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Payment In Blood (Inspector Lynley, #2)
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Payment In Blood

(Inspector Lynley #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  16,690 ratings  ·  630 reviews
The career of playwright Joy Sinclair comes to an abrupt end on an isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands when someone drives and eighteen-inch dirk through her neck. Called upon to investigate the case in a country where they have virtually no authority, aristocratic Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, grapple for both ...more
Kindle Edition, 436 pages
Published (first published August 1989)
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C. Websites need to add "STANDARD ADULT MYSTERY". It is the middle category, from which "cozy mysteries" off-shoot in a light direction and "suspense /…moreWebsites need to add "STANDARD ADULT MYSTERY". It is the middle category, from which "cozy mysteries" off-shoot in a light direction and "suspense / thriller" off-shoot in a horror direction. The gauge to use is: "Too good to be cozy" (not single-thread fluff).

If the tone has suspense, if the subject is serious, if the plotting or writing are layered, or yield profound messages: it is STANDARD ADULT MYSTERY. Anything gory or violent, would identify with the third category: suspense / thriller. The middle ground covers a lot that is mislabled.

Elizabeth George, Louise Penny (I don't care how cute "Three Pines" is), Victoria Thompson, Lyn Hamilton, Anne Perry, Gail Bowen, David Handler, Howard Engel, Eric Wright.... are STANDARD ADULT MYSTERY.(less)
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4.01  · 
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 ·  16,690 ratings  ·  630 reviews

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Bionic Jean
This is one of a series of novels about Elizabeth George's creation Inspector Lynley and his sidekick Sergeant Havers. These two characters are a chalk-and-cheese coupling. The aristocrat Thomas Lynley is steeped in tradition but fighting his destiny, wanting more meaning to his life. The council-house bred Barbara Havers is an ambivalent character, saddled with an antipathy to all that Lynley stands for combined with a chip on her shoulder. Add to the mix a doomed romantic liaison and you have ...more
Lewis Weinstein
UPDATE 2/13/18 ... marvelous even on re-reading ... the murders were complicated and the tension maintained throughout ... but the essence of the story is the way those murders impact EG's continuing characters, and the relationships between those characters ... Barbara Havers (my favorite) plays a major role in this one.


I read this at least a decade ago, and am re-reading it now to take another look at the outstanding way EG, one of my favorite authors, frames a story. This comes as I am edi
My first audiobook of the year, and immensely enjoyed it.
I have read this book earlier, a decade or so ago, but jumbled up in the series, and last year decided to read this police procedural series in order, as the emotional lives of the police and their near and dear ones are given as much importance as the crime and its solution. This book deals with a closed room murder of a much hated playwriter in a stately mansion turned hotel on a snowy winter night. The house is inhabited by the people i
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*This book works for 3/4 of my blog's challenge themes! "Celtic Coasts", "My Kind Of Mystery", and "Gentle Spectrums" in my 'Continents' category. :) *

“A Great Deliverance” started slowly because we could not tell who the protagonists were. They had to sort their partnership out and liking Barbara was not instant. Thomas squirmed over Deborah’s marriage to Simon. There was a lot to navigate and the crimes were abhorrent. However, there came such an ecstatic reunion for a Mother, that this scene
Richard Derus
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.875* of five

The Book Report: Inspectory Thomas Lynley, aka the eighth Earl of Asherton, is a hard-working man, but even he likes a few days' rest after chasing from pillar to post in solving brutal crimes. His rest is denied him by a call from his boss, at home, on a Sunday: A murder has occurred, in Scotland, and *only* Lynley can be trusted to investigate because it involves a famous Peer of the Realm.


Yeah, uh-oh and in spades, as Lynley tromps ill-temperedly up to Scotland whe
Tom Swift
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A final older detective series. I plan on continuing to buy these at HPB when I see one.
Good Lord, could a story be any more confusing?

• Do all of the characters have to be having affairs with each other (either in this book, or as part of their back stories)?
• Do in-laws really have sex with each other as much as they do in this novel?
• Do most of these characters have to have 3 or 4 names? I wish the author could have decided whether or not to use their first name, surname, peerage title, or professional title… and then STUCK WITH THAT!

If you can keep all these characters strai
I'm reading the Inspector Lynley novels out of order - having been deterred from reading them for years by the rather mediocre TV series, I was hugely impressed when I eventually got round to reading some of the more recent books in the series. I'm now catching up with the earlier novels.

