Watching Wycliffe

I can’t tell you how long ago I came across the Wycliffe novels by W.J.Burley; set in Cornwall and featuring a detective called Wycliffe, the stories were always intriguing, well-written, and with satisfying endings. The star of the novels though, wasn’t so much the detective, as Cornwall itself. Burley painted a wonderful picture of the real place, not the glamorised holiday destination, but a county where there was poverty through the decline of traditional industries, isolation, and neglect. It doesn’t have to be cities and mean streets to be gritty and realistic. I’ve recently been watching repeats of the series, starring Jack Shepherd, Jimmy Yuill and Helen Masters, which I think does the book justice.

William John Burley, a true Cornishman, was born in 1914 and died at the grand age of eighty-eight. he eventually became a teacher and wrote his first Wycliffe novel – or had the first published in 1968. he went on to write twenty-one others, and had an unfinished story when he died in 2002. he wrote other books too but is known for his detective stories.

Here is an interesting article:

  1. Wycliffe and the Three-Toed Pussy
  2. Wycliffe and How to Kill a Cat
  3. Wycliffe and the Guilt Edged Alibi
  4. Wycliffe and Death in a Salubrious Place
  5. Wycliffe and Death in Stanley Street (
  6. Wycliffe and the Pea-Green Boat
  7. Wycliffe and the Schoolgirls
  8. Wycliffe and the Scapegoat
  9. Wycliffe in Paul’s Court
  10. Wycliffe’s Wild Goose Chase
  11. Wycliffe and the Beales
  12. Wycliffe and the Four Jacks
  13. Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin
  14. Wycliffe and the Winsor Blue
  15. Wycliffe and the Tangled Web
  16. Wycliffe and the Cycle of Death
  17. Wycliffe and the Dead Flautist
  18. Wycliffe and the Last Rites
  19. Wycliffe and the Dunes Mystery
  20. Wycliffe and the House of Fear
  21. Wycliffe and the Redhead
  22. Wycliffe and the Guild of Nine

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