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Wycliffe and the Dunes Mystery (Wycliffe #19)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  98 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews

Cochran Wilder disappeared 15 years ago while on a walking holiday in Cornwall. Recently released from a psychiatric hospital after being convicted of indecent assault, he had been a serious embarrassment to his father, a prominent MP. Now his body has been found buried in the dunes and it is clear that he was murdered. Detective Superintendent Wycliffe suspects the involv
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 28th 1994 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1993)
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Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 1977 and a lone stranger walking the coast path stumbles into a beach chalet amid the sand dunes in St Ives Bay asking for a glass of water. Six school friends are using the chalet for the weekend and, against their better judgement, they offer him a meal before he moves on. However, once the meal is over it is dark and they very generously offer him the sofa on which to spend the night. He takes up the offer.

Fifteen years later a dog walker comes across the partially buried body of a naked
Rupert Matthews
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The third wycliffe that I have read. A good little detective story with loads of local colour, good characters and an interesting plot.
Alison C
The body of a young man missing for 15 years is uncovered in local dunes by unusually strong winds; it doesn’t take Wycliffe long to find out that half a dozen teenagers were having a sleepover at a nearby cottage at the time of the disappearance, but 15 years on, those teens are now pillars of society to one degree or another. And none of them is anxious to stir up old memories…. As with all the books in this series (this is the 19th), "Wycliffe and the Dunes Mystery" centers on Wycliffe’s char ...more
Jules Jones
Sep 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Fifteen years ago, the son of a prominent MP disappeared whilst on a coastal walking holiday after his release from a psychiatric hospital. The police had assumed suicide. Now his body has been found buried in the sand dunes, and it's clear his father was right all along -- the young man had been murdered.[return][return]A flashback prologue makes it clear to the reader from the start that a group of six teenagers having an illicit weekend were the last people to see Cochrane Wilder alive. The f ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was familiar with the Wycliffe television series and picked this novel up from a second hand book stall a few years back but have never read it. The title is #19 in the Wycliffe series which eventually had 22 titles, none of which I have read.

Wycliffe, now a Detective Chief Superintendent, is approaching the end of his career, and is finding that it takes a lot to get him enthusiastic. He rarely gets to participate hands on in an investigation but there is something about this case that he fin
Lee Broderick
Like many other Wycliffe novels this one hinges on events that happened in the distant past. Unlike many others this one does not focus on familial or community tensions, eschewing the tension of that set-up for an altogether different kind of psychodrama. The book opens with the discovery of a body in the Gwithian towans and we get to see the fallout of that discovery as it awakens old wounds in a group of shool-day friends who are, for the most part, no longer on speaking terms.

That discovery
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid, enjoyable, old-fashioned murder mystery set on the Cornish coast. Although it was published in the early '90s, it has the feel of an earlier era. Burley was pretty prolific and there was a TV series based on this series in the mid-'90s, but I don't think he is much read anymore; I picked this up at a library book sale and will be keeping my eyes open for more.
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
After this book, there are only two more in this series that I haven't read yet. I liked this one. Most of the later ones, where Wycliffe is based on the coast have been much better than some of the earlier ones. This is good, standard Wycliffe though the author spends a bit less time on Wycliffe's roundabout way to the puzzle solution and more time on the characters in this one.
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is a fairly standard who-dunnit - except we broadly know who did it from the beginning. Therefore, there isn't much mystery or tension developed. I would rate this fairly low amongst all the English crime writing I've read.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, fiction, cornwall
Another Wycliffe mystery that has its roots in the past. Set in Hayle and St Ives this story has a rather contrived ending but is full of charm and local colour. As previously mentioned Charlie Wycliffe is not the most interesting of detectives.
May 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Better than I remembered, don't know why I disliked it so much the first time, it's very much like most of the other Wycliffe's, and of course I like them!
Nov 08, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 for this Wycliffe ... This is my detective sorbet and I'll be sorry to reach the end of the series. There is something very settling about these books, yet too dry to be beloved 'cosies'
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-mystery
i have enjoyed the tv series on mystery, then someone told me about the books. this is the first i have tried and i like the series. am going to look for another now.
E A M Harris
Apr 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Not the best mystery I've read but enough of a page turner to be entertaining. The descriptions of the various places made them sound interesting.
Stephen Harvey
Nov 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: detective
Read while on a 13 hour flight. It was alright but but I will only buy anther Wycliffe book second hand.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one. It doesn't really follow the traditional format as you know who did the murder from the outset, but it does take Wycliffe a while to prove it.
Jessie Lansdel
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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
More about W.J. Burley

Other books in the series

Wycliffe (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Wycliffe and the Three Toed Pussy
  • 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