“The Bursar’s Wife” is an old-fashioned gumshoe story in the tradition of Raymond Chandler. I found it a little slow-going, but then I’ve read so many fast-paced thrillers lately that a more sedate British who-done-it like “The Bursar’s Wife” just doesn’t have enough action in it for my tastes, especially in the first half of the book.
This is the first novel in the “A George Kocharyan Mystery” series which is set in Cambridge, England. George is an old fashioned PI who does almost all of his snooping the old-fashioned way by doing stake-outs and sneaking into crime scenes and suspected murder’s flats. His only computer must be set to dial-up in order to gain access to the Internet. When he needs online research done quickly he has to have his assistant or her son use their home computer. This would be fine if the plot were set in the 1980’s, but it is supposed to be set in a modern-day Cambridge.
George is hired by the wife of the Bursar at Morley College, which is one of the colleges within Cambridge University. She is concerned because her daughter is going out with an older man she is concerned might be capable of raping her daughter. The wife is also being blackmailed because of a sex tape that was created of her by the same man years before while she was in college and was put under the influence of a date rape drug. Mrs. Booker is afraid of history repeating itself and asks for George’s help to protect her daughter and possibly bring Quinton Boyd to justice. Considerable murder and mayhem take place before George is able to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Boyd is behind a series of sexual and drug ecapades. Date rape and forced sex for porno exploitation are certainly a relevant topics and worthly of exploration in this novel.
I’d give “The Bursar’s Wife” one a one thumbs up. The character Kocharyan is a memorable one and he should develop as a character sort of like fine wine ages over time. The author is in the process of writing book two in this series entitled “The Runaway Maid” to be out in March 2017. Hopefully, the pace will pick up in subsequent mysteries.
Reviewed from a supplied copy.