The Schoolmaster Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Schoolmaster

W.J. Burley is perhaps best known for his Superintendent Wycliff series, but in
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“The School Master,” Burley goes with a different central character. (As this was written
in 1977 it perhaps precedes the Wycliff series.) It seems that Arthur Milton's wife has left
him for another man; it seems that shosrtly thereafter the man if found murdered; it seems
that Arthur himself is the chief suspect, as he was seen in a nearby cafe on the night of the
murder. The waitress, Julie, doesn't report him and thereafter they begin a love affair.
This lasts for only so long, as guilt starts to bother Arthur, even though he knows he didn't
do the killing. As the narrative progresses (and it does seem a bit convoluted at times!),
Arthur himself begins the investigation of another murder, some 20 years earlier and then
Burley's talent as a top-notch crime writer takes over--more convolution--as the plot takes
a number of spins before coming--believe it or not--logically to an end. Besides the unusual
plot, the author gives us a good insight into an incredibly troubled mind.

The review of this Book prepared by Bill Hobbs

Chapter Analysis of The Schoolmaster

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Plot & Themes

How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   nearly 100% Special suspect?    -   investigator him/herself Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator    -   british mystery (I say!) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Schoolmaster

W.J. Burley Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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