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Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy (Wycliffe #1)

3.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  73 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by Corgi (first published 1968)
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Alison C
Mar 14, 2015 Alison C rated it liked it
In Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy, by W.J. Burley, readers are introduced to John Wycliffe, police superintendent working in Cornwall in Great Britain's southwest. He is called to handle the case of Pussy Welles, a young woman who has been shot to death in a small village; all that has been taken from the scene of the crime is one shoe and one stocking, the removal of which reveal her to have a foot deformity. As he begins to delve into the woman's past, Wycliffe learns that there is no lack ...more
Simon
Nov 15, 2014 Simon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure WJ Burley would have considered himself and his detective as being sensitive and right minded. Yet their attitude to women, homosexuals and human relationships show just how far we have moved since the sixties. Three cheers for feminism and three more for campaigners for gay rights. The world we live in at present may be far from perfect but I wouldn't wish to sink back into the accepted prejudices and hatreds of more ignorant times.

Reading this novel is of great interest to the sociolo
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Janice
This is a debut book (1968) in a series with Superintendent Wycliffe . He has a Cornish background and believes in the 'psychology' of solving a crime but lets his methodical Inspector Darley run the show while he pursues the investigations his way. The best part of this book was the prologue which gave the reader information on the author and his alter ego Wycliffe. Didn't guess the whodunnit but had problems with the author's transitioning of dialogue and scenes. Wanted to like this story, esp ...more
John The
Good little thriller that seems a bit dated now.
To be honest I can't remember much about it other than liking it as I read it over a year ago, other than that it was about a young woman, with a deformed foot, who seemed to have a whole village mesmerised and intoxicated by her, not least because of her deformity .
The Wycliffe series is enjoyable and this certainly made me want to carry on with the rest of the series.
Anne Borrowdale
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.
Hayley
Jan 31, 2016 Hayley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a crime series to immerse yourself in, I personally wouldn't bother with Wycliffe. His style of detecting is more or less that of a paid gossipmonger and he doesn't seem to want to be there any more than his suspects do. In addition, the suspects become a homogenous glob of irritation and selfishness. The scenery sounds nice at least.
The Crime Scene Scene
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
Sharonm
Apr 29, 2012 Sharonm rated it liked it
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
Gail
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.
Carolyn
Apr 11, 2014 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
GlenK
Jul 08, 2012 GlenK rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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!).
lytteltonwitch
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.
Julie
Jul 29, 2011 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-mystery
i didn't like this one at all. it was depressing. i've read others in the series that i liked, but this gets a big thumbs down
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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, ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Wycliffe (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Wycliffe and How to Kill a Cat
  • Wycliffe and the Guilt Edged Alibi
  • Wycliffe and Death in a Salubrious Place
  • Wycliffe and Death in Stanley Street
  • Wycliffe & The Pea-Green Boat
  • Wycliffe And The Schoolgirls
  • Wycliffe and the Scapegoat
  • Wycliffe in Paul's Court
  • Wycliffe's Wild Goose Chase
  • Wycliffe and the Beales

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