This one was certainly compelling enough - lots of intriguing subplots, twists and red herrings - but the faults of the series were amplified and I felt the book lacked the originality which lifts the later book
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really don't have much to say except this one was so ridiculously good! I loved everything about the case that Lynley and Havers are called into look at. First, because it actually showed that Lynley had flaws. Two, because it showed Lynley that he was blind to something that was in his face for a long time. Third, because in the end the cases that Lynley and Havers got set on were not connected the way that they and even I as a reader understood at first. This book reminded me of the best of ...more
Eve Kay
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
I like it! It cuts to the chase without too much nonsense, the introduction of all the characters is brisk, to the point.
Also, there was none of that annoying fascination with the scenery like there was in the first one where it read like the author had visited UK for the first time and was overly excited about it.
Payment in Blood went on to the investigation of the murder pretty quickly in comparison to other books of similar nature which was excellent. Usually there's alot of that setting the
3.5 stars.

A decent-enough murder mystery that had a couple of twists and turns and kept me guessing until the end. I did feel like the middle of the novel dragged out a little too much though. Plus while I liked the character Simon/St. James better in this one than I did when he was first introduced in A Great Deliverance, I still find that I don't really care about side characters like Deborah or Lady Helen. Maybe I'm being overly picky, but I'd probably prefer the novel to just focus on the wo
Payment in Blood by Elizabeth George (Inspector Lynley, #2)

A band of theatrical performers including a producer as well as an actress hoping to make her comeback in this play written by the successful playwright, Joy Sinclair. the play itself had already been decided upon but that's where the agreement among the cast ends. Joy Sinclair announces at their meeting that a new play has been completed and it is to replace the former play. The newer version is passed to the players(?) and chaos erupts
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
This is just my second book by Elizabeth George and I am quite impressed. I was unaware of the BBC series about Inspector Lynley but I was aware of the high average rating (4.0) with more than 10,000 entries.

This is a very high-quality entry into the genre of British police procedural murder mysteries. The setup is classic: a locked room mystery of how is an unpleasant author and playwright murdered while attending a weekend dinner party at a remote location in Scotland. Inspector Lynley and his
This is a generous 2.5 for me, out of five. This author was recommended since I love English based mysteries. I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. This book had way to many useless characters, who changed their names, going from titles, to pet names, and last names, then first. The idea of a playwright changing her play to tell juicy bits about all those at a country house, was fine, but my heavens did anyone stay in their own beds.? It seems their is no loyalty in friends, or in families, or even b ...more
I'm not a huge fan of Elizabeth George, but I always finish every book of hers that I pick up. This one was actually one of her bests. The reviews on the back keep comparing George to P. D. James and though I think such a comparison is ludicrous, this Lynley mystery does read like a watered down James novel. The setting and set-up were classic, and the pace moved right along and kept my interest. The problem with this book, as with all George's book in my opinion, is her tendency to descend into ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were LOTS of characters in this one and it took me a LONG time for the plot to grab me.

I will still continue on with the series and am hopeful that the next one will be a better read for me.
Elizabeth Theiss
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
As always, Elizabeth George has kept me in the dark about the perpetrator of a series of murders and a brutal beating until the last possible moment, and that’s a good thing. The strength of her police procedurals are wicked good plots that gallop along, throwing off suspects willy nilly. It took me about half the book to get the characters straight. The memorable Inspector Lynley, peer of the British realm, investigates the brutal murder of a playwright in a manor house where she was revealing ...more
Melissa Joulwan
This is the second (third?) time I've read this book, and I think it's my favorite Elizabeth George. I'm really surprised that this was her second novel—it so captures what I think of as her style of storytelling. It's brutal and bleak, while also being a really fun time. It's a mashup of a locked room and location-specific mystery novel, populated with George's core characters—Lynley, Havers, St. James and Deborah, Lady Helen—and a deliciously spooky setting in a soon-to-be country hotel. There ...more
Ken Schloman
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is and entertaining but complicated blend of British police procedural with a traditional British "cozy" mystery setting. Multiple suspects in a country mansion setting. What makes the novel intriguing are the relationships between the characters, particularly between Inspector Lynley and Sargent Havers. and between Lynley and Lady Helen. This will keep the reader guessing till the end. This is not a quick read but one that should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
Lady Delacour
Elizabeth George's writing style and
my taste seem to have made a happy alliance.
Looking forward to more books in this series.
Narrator Davina Porter never disappoints.
Not Clean but not overly detailed.
Some Foul Language.
Azita Rassi
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn’t as good as the first book in the series, but it was still a solid crime novel. I’ll reserve my judgment until after I’ve finished the third book. Then I’ll decide whether I want to continue reading the series or not.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
2nd in the Lynley series, which I enjoyed more than the 1st. I warmed a bit more to the characters and their characters!
Tory Wagner
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, mystery, police
I am trying to reread this series to read it in sequence. Starting from the beginning helps me make sense of some of the action that takes place in subsequent volumes. In Payment in Blood, Lynley and Havers must discover a killer among a group of theatre professionals whose relationships are tangled. I may have read this previously since I honed in on the culprit pretty quickly. Non the less, it is a mystery filled with interesting characters and swift action. This is a series I hardily recommen ...more
Larry Bassett
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, mystery
You will have to read my words in the review of the first book in the series to get my overall enthusiasm for this author. This is a 1989 work of art. It seems right to me to call this book elegant. I like this author very much. This is a pretty old series these days. The setting is mostly an English estate house and the whole book has a bit of an old-time feeling to it. And English nobility plays a bit of a role in the book.

