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Pursuit and Persuasion

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If you feared that you were going to be killed and had a good idea who it might be, would you leave a cryptic note asking a friend to investigate even the most natural-appearing death if it happened--and not name your suspect? That's the premise of this pleasant third entry in Sally Wright's Ben Reese series (Publish and Perish, Pride and Predator) and unlikely as it may b If you feared that you were going to be killed and had a good idea who it might be, would you leave a cryptic note asking a friend to investigate even the most natural-appearing death if it happened--and not name your suspect? That's the premise of this pleasant third entry in Sally Wright's Ben Reese series (Publish and Perish, Pride and Predator) and unlikely as it may be, she makes do with it more than adequately. Georgina Fletcher is a Scottish academic, a sensible woman troubled in the weeks before her seemingly natural death by knowledge of some unpleasantness in her family's history and a strong desire to make amends for the misdeeds of her forbears. When a former student of American archivist Ben Reese inherits Georgina's estate, she asks him to help her solve the professor's mystery so that she can carry out Georgina's wishes. Ben's investigation turns up several likely suspects in Georgina's demise, and the secret of how she was killed. Along the way, the reader is treated to descriptions and explanations of matters as far-ranging as falconry, stone-sculpting, microbiology, and rare book collecting. A relatively bloodless cozy with pacing as slow as a country stroll, Pursuit and Persuasion presents the petty rivalries of academia nicely. Ben Reese, whose background as a World War II scout provides enough of a provenance to put him in the detecting business, is an interesting protagonist who warrants a fuller portrayal. --Jane Adams


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If you feared that you were going to be killed and had a good idea who it might be, would you leave a cryptic note asking a friend to investigate even the most natural-appearing death if it happened--and not name your suspect? That's the premise of this pleasant third entry in Sally Wright's Ben Reese series (Publish and Perish, Pride and Predator) and unlikely as it may b If you feared that you were going to be killed and had a good idea who it might be, would you leave a cryptic note asking a friend to investigate even the most natural-appearing death if it happened--and not name your suspect? That's the premise of this pleasant third entry in Sally Wright's Ben Reese series (Publish and Perish, Pride and Predator) and unlikely as it may be, she makes do with it more than adequately. Georgina Fletcher is a Scottish academic, a sensible woman troubled in the weeks before her seemingly natural death by knowledge of some unpleasantness in her family's history and a strong desire to make amends for the misdeeds of her forbears. When a former student of American archivist Ben Reese inherits Georgina's estate, she asks him to help her solve the professor's mystery so that she can carry out Georgina's wishes. Ben's investigation turns up several likely suspects in Georgina's demise, and the secret of how she was killed. Along the way, the reader is treated to descriptions and explanations of matters as far-ranging as falconry, stone-sculpting, microbiology, and rare book collecting. A relatively bloodless cozy with pacing as slow as a country stroll, Pursuit and Persuasion presents the petty rivalries of academia nicely. Ben Reese, whose background as a World War II scout provides enough of a provenance to put him in the detecting business, is an interesting protagonist who warrants a fuller portrayal. --Jane Adams

30 review for Pursuit and Persuasion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Piepie

    This book was like reading a "Midsomer Murders" episode or some other British murder mystery drama. I loved the time period and setting: England/Scotland in the 1960s. For you non-romantics, there was little to no romance ... and for those of you who like "clean" books, I can't remember any swearing in this. I do have a few technical/grammatical issues with this book, however. The words "a-tall" and "it-tis" were like sharp fingernails going down a blackboard - right on my nerves, every time! I This book was like reading a "Midsomer Murders" episode or some other British murder mystery drama. I loved the time period and setting: England/Scotland in the 1960s. For you non-romantics, there was little to no romance ... and for those of you who like "clean" books, I can't remember any swearing in this. I do have a few technical/grammatical issues with this book, however. The words "a-tall" and "it-tis" were like sharp fingernails going down a blackboard - right on my nerves, every time! I even spotted a "there're" - is that even a word?? Additionally, when a character *thought*, like talking to himself/herself in her mind, the text would just appear normal ... no italics, no quotation marks. Like it made the jump from third person POV to first person POV. I can't explain it any better, but I'm sure you'll know it when you see it. This book is about 17 years old, so it is a bit "dated." No suspense, no extramarital affairs, no blood and gore ... but I loved all the references to old books! And of course I loved all the horses and dogs that appeared throughout (: I liked this book, but not enough to rush out and find more from this author. Apparently this is #3 in a series, but I think it worked very well as a standalone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    writer...

