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The Nebuly Coat

John Meade Falkner

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . sister came back, but couldn’t say what the man was like, except that his hair reminded him of Anastasia’s.

“But Martin’s time was come; he died that very night, and Miss Joliffe was terribly cast down, because she feared she had given him an overdose of sleeping-draught; for Ennefer told her he had taken too much, and she didn’t see where he had got it from unless she gave it him by mistake. Ennefer wrote the death certificate, and so there was no inquest; but that put the stranger out of our thoughts until it was too late to find him, if, indeed, he ever was anything more than the phantom of a sick man’s brain. No one beside had seen him, and all we had to ask for was a man with wavy hair, because he reminded Martin of Anastasia. But if ’twas true, then there was someone else who had a fancy for the painting, and poor old Michael must have thought a lot of it to frame it in such handsome style.”

“I don’t kno. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Thoroughly enjoyable. The author he most resembles in this particular work is Wilkie Collins - he doesn't have the detached authorial voice of Trollope, although he does venial clerics just as well, nor does he have the ominous emotion of Hardy, though the end of this novel is as good as anything Ha

There were times I felt its age and others when glad it was from another age and sensibility. It is overall still a good read and the development of the intrigue is intriguing, especially at the end when one expects the hammer to fall. It does go a bit too fast there and our modern sensibility may f

Why we read what we read has long been a fascinating question for me. James Mustich Jr., the owner of the late and lamented Common Books company once said:
What thread leads us through the labyrinth of all there is to read? Is there such a thread? It seems to me there is, and that we constant readers

I find it hard to resist a novel set in or around a cathedral. John Mead Falkner (better known for his classic smuggling tale Moonfleet) creates an effective mystery set in a believable community in The Nebuly Coat. Edward Westray, a young architect arrives in the coastal town of Cullerne to supervi

A curiosity I came across reading reviews for Moonfleet. Predictable but well told, uses some well recognised devices (were they as well known at the time of writing? I suspect yes). Somewhat less melodramatic than Moonfleet, probably a better book.

How have I never heard of this? After 100 pages, I ordered his other 2 books.

This book is really interesting in being a certain kind of story that hits all the plot points that story would have, but for some reason, be it its structure, its pace or the way it was written, it never felt like that plot and I never saw these things coming. It's basically a mystery about inherit

A young architect is sent to the dying, silted-up port of Cullerne to supervise long-overdue repairs to its Minster. But as he comes to know the town and its people, he finds himself caught up in a decades-old mystery. The late Martin Joliffe used to claim he was the real heir to Lord Blandamer's es

This was a lovely and poignant turn of the century novel with a hint of a darker mystery at it's core. I must confess, I was a little bit taken aback by how much I enjoyed this. At first I was waffling between giving it four and five stars, as I found some of the descriptions of church architecture

Only the third (and final) of Falkner's novels, this is an astonishing book, as close to a perfect novel as I've read.

In plotting, language, internal balance and, most of all, in the psychological delineation of character, it's not quite like anything else. Time and again, a character says or acts i

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