Gentlemen and Players (Paperback)

A Novel

By Joanne Harris

William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780060559151, 448pp.

Publication Date: December 26, 2006

Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (2/1/2006)
Hardcover (1/1/2006)
CD-Audio (1/10/2006)
MP3 CD (2/1/2006)

List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than thirty years. This year, however, the wind of unwelcome change is blowing, and Straitley is finally, reluctantly, contemplating retirement. As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike, beginning as small annoyances but soon escalating in both number and consequence. St. Oswald's is unraveling, and only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. But he faces a formidable opponent with a bitter grudge and a master strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final, deadly move.

About the Author

Joanne Harris is the author of seven previous novels—Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Sleep, Pale Sister, and Gentlemen & Players; a short story collection, Jigs & Reels; and two cookbook/memoirs, My French Kitchen and The French Market. Half French and half British, she lives in England.

Praise For Gentlemen and Players: A Novel

“Irresistible . . . Constantly surprising and wickedly fun.”
— Washington Post Book World

“With GENTLEMEN & PLAYERS Harris has tapped an unsuspected talent for writing sophisticated, absorbing suspense.”
— Daily News

“[A] disturbing yet strangely rewarding morality tale . . . Not every chess game ends with a checkmate.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Riveting . . . The checkmate is a bold stroke -- so audacious as to send readers, including this one, backtracking.”
— Houston Chronicle

“[A] masterful literary thriller.”
— Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press

“Far darker than Chocolat author Harris’s previous books, this canny page-turner comes with a satisfying twist.”
— Mail on Sunday

“Very good indeed.”
— Bookseller (London)

“A complex, well-crafted murder mystery, with its author’s trademark blend of wit, wisdom and magic.”
— Time Out London

“[An] enjoyable mystery romp.”
— Sunday Times (London)

“Fun with a neat twist ... it’s a bit like A.J. Wentworth squaring up to the talented Mr. Ripley.”
— The Independent

“A strong psychological mystery.”
— Times Educational Supplement

“A literary gobstopper with an aniseed heart.”
— Independent

“Harris pulls it all off . . . Book groups of the world, watch out.”
— The Guardian

“[Harris] turns to the literary thriller, with stunning results . . . This is one hypnotic page-turner.”
— Booklist (starred review)

“[A] clever story of obsession and revenge . . . .[Harris] has scored another success.”
— Daily Telegraph (London)

“[A] gripping psychological thriller. . . . [Harris] cleverly keeps the reader guessing till the very last chapter.
— Express

“One of those rare books that grips and holds you . . . [B]oth socially important and vastly entertaining.”
— Chicago Tribune

“Don’t start this one late in the evening, unless you plan to stay up all night. It’s that gripping.”
— Seattle Times

“Best of all is a dazzling climactic twist . . . . its last move is a winner.”
— New York Times Book Review

“Perfect escapist reading for deep winter.”
— Hartford Courant

“A cunning, high-brow cat-and-mouse tale ... [W]ill keep even the sharpest readers off-guard.”
— Florida Times-Union

“[A] tense, perspective-shifting narrative ... [A] page-turning climax that ... avoids the easy out of a tidy ending.”
— Tampa Tribune

“The gold standard for this year’s best mystery...[GENTLEMEN AND PLAYERS] left me breathless...a delightful read.”