As mysteries go this one ranked pretty well. It is in the old style of
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
“[Murder] contaminates and pollutes, and no life it touches, no matter how tangentially, can ever be the same.”

Murder on the Orient Express investigated by Lord Peter Wimsey, with an old Scottish manor house playing the part of the train. As with all these cut-off-from-the-world murder mysteries, solving the crime involves untangling the relationships among the characters. That the investigators form early and conflicting opinions of who-dun-it increases the complexity.

“Silence is as useful a to
Kathy Davie
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Third, chronologically, and second publication-wise, the Inspector Lynley detective mystery revolves around the aristocratic Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, of Scotland Yard.

My Take
Payment in Blood involves murders, cover-ups, and suicide amongst a group of theatrical people.

The story starts at a country house in Scotland in the middle of winter where the group has planned an initial run-through of a new play, although it proves to be a much
I have recently read out of order a later book in this series and enjoyed it so I decided to read some of the earlier books. Payment in Blood is the second in the series. I enjoyed seeing the development in Lynley and his sidekick/partner Havers. This was a classic isolated country manor mystery, with Lynley being called in due to political reasons that are explored and exposed in the book. The references to Christine Keeler and John Profumo were interesting and added to setting by connecting to ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not really impressed by this series, if this book is representative. The title character is veeeery aristocratic, and sensitive, and aesthetically refined, to a degree which makes Lord Peter look like a commoner; unfortunately, there is none of the witty amusing dialogue, so the whole story is rather humorless. Much ink is spilled portraying the way the inspector is torn between his upper class code and his code as an officer of the law, much Like in P. D. James series where the inspector is tor ...more
Lora King
A very good #2 book in the series. Two murders in Scotland, a suicide/murder in a small town outside London and secret espionage in the upper classes from 1962! Lots going on and all tied together. Inspector Lynley and Detective Havers are on the case. I love Havers and how she interacts with Lynley, love Simon St James and his wife, but Lady Helen I could do without. I was not a fan of hers at all in this book. Hopefully she will redeem herself in the next. I'm definitely hooked on this series ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Payment in Blood, the second installment in the Inspector Lynley series, was a bit of the good, the bad, and the somewhat ugly for me. For anyone new to the series, I would highly recommend that you read the first book prior to this one or you will miss out on a significantly large part of what makes the book really good!

The Good:
The emphasis on personal relationships between the main characters is what ultimately makes this book so incredible. When a murder occurs and one of the suspects happen
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong author 5 37 Sep 07, 2014 10:35PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add new book to series 3 17 Sep 08, 2013 09:50AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Elizabeth George is an American author of mystery novels set in Great Britain. Eleven of her novels, featuring her character Inspector Lynley, have been adapted for television by the BBC as The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

She was born in Warren, Ohio, but moved to the S

Other books in the series

Inspector Lynley (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1)
  • Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley, #3)
  • A Suitable Vengeance (Inspector Lynley, #4)
  • For the Sake of Elena (Inspector Lynley, #5)
  • Missing Joseph (Inspector Lynley, #6)
  • Playing for the Ashes (Inspector Lynley, #7)
  • In the Presence of the Enemy (Inspector Lynley, #8)
  • Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)
  • In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley, #10)
  • A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)
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