Burley Cross Postbox Theft

Nicola Barker

From the Man Booker Prize shortlisted author of Darkmans comes a comic epistolary novel of startling originality and wit.

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