    Love this new to me series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Liz V.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Georgiana Fletcher comes to believe that murder has been committed and that she may become a victim. Georgiana, therefore, entrusts a letter to her landlady to be mailed to Ellen Fletcher should Georgiana die, however naturally. As a scrupulously honest person, Georgiana does not name a suspect and adjures Ellen to find someone to help, rather than have friends and colleagues' lives disrupted by the police. Hence, Ellen turns to her boss/mentor Ben Reese. There are altogether too many possibiliti Georgiana Fletcher comes to believe that murder has been committed and that she may become a victim. Georgiana, therefore, entrusts a letter to her landlady to be mailed to Ellen Fletcher should Georgiana die, however naturally. As a scrupulously honest person, Georgiana does not name a suspect and adjures Ellen to find someone to help, rather than have friends and colleagues' lives disrupted by the police. Hence, Ellen turns to her boss/mentor Ben Reese. There are altogether too many possibilities, which ensure plenty of twists and turns but left me turning back to the two plus pages of characters in irritation. The solution hinges on Ben's expertise as an archivist and, in some respects, is reminiscent of John Dunning's Janaway series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diane Waldo

    Book collector gone bad This book was okay, but I found it hard to keep track of the characters. I also didn't really feel all that interested in any of them. Perhaps the difficulty came from the conversion to an electronic book, but the size of the fonts kept changing and added to my lack of interest. Book collector gone bad This book was okay, but I found it hard to keep track of the characters. I also didn't really feel all that interested in any of them. Perhaps the difficulty came from the conversion to an electronic book, but the size of the fonts kept changing and added to my lack of interest.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nola Arganbright

    Good English mystery Set in the Oxford area and very English mystery. A bit slow moving at times but good. I enjoyed it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Good book You people should just read this book yourselves and write your own review on this novel yourself and I really enjoyed reading this book very much so. Shelley MA

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    Old fashioned murder mystery set at a time when World War II was still a significant part of everyone's past. Old fashioned murder mystery set at a time when World War II was still a significant part of everyone's past.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Criswell

    I find the context one of the most engaging aspects of the novel. Set in 1960's England and Scotland, the time and place are characters in their own rights. I find the context one of the most engaging aspects of the novel. Set in 1960's England and Scotland, the time and place are characters in their own rights.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    Synopsis: Georgina Fletcher was a troubled Scottish academic before her seemingly natural death. Archivist Ben Reese thinks it's murder. Synopsis: Georgina Fletcher was a troubled Scottish academic before her seemingly natural death. Archivist Ben Reese thinks it's murder.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    #3 in the Ben Reese series. Finalist 2001 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. This 2000 entry follows the adventures of Ben Reese, an archivist at a small Ohio college, in the U.K. A professor has died in Oxford, apparently as a result of food poisoning, and has left her estate to Ben Reese's apprentice. The prof left behind a note to be opened in case of her death and Ellen Winter, her heiress, asks for Ben's help investigating her death. Coincidences, the hallmark of this series, abound - #3 in the Ben Reese series. Finalist 2001 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. This 2000 entry follows the adventures of Ben Reese, an archivist at a small Ohio college, in the U.K. A professor has died in Oxford, apparently as a result of food poisoning, and has left her estate to Ben Reese's apprentice. The prof left behind a note to be opened in case of her death and Ellen Winter, her heiress, asks for Ben's help investigating her death. Coincidences, the hallmark of this series, abound - almost all the suspects were in or near Oxford when the professor took ill and dies. The series is more than saved, however, by some extremely intelligent writing. Especially recommended for lovers of literary, British mysteries. Ben Reese series - explores the issues of human possessiveness and self-obsession, highlighting how lust for what we want can lead us astray. Scottish professor Georgina Fletcher has died of "natural causes," but not before writing a letter asking for an investigation into her death. American archivist Ben Reese takes up the dangerous challenge that starts out with a sixteenth-century stabbing and incorporates elements of falconry, tire making, microbiology, and book collecting before Georgina's hidden poems eventually help him find the killer.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Johnston

