Monday, August 20, 2012

{review} caroline minuscule

Andrew Taylor Caroline Minuscule (1982)

    
Dougal wriggled uncomfortably in the passenger seat. He was wearing a new tweed suit, chosen by Amanda, and had had his hair cut. Amanda had insisted that they look respectable. Dougal found that respectability made him itch.
Loved this! I added this to my TBR after reading Jenny's thoughts on it at shelf love. I was not disappointed and have already got the second one in the series lined up to go. 

William Dougal is an impoverished post-graduate student in London studying, in a very desultory fashion, 'The influence of the Carolingian court on the transmission of pagan Latin literary texts in the early Middle Ages' ("so many people asked this question, and most of them changed the subject when they heard the answer").

He discovers his palaeography supervisor's garrotted corpse and, with only a photograph of a Medieval manuscript to go on, gets hopelessly entangled in a mysterious hunt for a hidden fortune. For William, we find, has a bit of a taste for puzzles, the nice things that money can buy, and… murder. The development of William's amoral side is so well done ("Why was killing so easy?"), but I'd better not give away any more. 

The other characters are nicely drawn: William's girlfriend Amanda is a wonderful piece of work, as is William's hapless fellow graduate Philip Primrose:
The ancient universities drew [Primrose] like a moth to a pair of candles; he was already singed for life. The only remaining question was which one would have the privilege of roasting him for posterity.
If you liked this... Quirky, witty and wonderful. I was reminded a little of another even more amoral hero (William is only a beginner here), Tarquin Winot in John Lanchester's The Debt to Pleasure {REVIEW}.

 

2 comments:

  1. I'm so pleased you enjoyed this! I have read the second in the series but am waiting on my library to fetch me more of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny: my university's library is surprisingly well stocked with Andrew Taylor books, so I see many happy hours ahead.

      Delete

{READ IN 2018}

  • FEBRUARY
  • 30.
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  • 28.
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  • 26. The Grave's a Fine & Private Place - Alan Bradley
  • 25. This is What Happened - Mick Herron
  • 24. London Rules - Mick Herron
  • 23. The Third Eye - Ethel Lina White
  • 22. Thrice the Brindled Cat Hath Mewed - Alan Bradley
  • 21. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust - Alan Bradley
  • 20. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches - Alan Bradley
  • 19. Speaking from Among the Bones - Alan Bradley
  • JANUARY
  • 18. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
  • 17. Miss Ranskill Comes Home - Barbara Euphan Todd
  • 16. The Long Arm of the Law - Martin Edwards (ed.)
  • 15. Nobody Walks - Mick Herron
  • 14. The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith
  • 13. Portrait of a Murderer - Anthony Gilbert
  • 12. Murder is a Waiting Game - Anthony Gilbert
  • 11. Tenant for the Tomb - Anthony Gilbert
  • 10. Death Wears a Mask - Anthony Gilbert
  • 9. Night Encounter - Anthony Gilbert
  • 8. The Visitor - Anthony Gilbert
  • 7. The Looking Glass Murder - Anthony Gilbert
  • 6. The Voice - Anthony Gilbert
  • 5. The Fingerprint - Anthony Gilbert
  • 4. Ring for a Noose - Anthony Gilbert
  • 3. No Dust in the Attic - Anthony Gilbert
  • 2. Uncertain Death - Anthony Gilbert
  • 1. She Shall Died - Anthony Gilbert

{READ IN 2017}

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  • 134. Third Crime Lucky - Anthony Gilbert
  • 133. Death Takes a Wife - Anthony Gilbert
  • 132. Death Against the Clock - Anthony Gilbert
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  • 130. Riddle of a Lady - Anthony Gilbert
  • 129. And Death Came Too - Anthony Gilbert
  • 128. Snake in the Grass - Anthony Gilbert
  • 127. Footsteps Behind Me - Anthony Gilbert
  • 126. Miss Pinnegar Disappears - Anthony Gilbert
  • 125. Lady-Killer - Anthony Gilbert
  • 124. A Nice Cup of Tea - Anthony Gilbert
  • 123. Die in the Dark - Anthony Gilbert
  • 122. Death in the Wrong Room - Anthony Gilbert
  • 121. The Spinster's Secret - Anthony Gilbert
  • 120. Lift up the Lid - Anthony Gilbert
  • 119. Don't Open the Door - Anthony Gilbert
  • 118. The Black Stage - Anthony Gilbert
  • 117. A Spy for Mr Crook - Anthony Gilbert
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  • 106. The Bell of Death - Anthony Gilbert
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  • 98. Cargo of Eagles - Margery Allingham & Philip Youngman Carter
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  • 95. Hide My Eyes - Margery Allingham
  • 94. The Beckoning Lady - Margery Allingham
  • 93. The Tiger in the Smoke - Margery Allingham
  • 92. More Work for the Undertaker - Margery Allingham
  • 91. Coroner's Pidgin - Margery Allingham
  • 90. Traitor's Purse - Margery Allingham
  • 89. The Fashion in Shrouds - Margery Allingham
  • 88. The Case of the Late Pig - Margery Allingham
  • 87. Dancers in Mourning - Margery Allingham
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  • 86. Flowers for the Judge - Margery Allingham
  • 85. Death of a Ghost - Margery Allingham
  • 84. Sweet Danger - Margery Allingham
  • 83. Police at the Funeral - Margery Allingham
  • 82. Look to the Lady - Margery Allingham
  • 81. Mystery Mile - Margery Allingham
  • 80. The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham
  • 79. The White Cottage Mystery - Margery Allingham
  • 78. Murder Underground - Mavis Doriel Hay
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  • 74. Zero Day - David Baldacci
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  • 73. Pilgrim's Rest - Patricia Wentworth
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  • 68. Through the Wall - Patricia Wentworth
  • 67. Out of the Past - Patricia Wentworth
  • 66. Mistress - Amanda Quick
  • 65. The Black Widow - Daniel Silva
  • 64. The Narrow - Michael Connelly
  • 63. The Poet - Michael Connelly
  • 62. The Visitor - Lee Child
  • 61. No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories - Lee Child
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  • 60. The Queen's Accomplice - Susan Elia MacNeal
  • 59. Mrs Roosevelt's Confidante - Susan Elia MacNeal
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  • 56. Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal
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  • 54. A Lesson in Secrets - Jacqueline Winspear
  • 53. Hit & Run - Lawrence Block
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  • 22. The Ministry of Fear - Graham Greene
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