John le Carré


A Murder of Quality

(George Smiley investigates)




Le Carré chooses a context he worked in for years (British Public School) to solve a murder. The formula of a mildly quirky detective has become such a popular one – how many TV shows work this way? – and if you’re after another workable episode, sure.


I was more giving it a go having only read one other of his books: his poignant, dark and striking The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. George Smiley is a different bird entirely – not trying to soar or kick, just to entertain. Somehow I didn’t find Smiley as engaging as I suspect I was supposed to, so I could take or leave it.


August 2005