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MISSING JOSEPH by Elizabeth George
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MISSING JOSEPH (original 1993; edition 1993)

by Elizabeth George

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1,626154,455 (3.79)29
Member:cindysprocket
Title:MISSING JOSEPH
Authors:Elizabeth George
Info:New York: Bantam Books (1993), Hardcover
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:
Tags:Mystery

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Missing Joseph by Elizabeth George (1993)

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English (14)  Dutch (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Elizabeth George is one of the premier “English-mystery” writers. As it happens, she lives and writes in California, but she apparently studied in England and does locale-specific research before each new novel. She’s very good at capturing the local dialect and geographic description, but, my goodness, I suspect she must have a peculiar love life because the characters of the two novels I’ve read have such bizarre, intertwined lives.

Her main character is Inspector Thomas Lynley, a certifiable Earl, who is in love with Lady Helen, who at one time had an affair with Lynley’s best friend and colleague, forensic pathologist Simon St. James, who is married to Deborah, who had an earlier affair with Lynley and lost his baby. Deborah is quite a few years younger than St. James and was apparently his ward — it’s not completely spelled out in this one, but my wife, who is a great fan of George assures me that reading them in order will straighten things out. Whew!

Lynley’s acerbic partner is Sergeant Barbara Havers. I think I like her character the best because she is so good at putting Lynley in his place. Anyway, in this novel, the local vicar, Mr. Sage, has been killed by accidentally ingesting water hemlock (a nasty, poisonous plant) inadvertently provided to him for dinner by Mrs. Juliet Spence, who is in love with the local constable, Colin Shepherd.

Shepherd’s investigation clears Mrs. Spence, whose daughter Maggie is sleeping with Nick, who wants to be a vet. In the meantime, Polly, daughter of the local 20 stone (English measure of weight) witch, is in love with Colin (who later rapes her), but she in turn is being lusted after by Brendon, who was forced to marry—after he got her pregnant— Rebecca, whom he utterly loathes but was reluctant to retreat from because he is a lawyer in the firm owned by her father. Whew, again!

In any case, Lynley becomes involved because St. James and Deborah have gone on holiday to this little town, and St. James realizes that something is fishy about the death of the vicar. The inquest and coroner had ruled the death an accident, following a rather clumsy investigation by Colin who, as I mentioned, is having an affair with the lady who administered the poisonous herbs mistakenly thinking they were parsnips. Apparently, New Scotland Yard CID inspectors can run around investigating closed cases in other jurisdictions willy-nilly.

Actually, this is a riveting novel with very interesting characters, but I do worry about Ms. George’s love life. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
The allege plot of the mystery itself was OK but the book as a whole was the worst I've red of this series. I'm beginning to see a pattern in this series. This book is listed as a mystery but it is more a sex novel than anything else. The Kindle version I read was 566 pages in length but if one was to remove the sex it be maybe 300.

The only character that I'm really enjoying thus far is Barbara Havers which I say George does a find job of developing but she maybe has 25 pages in "Missing Joseph"

Debra and Simon St. James see to be stuck in a marriage crises as they seem to be discovering each others emotional wiring despite they've know each other since childhood and lived in the same household. You think they know each other more then they do.

Tommy and the ever pouty Lady Helen are worse when it comes to their relationship.


George must of had very little to write about the mystery itself so she filled the pages with a bunch of 'enough already' sexual fantasies which i I imagine are hers. Who knows? I do know I'm taking a break from her Lynley series. Hopefully will read some reviews that she is giving more focus to the mystery and the character Havers .


( )
1 vote ScottKalas | Jun 10, 2013 |
What excelled here, as usual, was the characterization. The rape scene was devastating. This book also raised interesting questions about motherhood as well as teenage sexuality and autonomy.

The mystery was not that compelling, and the writing was a bit overwrought (even for Elizabeth George). While Tommy Lynley and Helen Clyde were charming, fascinating, and believable, as always, Simon and Deborah stumbled through their tedious marital dramas once again.

Favorite lines:

1. Elizabeth George channeling Raymond Chandler in describing a femme fatale:
"She was the sort of woman who asked for the once-over twice or more."

2. Tommy and Helen, of course:
"'Making love is easy enough. It's living with it that's the devil.'"

3. Helen:
"'But grief comes with love, eventually. It has to. It's only the timing that no one can be sure of.'"
FORESHADOWING!!! ( )
  librarianarpita | Jul 8, 2012 |
The sixth of the Inspector Lynley novels. This one was particularly interesting to me since it takes place in the part of England that my husband's ancestors came from, Lancashire. It looks like the village vicar has been accidentally poisoned, but something about it makes St. James call in Lynley to investigate. Of course it's not accidental at all, and the mystery leads to London and a very unexpected person. The plot of this one twists and turns, but as always, the story's a good one. I do want to strangle Deborah though. I wish she and Helen both would just grow up! ( )
  hobbitprincess | Apr 13, 2012 |
Deborah and Simon St. James have taken a holiday in the winter landscape of Lancastershire, hoping to heal the growing rift in their marriage. But in the barren countryside awaits bleak news: The vicar of Wimslough, the man they had come to see, is dead—a victim of accidental poisoning. Unsatisfied with the inquest ruling and unsettled by the close association between the investigating constable and the woman who served the deadly meal, Simon calls in his old friend Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley. Together they uncover dark, complex relationships in this rural village, relationships that bring men and women together with a passion, with grief, or with the intention to kill. Peeling away layer after layer of personal history to reveal the torment of a fugitive spirit, Missing Joseph is award-winning author Elizabeth George's greatest achievement.
  SalemAthenaeum | Nov 14, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Biström, PirkkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Houweling, MarcellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I have done nothing but in care of thee,
Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, who
Art ignorant of what thou art, naught knowing
Of whence I am . . .
~ The Tempest
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For Deborah
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Cappuccino.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553566040, Mass Market Paperback)

Deborah and Simon St. James have taken a holiday in the winter landscape of Lancastershire, hoping to heal the growing rift in their marriage. But in the barren countryside awaits bleak news: The vicar of Wimslough, the man they had come to see, is dead—a victim of accidental poisoning. Unsatisfied with the inquest ruling and unsettled by the close association between the investigating constable and the woman who served the deadly meal, Simon calls in his old friend Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley. Together they uncover dark, complex relationships in this rural village, relationships that bring men and women together with a passion, with grief, or with the intention to kill. Peeling away layer after layer of personal history to reveal the torment of a fugitive spirit, Missing Joseph is award-winning author Elizabeth George's greatest achievement.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:41 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Deborah and Simon take a country holiday to visit a favorite vicar only to discover that the vicar has died. The coroner's inquest has returned a verdict of "death by misadventure."

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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