not one of whom is relatable or likable. The only mystery is how the killer will be caught.
Although I used the tag "mystery", this book is crime fiction, not mystery. I especially liked the irony of the ending...
Ann Repetto
good til the very end; no wasted words; sometimes lol funny
I quite enjoyed this mystery. It develops very nicely, with Dr Bickleigh, unhappily married, a man who falls in love with and has romantic liaisons with other women. His wife is sharp, bossy, but tolerates these affairs until one particular. Dr Bickleigh now has to decide to do something so he can realize this love; there is murder, further attempted murders, a trial, with a surprising outcome. It's well-written, the personalities well-developed and the story is interesting and entertaining. I l ...more
1987 PBS broadcast grade C
Dr. Bickleigh decided that he was tired of his wife. So the best solution, really the only fair solution, was to kill her.

According to the preface in my edition, this was a rather revolutionary book when it was written, being more of a character study and not a 'whodunnit' unlike the regular mystery. It was written in the 30s by Anthony Berkeley, who was already published under his own name.

I understand there's a Mystery! TV miniseries based on this book. I haven't seen it, but I would like to
This is a good well written book with an impending sense of inevitability about it.
This may have been my favorite read of 2006- psychological crime drama (I believe it pretty much was the first of the genre) in which a petty English country doctor kills his wife only to find that his lover just isn't that into him. It's like reading Law & Order: SVU, except that instead of the characters being overwrought and angst-ridden, they're all parodies of themselves. And it all takes place in rural England, so there's lots of tweeds and pipes involved (seriously), so what's not to ...more
Pamela Mclaren
This may have been a great mystery when it was written but its badly dated now. I've read three books by the author (Anthony Berkeley Cox) and the earliest one under the Cox name “The Poisoned Chocolates Case” was the best. This one and “Before the Fact” were no mystery and I disliked all the characters.
Written from the viewpoint of the murderer, rather than as a police procedural, this is an oddly amusing tale of a provincial doctor, who decides to murder his wife, as he belives this will clear the way to spending time with his mistress. However, things get slightly out of hand....
Jon Koebrick
A great little well told yarn filled with charming black humor in which it is impossible not to hear one's reading voice in a high-society Brittish accent.
Pat Herbert
Can't recommend this book enough. One of the most absorbing thrillers you'll ever read. The only gripe is the ending seems rather rushed. Good twist though.
An excellent novel by Francis Iles.
I watched the television programme afterwards which was good but did not reach the quality of the book.
Andrew Thompson
Definitive 30s murder story featuring the charmless and hapless Dr Bickleigh. A study in British class as much as anything else. Terrific.
I read this book years ago. Unfortunately, I can not find a synopsis in English on this website. Sorry.
One of those 1930s English mysteries that I used to read in the 80's! Very enjoyable.
Jim M
At a tennis party, a doctor considers an affair, as well as killing his wife.
This was remarkably slow-going for me. A satisfactory ending, however.
Pietro De Palma
Another masterpiece by Anthony Berkeley
Jenna marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2015
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Francis Iles is a pseudonym of Anthony Berkeley Cox who also wrote under the pseudonyms Anthony Berkeley and A Monmouth Platts.

Cox was born in Watford and was educated at Sherborne School and University College London.

He served in the Army in World War I and thereafter worked as a journalist, contributing s series of humourous sketches to the magazine 'Punch'. These were later published collective
More about Francis Iles...

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