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I hope I do not insult a crime writer who, in her time, headed the Crime Writers’ Guild, if I say that it was not quite up to our usual standard but that nonetheless those who read it found the book enjoyable light reading with a credible-enough plot and a felicitous turn of phrase. It featured Patrick Grant, an amiable but knowing Oxford professor-turned-amateur-sleuth. Set in the English countryside of the pacific 1960s we thought it made a welcome change from the tormented genre of more recent times, as well as influencing other crime writers to adopt the now familiar “Oxford” connection. We were encouraged by the fact that for those whose mother tongue is not English, the book is easily read and from a cultural standpoint insightful.

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