The Circle

Peter Lovesey - The Circle

A Hen Mallin mystery

When Parcel Force driver Bob Naylor plucks up courage to join his local writers’ circle in Chichester, he is nervous. He’s not much of a reader, let alone a writer. He expects to meet people unlike himself, with names like Maurice, Amelia, Zach and Thomasine – and he finds them. But while he is prepared for some naked ambition, he doesn’t know it will include murder.

Being catapulted into the middle of a detective story excites and inspires some of the circle. Bob is pressed into helping Thomasine’s unofficial investigation.

For the real-life detective Henrietta Mallin, these amateur sleuths muddy the waters. Especially as one thinks he’s a genius, one may well be a genius, and one has more in common with Lady Macbeth than Jane Austen. But Hen won’t take nonsense from any of them as she unravels the sinister secret of the circle.

UK Publisher: Time Warner Books, 2005 ISBN 0-316-72945-0
US Publisher: Soho Press, 2005 ISBN 1-56947-392-7
UK paperback: Time Warner, 2006 ISBN 0-7515-3690-3
Latest UK paperback: Sphere, 2014 ISBN 978-0751553581

“The superb Peter Lovesey provides yet another novel of unalloyed delight.”
Gerald Kaufman, The Scotsman

“Lovesey, who can out-Christie Dame Agatha when he sets his mind to it, offers a smorgasbord of red herrings, a nifty plot twist, charming bits of doggerel and delicious digs at writers of the unpublishable.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Lovesey cleverly exploits the internecine rivalry that often exists between writers (or would-be writers) and brilliantly keeps one guessing.”
Carla McKay, Daily Mail