    Not a bad mystery, but not entirely easy to read. First, it was the weirdly hyphenated words like at-tall or it-tis. I kept having to reread, wondering what disease they were talking about (something-itis, what?) Surely, there are better way to convey an accent? Then, I realized the font kept changing size, not just from page to page or chapter to chapter, but continually. It was too small, so I bumped it up, then it got HUGE. Next thing, someone was speaking in italics and I had to squint, then Not a bad mystery, but not entirely easy to read. First, it was the weirdly hyphenated words like at-tall or it-tis. I kept having to reread, wondering what disease they were talking about (something-itis, what?) Surely, there are better way to convey an accent? Then, I realized the font kept changing size, not just from page to page or chapter to chapter, but continually. It was too small, so I bumped it up, then it got HUGE. Next thing, someone was speaking in italics and I had to squint, then it became a reasonable size, then it would get Reader' Digest Edition for the Blind big again. This was a proper Kindle edition, not something reformatted for the device, so it was just peculiar. I've not had the problem before. Add in the lack of punctuation or clear delineation of who was talking (or thinking), and it became impossible to keep track of any clues. The POV kept changing, as well. All together, this made it not a mystery I could really feel I could compete with the detective to solve, but more the type you're just along for the ride. The series seems to have its fans, but I'm wondering how many you have to read before you have all the pieces and become that attached.

  12. 4 out of 5

    ladydusk

    Own. I don't want to write this review. I want to read the next book. I think I love Ben Reese more than I love Lord Peter Wimsey. He's more ruggedly American. Set immediately following Pride and Predator, Pursuit and Persuasion is the story of a woman who anticipates her own murder, her suspicions as to whodunit (which she takes to the grave), and Ben Reese's attempt to solve the mystery. This mystery revolves around collections, books, and what it means to be human. How do we order our affection Own. I don't want to write this review. I want to read the next book. I think I love Ben Reese more than I love Lord Peter Wimsey. He's more ruggedly American. Set immediately following Pride and Predator, Pursuit and Persuasion is the story of a woman who anticipates her own murder, her suspicions as to whodunit (which she takes to the grave), and Ben Reese's attempt to solve the mystery. This mystery revolves around collections, books, and what it means to be human. How do we order our affections, what do we most love and prioritizing appropriately. Do we love knowledge? Do we love books? Do we love people? And how do we love these things: in the secret darkness or in the open light? Wright does such an excellent job of writing people; she gives them their own voices and motivations. My biggest complaint is that perhaps there are too many, it's hard to keep them straight without the List of Characters in the front of the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Ben Reese is back, and still in Scotland. This time he's searching for the truth about the death of professor Georgina Fletcher-and he doesn't even know if it was really a murder! What he does know is that a student of his who was a friend of Georgina received a letter from Georgina, written before she died, saying that if she died, no matter how innocent it may seem, to have a detective look into it. As Ben unravels the clues, a trail of murder leads him to the real killer. Very dramatic I know Ben Reese is back, and still in Scotland. This time he's searching for the truth about the death of professor Georgina Fletcher-and he doesn't even know if it was really a murder! What he does know is that a student of his who was a friend of Georgina received a letter from Georgina, written before she died, saying that if she died, no matter how innocent it may seem, to have a detective look into it. As Ben unravels the clues, a trail of murder leads him to the real killer. Very dramatic I know. But it is a wonderful story. What I like most is the fact that Wright doesn't depend on a whole bunch of grisly death described in detail or shocking sex scenes. She doesn't go for shock, there is some actual intelligent thinking involved.

