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Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley) Paperback – May 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Lynley
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553384813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553384819
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Thomas Lynley (the earl turned policeman) and Sergeant Havers focus their prodigious talents on uncovering the murderer of a young boy from an exclusive independent school near London. While author George necessarily centers the plot on solving the case, she adroitly plumbs the emotional and psychological depths of fully fleshed characters coping with various forms of personal stress in addition to the murder. As in her previous work ( A Great Deliverance ; Payment in Blood , LJ 7/1/89), George offers refined, feeling prose, an abiding sense of humanity, and a pervasive undercurrent of mystery. A necessary purchase, exceedingly fair and full of grace. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"George is a master...an outstanding practitioner of the modern English mystery."—Chicago Tribune

"A spectacular new voice in mystery writing."—Los Angeles Times

"A compelling whodunit...a reader's delight."—Daily News, New York

"Like P.D. James, George knows the import of the smallest human gesture; Well-Schooled in Murder puts the younger author clearly in the running with the genre master."—People

"Ms. George may wind up creating one of the most popular and entertaining series in mystery fiction today."—The Sun, Baltimore

Customer Reviews

The characters are multi dimensional and very likeable.
An Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers mystery written by Elizabeth George.
Glennys G. Uiagalelei
As to the plot , it is well structured and the build-up is good.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this, the third installment of the Lynley-Havers series, George expands upon her literary approach and succeeds resoundingly. Set at a typical British public school, Well-Schooled in Murder deals primarily with class and the subtle, but sometimes brutal, means by which class distinctions and pecking-orders are maintained. Disappointing however was the de-emphasis upon Havers, except for some interesting insights into her private life. I felt that this book more than either of the previous could have provided Havers with an opportunity to indict the British class system, but she merely slaps it on the hand with a few salty remarks. Regarding the mystery itself, George's skill at plot development increases with each outing in this series. Fans of Simon and Deborah will be pleased to learn that their lives and histories are explored much more fully than before and that these characters have evolved to become as important (if not more) than Havers. While pleased with the ever-improving excellence that George applies toward character and plot development, I hope that she returns to the original theme which made the first novel, A Great Deliverance, shine -- the conflict/cooperation between Lynley and Havers as representative of the evolution of Britain from an aristocracy to a meritocracy.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Well-Schooled in Murder" is an entertaining and well-written mystery by Elizabeth George. Detective Inspector Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers investigate the brutal torture and murder of a young British boarding school student named Matthew Whately. As in so many police procedurals by such skilled authors such as Ruth Rendell, George explores the hypocrisy and brutality that underlie the British veneer of politeness. With believable dialogue and careful plotting, George explores such social problems as class snobbery, abuse by older students against younger students, and the friction between parents and children. George also gives glimpses into the private lives and psyches of Havers, Lynley, Simon St. James, and his wife, Deborah, all of whom are trying to cope with serious personal problems. With compassion and insight, George's novel reveals that when people are grossly dishonest with themselves and others, they may destroy not only their relationships but one another's lives, as well. I recommend "Well-Schooled in Murder" for fans of thought-provoking British murder mysteries.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 31, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well-Schooled in Murder is a fascinating and critical look at social class, the traditions of English public schools and the problems with having a "stiff upper lip." What is more remarkable is that those themes are developed in the context of an unusually complex and rewarding murder mystery. This book barely misses becoming a classic in detective fiction and will greatly reward fans of Elizabeth George's series about Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers and those who do not know the novels.

This is the third book in the series. You can read this book as a stand-alone, but it will work better for you if you first read A Great Deliverance and Payment in Blood.

As the story opens, Lynley is still reeling from having destroyed his relationship with Lady Helen. She's gone off to Greece and sends him occasional noncommittal post cards. Lynley is burying himself in his work. That's making life hard on Barbara Havers whose parents are not doing well.

John Corntel, an old school chum from Eton, approaches Lynley for unofficial assistance in locating a missing student who was under the chum's care. The situation soon changes when the student is found in an unlikely place dead, nude and having been tortured. Lynley takes on the case to avoid having free time to mourn his lost love. A delayed autopsy means that Lynley has to develop a sense of means, motive and opportunity without knowing the facts. The various "suspects" and "witnesses" do their best to mislead him, adhering to a code of silence that protects their most delicate secrets as well.

As the case evolves, it's not a pretty picture that is revealed behind the "privileged" walls of Bredgar Chambers.

There's little to complain about with this book and much to praise.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Carol on May 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read six of George's Lynley series (A Great Deliverance, Payment in Blood, Well-Schooled in Murder, Deception on His Mind, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, and A Traitor to Memory) and am beginning to wonder if George deliberately writes Lynley as a bad detective. Sure, the murders get solved, but mostly through luck or a timely (if unlikely) confession. And Lynley seldoms follows police procedure, or even common sense. In one book he has Helen Clyde question/comfort a murder suspect. I hardly think she is qualified to do so, and anything she would learn would, very likely, not be admissable in court. In another book, he absolutely refuses to listen to Haver's evidence, simply because he dislikes the idea that she wasn't fired from the force. In another he disregards evidence that would solve the mystery in the hopes of pinning it on someone with whom Helen is having an affair, thereby letting jealously dictate how he conducts an investigation he should have removed himself from (conflict of interest, anyone?). It just seems as though George writes Lynley as an unlikable, sexist dolt. Pity Havers couldn't be the main character in ALL George's books, since she seems to be the brains of this crime-fighting duo.
In this novel, the murder is again solved (and committed) through luck. In this case, a lucky, if completely illogical, suicide. The killer himself seems unnaturally lucky to have been able to drag a bound child through the school and its grounds and then drag his dead body back through the school campus without being noticed once. Apparently there is no night watchman or janitor at this "prestigious" boarding school.
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More About the Author

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels of psychological suspense, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, the Grand Prix de LittÉrature PoliciÈre, and the MIMI, Germany's prestigious prize for suspense fiction. She lives in Washington State.

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Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley)
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