A murder mystery in the finest tradition of English detective novels, John le Carre's A Murder of Quality is an ingenious puzzle featuring his best-loved character George Smiley.
Stella Rode has twice disturbed the ancient cloisters of Carne School: firstly by being the wrong sort, with her doilies and china ducks, and secondly by being murdered. George Smiley, who has his own connection with the school, is asked by an old Service friend to investigate. Smiley knows that Stella feared her husband would murder her, but as he probes further beneath Carne's respectable veneer, he uncovers far more than a simple crime of passion. In his second George Smiley novel, le Carre moves outside the world of espionage to reveal the secrets at the heart of another particularly English institution. The result is a pitch-perfect murder mystery, with Smiley as master detective.
If you enjoyed A Murder of Quality, you might like le Carre's Call for the Dead, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'Beautifully intelligent, satiric and witty'
John le Carre was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. His recent novels include A Most Wanted Man, Our Kind of Traitor and A Delicate Truth.