  14. 4 out of 5

    R.L.

    The story is about obsession. There was a bit of confusion for me over the time periods involved but I think by the end I was clear. The obsessed person who wants all the ancient books for himself and will kill to get them starts out in his quest when he is very young. Now he is old but more obsessed than ever and people are dying. A man from America, Ben Reese, comes to help out a friend who has inherited an estate home. She inherited it because her dear friend who owns the home has discovered t The story is about obsession. There was a bit of confusion for me over the time periods involved but I think by the end I was clear. The obsessed person who wants all the ancient books for himself and will kill to get them starts out in his quest when he is very young. Now he is old but more obsessed than ever and people are dying. A man from America, Ben Reese, comes to help out a friend who has inherited an estate home. She inherited it because her dear friend who owns the home has discovered that her ancestors stole it from the girl's ancestors. So when the owner dies under mysterious circumstances, she comes to see whether she will keep it or not. Ben is there to help but becomes interested in the reason why the woman died.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    I loved the Scottish setting of this third in the series by Sally Wright. The protagonist is intelligent and insightful and the plots are interesting and twisty-turny enough to hold my attention. The author has a few odd quirks of dialect that became annoying - the lengthening of rrrr's to show a Scottish burr, the use of 'a-tall' that bugged me after a while. Okay, we get that a lot of Scots live in Scotland and that they have some local dialects, but a little goes a long way. Other than that, a I loved the Scottish setting of this third in the series by Sally Wright. The protagonist is intelligent and insightful and the plots are interesting and twisty-turny enough to hold my attention. The author has a few odd quirks of dialect that became annoying - the lengthening of rrrr's to show a Scottish burr, the use of 'a-tall' that bugged me after a while. Okay, we get that a lot of Scots live in Scotland and that they have some local dialects, but a little goes a long way. Other than that, and the annoying lack of romance/sex, the book and series are entertaining. It's a good series to read late at night on my Kindle before I go to sleep. Gripping, but not too much to prevent slumber.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jay-me (Janet)

    Perhaps I had a badly formatted copy, perhaps it was meant to be like that but I didn't like the changing font sizes. It went to huge (very few words on the screen) to tiny (too small to read because I had altered the huge font size to make it smaller) Whichever it was annoying to try and read. I also didn't like the way the characters were always saying "a-tall" Just a niggle - but one that would probably stop me from reading more in this series. Which is probably a shame as I did enjoy the story Perhaps I had a badly formatted copy, perhaps it was meant to be like that but I didn't like the changing font sizes. It went to huge (very few words on the screen) to tiny (too small to read because I had altered the huge font size to make it smaller) Whichever it was annoying to try and read. I also didn't like the way the characters were always saying "a-tall" Just a niggle - but one that would probably stop me from reading more in this series. Which is probably a shame as I did enjoy the story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angie Swain

    I dislike books where an accent is part of story. In this case, a Scottish accent where the r's are rolled. One cannot extend every word which includes an r, with rrr's, neither can you not because that causes inconsistencies. So don't do it!!! Also, I cannot abide characters who are made to 'pop' things into their mouths - usually food. However in one case, one of the characters popped a pipe into his mouth. The author neglected to say whether it was lit or not. Some glaring grammatical errors, s I dislike books where an accent is part of story. In this case, a Scottish accent where the r's are rolled. One cannot extend every word which includes an r, with rrr's, neither can you not because that causes inconsistencies. So don't do it!!! Also, I cannot abide characters who are made to 'pop' things into their mouths - usually food. However in one case, one of the characters popped a pipe into his mouth. The author neglected to say whether it was lit or not. Some glaring grammatical errors, some excruciating 'poetry'. Not the best book I have ever read

