Malice Aforethought, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


A classic crime masterpiece - and major TV adaptation On a balmy summer's day in 1930 the great and the good of the county are out in force for the annual, much-anticipated tennis party at the Bickleighs, although not everyone has much enthusiasm for the game.

The tennis party exists for other reasons - and charmingly mannered infidelity is now the most popular pastime in the small but exclusive Devonshire hamlet of Wyvern's Cross. Which is why, in his own garden, the host, Dr Edmund Bickleigh, is desperately fighting to conceal the two things on his mind: a mounting passion for Gwynfryd Rattery - and the certain conviction that he is going to kill his wife ...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780752864785



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"It was not until several weeks after he had decided to murder his wife that Dr. Bickleigh took any active steps in the matter. Murder is a serious business." These are the first lines of the book, and yet knowing what little henpecked Dr. Bickleigh has decided to do doesn't keep the reader from saying, "Yea, kill her." Mrs. Bickleigh is so unlikeable to her husband, neighbors and the reader that we want to see our timid doctor accomplish his goal. Then he can marry his real love, young heiress Madeleine. But the doctor lets each bit of success go to his head and it turns out that some people really should have their egos restrained by a domineering spouse.This is one of the best mysteries I've ever read, on par with Murder on the Orient Express. It doesn't matter that we know that Dr. Bickleigh is the murderer or that we see his plan step-by-step. The transformation in his and other characters is a masterful and the ending is impossible to guess.