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Wobble to Death (Sergeant Cribb #1)
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Wobble to Death (Sergeant Cribb #1)

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  567 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews

In 1879, race walking competitions, known as “wobbles,” were all the rage. The death of a contender, followed by a second murder, introduces Sergeant Cribb, who goes on to investigate sports-related deaths in a series of eight books.

Mass Market Paperback, 167 pages
Published 1980 by Penguin Books (first published 1970)
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Carin It's a "go as you will" race so it's both, whatever the participants feel like doing. BTW, if you want to know more there's a great book on the…moreIt's a "go as you will" race so it's both, whatever the participants feel like doing. BTW, if you want to know more there's a great book on the subject, Pedestrianism by Matthew Algeo.(less)

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DeAnna Knippling
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A bunch of endurance walking fanatics in Victorian England have a muder on their hands...and six DAYS of walking left to complete.

Short, sweet, and fun. Almost too many red herrings to be brilliant. But a great, quick, historically interesting, and light mystery read.
Wobble To Death by Peter Lovesey is the first book in his historical mystery series featuring Scotland Yard Sgt Cribb. It is also my first exposure to his writing. It's an interesting premise to say the least.
The story is set in London, 1879 and is centered around a pedestrian race at the Agricultural Hall. From the foreword, these races took place fairly regularly, where groups or walkers would participate in a 6 day race, with the winner being the one who was able to walk the longest distance
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: period-mystery
Sigh, more sports. Well, at least Lovesey provides a couple corpses.
Phew, I never noticed what the women were like in this when I read these decades ago! Mrs. Darrell was one hot number! I suppose it's playing against the Victorian stereotype.
Pedestrian races were apparently very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. The one in this story is a six-day walk/run with a substantial prize for the winner - not to mention all the side-bets. Captain Chadwick is only persuaded to take part if he and
Jul 04, 2009 rated it liked it
I had never heard of a "wobble" until I read this book, but apparently they were all the rage in Victorian England. A wobble was the term for race walking competitions. Most of them took place on open roads and had distances of 50, 100, or 150 miles or more. The wobble featured in this book was held indoors on a track, lasted from Monday to Saturday, and it was anticipated that the winner would walk at least 500 miles. So one of the wobblers was killed by an excessive amount of strychnine that h ...more
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent murder mystery set in Victorian England among a little known walk-run race called a wobble. Short, sweet and interesting. I shall read more Lovesey
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Sports aren't really an interest of mine, though the wobbles sounded interesting as something I hadn't heard about before.

Characters not too well defined either, but as this is the first in a series that may improve later.
Bruce MacBain
Jan 23, 2010 rated it liked it
[This review originally appeared in Historical Novels Review:]

It is a cold November morning in 1879 and a dozen ‘pedestrians’ in silk drawers and white tights gather at the Agricultural Hall in Islington, a structure so vast that it contains its own fog. The occasion is a ‘wobble’—a grueling six-day marathon race. This is the setting of Peter Lovesey’s first Victorian mystery, now reissued.
The competitors are rough working-class types except for Captain Chadwick, ex Guards officer and the favo
Jill Hutchinson
I have read several of this author's books in the Peter Diamond series but this is the first of his Sergeant Cribb that I have run across. (I faintly remember the Cribb character from a couple of programs on A&E's Mystery series).

Sgt. Cribb is a smart fellow who is paired up with PC Thackery to investigate the death of a "pedestrian". But in the days when this story is set (1879 England) a "pedestrian" was a marathon walker who participated in 6 day long events for prize money. These were si
What's a Wobble? Turns out it is a race-walking competition, and was all the rage in Victorian England. It's the first of Peter Lovesey's Sgt. Cribb's detective series. Walkers must walk around a track for six days; the one walking the greatest distance wins! During the course of this race, there are a couple of murders, a cast of characters, and a variety of motives.

Oh, by the way, the winner walks over 500 miles. But I won't tell you who that is.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The perfect bracing tonic of a mystery to read in a world gone mad.

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Around the Year i...: Wobble to Death, by Peter Lovesey 3 14 Sep 16, 2016 07:44PM  
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Peter (Harmer) Lovesey (born 1936 in Whitton, Middlesex) is a British writer of historical and contemporary crime novels and short stories. His best-known series characters are Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London, and Peter Diamond, a modern-day police detective in Bath. Lovesey's novels and stories mainly fall into the category of entertaining puzzlers in the "Golden ...more
More about Peter Lovesey...

Other Books in the Series

Sergeant Cribb (8 books)
  • The Detective Wore Silk Drawers (Sergeant Cribb, #2)
  • Abracadaver (Sergeant Cribb, #3)
  • Mad Hatter's Holiday
  • Invitation To A Dynamite Party (Sergeant Cribb, #5)
  • A Case Of Spirits (Sergeant Cribb, #6)
  • Swing, Swing Together (Sergeant Cribb, #7)
  • Waxwork (Sergeant Cribb, #8)