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Ben Reese is a truly admirable series protagonist. That the series is set in the 1960s and has many qualities of those old fashioned classic mysteries of the 1930s and 1940s make it, for me, all the more enjoyable. So far I have read only Pursuit and Persuasion but Sally S. Wright's style and substance have left me wanting more. Character driven plot and interesting setting make it just my cup of tea. Ben Reese is a truly admirable series protagonist. That the series is set in the 1960s and has many qualities of those old fashioned classic mysteries of the 1930s and 1940s make it, for me, all the more enjoyable. So far I have read only Pursuit and Persuasion but Sally S. Wright's style and substance have left me wanting more. Character driven plot and interesting setting make it just my cup of tea.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Hendrickson

    I stumbled onto the Ben Reese books by accident and am happy that I did. The stories are filled with wonderfully delicious details of Scotland and the books made me want to return there. The protagonist is so believable - a World War II Army Ranger turned university archivist - that he's someone I can easily imagine. I stumbled onto the Ben Reese books by accident and am happy that I did. The stories are filled with wonderfully delicious details of Scotland and the books made me want to return there. The protagonist is so believable - a World War II Army Ranger turned university archivist - that he's someone I can easily imagine.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Martha Bratton

    It would have been a 3-star, but the author drops in such nice historical and academic references as well as philosophical jewels that I gave it one more. I'll read more Ben Reese mysteries. Thanks to my sister, Annette, for passing this on to me. I'm always leery of series with alliterative titles, but I forgive Ms. Wright based on substantial content. It would have been a 3-star, but the author drops in such nice historical and academic references as well as philosophical jewels that I gave it one more. I'll read more Ben Reese mysteries. Thanks to my sister, Annette, for passing this on to me. I'm always leery of series with alliterative titles, but I forgive Ms. Wright based on substantial content.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michele Bunn

    Great historical mystery This book is very well written and I enjoyed the characters and the plot. However, I found the descriptions of landscape and small events to be very tedious and wordy when they didnt need to be to move the story along. To me, these overly descriptive sentences are just too much filler. I learned some interesting history from parts of the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Georgina Fletcher believes she is about to be murdered and writes a letter asking a friend to investigate even if her death is ruled natural. Ben Reese's investigation turns up several likely suspects. I didn't like when the Scottish accent was spelt out - I felt that it was not need and distracted from the story, plus the changeable font sizes. Georgina Fletcher believes she is about to be murdered and writes a letter asking a friend to investigate even if her death is ruled natural. Ben Reese's investigation turns up several likely suspects. I didn't like when the Scottish accent was spelt out - I felt that it was not need and distracted from the story, plus the changeable font sizes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A pretty good addition to the Ben Reese series. Good characters. Contrary to several other readers, I didn't mind the little clues to accent that are included. It helped me remember who's who,, and it didn't make for difficult reading, unlike some books I could mention (I'm looking at you, Mark Twain!). A pretty good addition to the Ben Reese series. Good characters. Contrary to several other readers, I didn't mind the little clues to accent that are included. It helped me remember who's who,, and it didn't make for difficult reading, unlike some books I could mention (I'm looking at you, Mark Twain!).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara A Martin

    This was an excellent, exciting and mystery twisting story. The characters were well crafted and though I know nothing about rare book collecting, there was plenty of explanation regarding this obsession.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Wiederin

    I did not expect to like this book so much! it was given to me so I had no idea what I was getting in to but this is actually interesting. the Scottish jargan was a bit different for me but interesting enough read to keep me entertaned.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Denise Vasak

    This book was terrible. the premise was very interesting but the content was dry, boring, and downright uninspiring. The descriptions were vast and yet vapid at the same time. I was really disappointed.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Vigil

    I tried to like this book and for a while there I did. But it was just too slow and making progress with the plot that I lost interest. I read the whole thing but I can't tell you "who-done it" even though I just finished. Makes me sad as I really wanted to like it. I tried to like this book and for a while there I did. But it was just too slow and making progress with the plot that I lost interest. I read the whole thing but I can't tell you "who-done it" even though I just finished. Makes me sad as I really wanted to like it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Kindle/I continue to find this series very satisfying.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Good story line, hard to pick the villain. This copy poorly type set, different font sizes, hard to read. Enjoyed the mystery though, enough to look for the first two books in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    A different and well written mystery.

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