GENTLEMEN & PLAYERS (Academic Mystery-England-Cont) – VG
Harris, Joanne – Standalone
Doubleday, 2005- UK Hardcover – ISBN: 0385-60366-5
First Sentence: If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past fifteen years, it’s this; that murder is really no big deal.
Roy Straitley is Latin master at St. Oswald’s, a long-established boy’s grammar school. Although there have always been incidences of disruption through the years, there’s been nothing with the frequency and maliciousness of events being perpetrated against students and teachers at present. Although the incidents seem unrelated, Straitley begins to see a pattern. The child of the school’s ground’s keeper has been harboring a grudge for thirteen years. Now is the time to exact revenge.
It took me a bit to realize the alternating voices of the story but, once realized, I never had a problem identifying the speaker of each section. Harris really brings us into the world of a private English boy’s school with all the traditions contrasted by changes in technology and the times. The story is intricately plotted, building upon itself bit by bit with unexpected twists and unusual ending. I loved the character of Straitley; a traditionalist with a wry sense of humor. This is a wonderfully written book, well worth the effort of grasping the two POVs. Highly recommended