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Caroline Minuscule (William Dougal, #1)
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Caroline Minuscule (William Dougal #1)

3.07  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A medieval script launches a modern treasure
hunt lightly dusted with black humor...
William Dougal is a postgraduate student of history with expensive tastes and low moral fibre. He is the sort who is as likely to commit murders as to solve them. Thus it is that when he stumbles on the garotted corpse of his detested tutor, he doesn't call the police. Instead, he slips aw
Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 1982)
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Jul 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want a light funny read. If you're looking for a whodunnit though this isn't it.
This is Andrew Taylor's first ever book and it kinda feels like it. I love his writing and this has humour injected - but the plot is a bit wishy washy. I enjoyed it, but it doesn't have the depth or characterisation as The American Boy or The Roth trilogy has. Still a fun read though.

It's not a whodunnit or a whydunnit. It's just a dunnit.
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is another of the books garnered from a dollar-a-bag book sale. In comparison to the others I have so far read, this one is a keeper, and a solid invitation to more books by the same author.

The story begins with a graduate student discovering his dissertation advisor murdered. He sees that no one else is around, and slips out of the building without being noticed, and does not call the police. His inaction develops into intrigue and murder in the pursuit of a fortune in diamonds. The book w
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Fairly decent for a first novel. Ultimately the plot is a little too predictable but an easy read and enjoyable.
As Andrew Taylor has recently won the Diamond Dagger, a sort of Grand Master award in British mystery writing, I thought I ought to sample his work. Caroline Minuscule was his first novel and the start of one of his series, which seem to be each very different from the others. The protagonist in this one is William Dougal, who seems to be a bit of a slacker, if those were around in the early 80s. He's pursuing a degree in some sort of medieval history field, using up a small inheritance. William ...more
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, reread
This turned out to be a sort of stealth reread, since before I got to the second chapter I had a sudden vision of exactly how it ended, without any particular memory of what happened in between. Not so very much, as it turned out--the only mystery-solving takes place in a single and complete flash of insight that happens outside of Dougal's POV and is resolved before he even knows about it. It isn't often that I find myself comparing books disfavorably to The Da Vinci Code in any respect.

The rea
Kirsty Darbyshire
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it

My expectations were that this would be a pretty traditional mystery. As usual I'm not quite sure where the expectations come from though probably from the fact that the later Taylor's I've read have had traditional mystery elements at their hearts even if that wasn't usually all they were. I got thrown by the story veering off the path of a regular mystery and becoming a book in which the protagonist, history postgrad William Dougal, is more of a committer of crimes than a solver of them. Havin

Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I liked the main character (and narrator) of this book more and more as the book progressed and we found out more about him. Basically, he's lazy and self-centred. Even the author admits that he (the main character that is!) is of low moral fibre. So when our "hero" finds his university tutor's dead body, naturally he slopes off instead of informing the proper authorities. That's where the plot starts, because due to this decision our hero and his girlfriend get drawn into a situation where they ...more
Tammy Wooding
Aug 05, 2016 marked it as books-i-have

The first book in Andrew Taylor's acclaimed William Dougal crime series - from the Richard & Judy bestselling author of The American Boy.
William Dougal, a post-graduate expert in the medieval script of Caroline Minuscule, stumbles on the garroted corpse of his tutor - and finds himself embroiled in a hunt for a cache of diamonds, a deadly fairy story in which no one obeys the rules, least of all Dougal's girlfriend Amanda. As the body count rises, the couple pursue both the diamonds and the

May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Won the Crime Writers Association of England's best first crime novel for 1982. Has a foot in the golden age thriller genre with an academic drawn into a scheme. Reminded me of Eric Ambler or Anthony Price but with the doubtful morality of Jonathan Gash. An engaging read with an unexpected twist at the end. A credit to the genre. I first read it 30 years ago and happily had forgotten enough to be entertained and surprised second time around.
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
No, Caroline Miniscule isn't the name of the main character, it's a medieval handwriting used in a medieval document that comes into graduate student William Dougal's possession in the first part of the mystery. The second part is devoted to unraveling the mystery surrounding the fragment, trying to figure out who are the good guys and the bad guys, and finding (and keeping) the treasure at the end. A fun literary mystery.
Paul Patterson
Nov 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Very plodding and poor plot development. His later works are much better.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
started well but drifted into predictability
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have listened to two different audiobooks of this and enjoyed both.
Feb 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
This was the author's first book and it shows. It's amazing to compare this with his later Lydmouth series or Bleeding Heart Square. He's come a long way since writing this poorly plotted piece.
Les Wilson
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
As a first book this is first class. Andrew Taylor is certainly a one of my favourite modern crime writers.
Andrea Susan
Sticky start but built nicely towards the end now just need to read more about William Dougal in the next books.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

Never got into it. Real letdown after Bleeding Heart Square.....
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Darrol Pierson
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Patsy Gruter
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Jul 31, 2007
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Dec 21, 2015
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Jul 27, 2011
C Melhuish
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Andrew Taylor (b. 1951) is a British author of mysteries. Born in East Anglia, he attended university at Cambridge before getting an MA in library sciences from University College London. His first novel, Caroline Miniscule (1982), a modern-day treasure hunt starring history student William Dougal, began an eight-book series and won Taylor wide critical acclaim. He has written several other thrill ...more
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Other Books in the Series

William Dougal (8 books)
  • Waiting for the End of the World (William Dougal, #2)
  • An Old School Tie (William Dougal, #4)
  • Our Fathers' Lies (William Dougal, #3)
  • Freelance Death (William Dougal, #5)
  • Blood Relation (William Dougal, #6)
  • The Sleeping Policeman (William Dougal, #7)
  • Odd Man Out (William Dougal, #8)

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