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Caroline Minuscule by Andrew Taylor
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Caroline Minuscule (1982)

by Andrew Taylor

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As Andrew Taylor has recently won the Diamond Dagger, a sort of Grand Master award in British mystery writing, I thought I ought to sample his work. [b:Caroline Minuscule|901542|Caroline Minuscule (William Dougal, #1)|Andrew Taylor|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1179302733s/901542.jpg|886719] was his first novel and the start of one of his series, which seem to be each very different from the others. The protagonist in this one is William Dougal, who seems to be a bit of a slacker, if those were around in the early 80s. He's pursuing a degree in some sort of medieval history field, using up a small inheritance. William is a keen and humorous observer of the academic life and characters around him. When he goes to meet his paleography tutor and finds him garotted, it is the first step down a slippery slope. He and his girlfriend become involved in a treasure hunt which will take them from London to Cambridge to the Fen country and into some danger. During that time, William will become a different person. He's not sure he likes the person he's become, but doesn't have a moral foundation to keep himself from becoming it. William, then, is rather an anti-hero and I look forward to reading more of his adventures. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Great book. ( )
  wbwilburn5 | Jun 14, 2012 |
This is Andrew Taylor's first book and is of interest mainly for the excellent introduction,which gives the low-down on how he began his writing career and also about this actual book.The story itself is rather slight ,but gives an idea of the great writing to come,for instance in both the 'Roth trilogy' and in the continuing 'Lydmouth' series of books. ( )
  devenish | Aug 13, 2006 |
This is not badly written, but I've tried to read it a couple of times and keep stalling. The protagonist, William Dougal, seems rather amoral. When he comes on a clue to a treasure, he starts to follow it without regard to niceties of rightful ownership or police investigations.

This was Andrew Taylor's first book and it is the first in a series about William Dougal. Taylor wanted to write about the ability of ordinary people to do not-so-nice things, so I guess he succeeded. ( )
1 vote monado | Jun 20, 2006 |
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Book description
The Caroline Minuscule of the title is not a small woman but a form of early mediaeval writing. The protagonist, William Dougal, believes that an old manuscript written in Latin using that script contains a clue to the whereabouts of a treasure.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140070990, Paperback)

A medieval script launches a modern treasure
hunt lightly dusted with black humor...
William Dougal is a postgraduate student of history with expensive tastes and low moral fibre. He is the sort who is as likely to commit murders as to solve them. Thus it is that when he stumbles on the garotted corpse of his detested tutor, he doesn't call the police. Instead, he slips away, intent on avoiding a row with his girlfriend. Naturally, his actions don't go undetected. Enter the suave James Hanbury with the reminder that the dead man was an authority on Caroline Minuscule, a Medieval script that may convey a very modern message. Douglas is pushed into--or rather drives his Morris Mini onto--a slippery slope which leads toward a cache of diamonds--and more murders....
"In William Dougal, Andrew Taylor has created one of the most attractive amateur detectives in fiction."--Harriet Waugh, The Spectator.
And so his 1982 debut, the first of eight Dougal capers, won the John Creasey (Best First Novel) Award from the Crime Writers Association and was shortlisted for the 1983 Edgar Allan Poe Award.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

William Dougal is a Cambridge post-grad student with expensive tastes and hardly any principles. Thus it is when he stumbles on the garroted corpse of his detested tutor, he doesn't call the police, he slips away. But he has been seen.

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