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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

I knew nothing of this book when I came across it in a secondhand bookstore, but I know to trust the quality of the Apollo (Head of Zeus) publishing list. The Nebuly Coat (published in 1903 but set sometime in the mid-19th century) is ostensibly a Victorian mystery novel.

I’m glad that I was able to

I first read this over 30 years ago, and all I could remember about it was the haunting cry of the arches in the Minster, complaining of the weight of the tower built above them - 'The arch never sleeps! They have bound on us a burden too heavy to be borne - we are shifting it!' It's a quote that ha

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

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

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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