2014-08-01 · in Books · 135 words

A bumptious man who works in the Navy Office, forever discoursing on subjects he knows nothing about, but very enthusiastic, and quite likeable in his simplicity. His name, as I recall, is…

I do not wish to know his name, Mr Aubrey.

Oxford, 1663, in the aftermath of the Restoration: an academic is found murdered in his college rooms. The story is related by a visiting Italian medical student — and then it's told again by another of the participants, who has read the previous account but puts quite a different interpretation on events — and similarly twice more, with the true solution being revealed by the final narrator.

This is a well-written, elegant mystery story with excellent characterisation and a detailed, plausible historical setting. Highly recommended.