A murder mystery in the finest tradition of English detective novels, John le Carré's A Murder of Quality is an ingenious puzzle featuring his best-loved character George Smiley.
Stella Rode has twice disturbed the ancient cloisters of Carne School: firstly by being the wrong sort, with her doilies and china ducks, and secondly by being murdered. George Smiley, who has his own connection with the school, is asked by an old Service friend to investigate. Smiley knows that Stella feared her husband would murder her, but as he probes further beneath Carne's respectable veneer, he uncovers far more than a simple crime of passion. In his second George Smiley novel, le Carré moves outside the world of espionage to reveal the secrets at the heart of another particularly English institution. The result is a pitch-perfect murder mystery, with Smiley as master detective.
If you enjoyed A Murder of Quality, you might like le Carré's Call for the Dead, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'Beautifully intelligent, satiric and witty'
Beautifully elegant, satiric and witty
John le Carré’s suspense-filled drama The Little Drummer Girl hits TV screens later this year. Here's your first look at the production that includes industry heavyweights Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon.
In this extract from The Pigeon Tunnel, John le Carré describes the accusations of disloyalty he faced from former Secret Service colleagues - and how Alec Guinness used them in his portrayal of George Smiley