Burley Cross Postbox Theft

Nicola Barker

Reading other people’s letters is always a guilty pleasure. But for PC Roger Topping contemplating a cache of 27 undelivered missives, retrieved from a back alley in Skipton, it’s a job of work. The quaint village of Burley Cross has been plunged into turmoil by the theft of the contents of its postbox, and no-one is above suspicion. Yet Topping’s investigation into the curtain-twitching lives of the eminently respectable Burley Cross residents not only uncovers the dark underbelly of his beat, but reveals a hitherto unknown strength of character buried deep within the young flatfoot. The denizens of Burley Cross inhabit a world of epic pettiness, where secrets are the currency. From complaints about dog shit to passive-aggressive fanmail, from biblical amateur dramatics to an Auction of Promises that goes staggeringly wrong, Nicola Barker’s epistolary novel is a work of immense comic range. Irresistibly mischievous, Burley Cross Postbox Theft is Alan Bennett with added Tamiflu, sex-therapy and cheap vodka.

Reviews of Burley Cross Postbox Theft

  • ‘A vastly satisfying and adventurous novel, a state-of-the-nation comedy from a novelist who can do pretty much anything she likes and is having a great time doing it. This really isn’t a book to pass up’ Daily Telegraph

    ‘This is the work of a writer in love with language and the ways people employ it to express themselves…nothing short of dazzling’ Observer

    ‘A superb comic novel…the collective, whispery subconscious of a small community is brilliantly suggested through almost imperceptible echoes’ Daily Mail

    ‘Intensely pleasurable. Barker’s sheer energy is irresistible while the intelligence that drives this small comic universe is both spikily awkward and sweetly benign’ Guardian

    ‘The cacophony of voices is the perfect showcase for Barker’s linguistic games. From love-letters to suicide notes, her language vaults, somersaults and cartwheels across the page… it might just win her a new legion of fans tempted by this funny, heartbreaking book.’ Sunday Telegraph