His body then turns up gruesomely butchered in the window of the local butcher's shop, and Mrs. Bradley decides to get to the bottom of things. That proves difficult as Sir Rupert's skull keeps turning up in all the wrong places. One suspect after the other keeps moving the skull to dispel suspicion from him- or herself, adding to the hilarity.
The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop
I read the Audible. To read one Gladys Mitchell book is to become hooked. However much I enjoyed this one, my favorite still remains The Saltmarsh Murders. But I've promised myself that I shall read all 66 of the Mrs. Bradley novels.
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After my last less than successful Mrs Bradley read, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this. This is another reread, and I remembered that the first time I read this, I was really annoyed with it. It started out irritatingly -- two separate people see the obvious suspect hiding a spade and then heading into the woods at night to dig a grave right after telling a really obvious lie about his cousin with who he quarrelled going to America, and they both decide, with no consultation, that hey, he's a nice gu After my last less than successful Mrs Bradley read, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this.
It started out irritatingly -- two separate people see the obvious suspect hiding a spade and then heading into the woods at night to dig a grave right after telling a really obvious lie about his cousin with who he quarrelled going to America, and they both decide, with no consultation, that hey, he's a nice guy, they should cover for him and not tell anyone about this.
The second half of the book got better. There were only a couple of minor irritations, mostly caused by Mrs Bradley's need to score points off the police in a completely unnecessary way, and also by her resolution of the murder, which relied heavily on monomania. I was also frustrated with how slow the police were.
There is a wood beside the murdered man's house. He was seen walking into the wood with obvious suspect, and never seen again. Searching the wood should have been the first thing the police did!
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I think the book was saved for me because I enjoyed the characters of Felicity, Aubrey, the kleptomaniac vicar and Margery. Jan 10, Les Wilson rated it really liked it.
An excellent read. For me, how a crime book should be written. Very little gore or intimate personal relationship. They get on with telling you the story. Shelves: books. Second in this Mrs. Bradley series and the victim is the disliked owner if Manor House. There is no shortage of suspects and scandal and Mrs. Bradley is able to sort it out in due time. I'm fascinated at how slightly "off" both Mrs. Bradley mysteries that I have read have been. The characters speak in a similar style to those other Golden Era detective novels - "Oh I say!
What a bally throw that was! Well done, Bertie! So what is different? Mitchell adds a twist of shocking strangeness that was not common in the early s. In the first book, there is a trans character - a woman who has been living as a man and having relationships with women - and no one really bats an eye other than to be somewhat vaguely embarrassed by the whole situation. In this book, the body is dismembered and found hanging on hooks.
That is more gruesome than the usual poisoning by arsenic or blow to the head with a heavy candlestick. I don't dislike these sort of twists - I like it. It adds some excitement and freshness to what can be a tired format.
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I've been reading up on Mitchell since I discovered her books and I think this quote from Disclaimer magazine explains her best. My edition has the Independent quoted as calling the book 'Superbly odd' on its front cover. While I can agree wholeheartedly with the 'odd', I'm not so convinced of the 'superbly' I'd add a warning for those who come to the book having loved the wonderful Mrs Bradley character created by Diana Rigg and the screenwriters for TV Jul 27, Christine rated it liked it.
I'm torn about this book. It was published in , and I really enjoyed most of the characters and the village setting. Unfortunately, I found Mrs. Bradley, the seemingly omniscient amateur detective, a but unpleasant. This novel read like a modern parody of a Golden Age mystery, with way too many extraneous plot devices and red herrings. Overall, I'm glad I read it, but I didn't love it. Jul 23, Michelle rated it liked it Shelves: mystery. Still enjoying Mrs. It's hard to believe this was written in Bradley has some very modern ideas about feminism, social class, religion, and overpopulation.
As in the first book, the solving of the murder is not straightforward but rather careens along from one assumption to another. I like the way Mrs. Bradley has ideas but then is wrong about things and reevaluates. A refreshing change from the all-knowing sleuth shtick. The writing is also very funny and had me chuckling o Still enjoying Mrs. The writing is also very funny and had me chuckling or cackling! She says the village children are led to believe it means the squire and the people who go fox-hunting and the factory owners who pay women about half what they would pay men for doing exactly the same work.
She says it's retrogressive to teach children ideas like that.
They just think it means never try to get on and do anything with your life. She says the plutocrats made use of phrases like that to keep the workers down--what used to be called "in their place", and made them put up with all sorts of bad conditions because it was the--the will of Heaven. She says she knows the Church doesn't interpret these things like that, but that the Victorians always did.
She thinks it's a frightfully progressive sign that so few intelligent people go to church. She says, if people got up in a political meeting and made the sort of speech that the average clergyman "dignifies by the name of sermon", most of the audience would walk out, and the vulgar ones would throw tomatoes and make rude noises. Bradley the anti-natalist: 'Still, there's a sight of difference between going off the end about some woman or other and doing a blooming great murder, isn't there?
Bradley dryly. The population of this country is so excessive that, looked at from the purely common-sense point of view, a person who decreases it is considerably more public spirited than one who adds to it, and he should be dealt with accordingly. The gloomy woods were black with heavy shadows. The place looked lonely, not with the loneliness and charm of quiet solitude, not even with the loneliness of death, but awesome with the loneliness of living things whose thoughts were not as hers.
The true witch-magic of a wood on a midsummer night when the trees are heavy with leaves, and every leaf, however still the forest, has a voice and a secret all its own, affrighted and unnerved her. She was in half a mind to retreat; to leave the pagan temple for a safe and Christian pillow. Bryce Harringay: 'And it is all James's fault!
Every bit of it! I know that James is a favourite with you. I think it is a pity.
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It seems that James has told Various Lies'--the bishop's smile broke bounds at the sound of the capital letters in her voice--'and that Rupert never had any intention of going to America. Jul 19, Janice rated it liked it.
Liked it for 3. Not the typical likeable sleuth but Mrs. Bradley grew on me and ended up being a fun character along with her sidekick chauffeur, George. She's a professional woman set in the 20's , a respected psychoanalyst, and it's said that the author gave many of her own progressive views to the character. Mar 20, Jeff Lewis rated it really liked it. It's along time since I've read Gladys Mitchell but it was enjoyable. The plot was maybe a little over complicated. The biggest laugh in of the book was the tale of the poor woman being vegetarian and forced to carry a fruit knife with her at all times.
Apr 20, Mare rated it liked it. It was okay although it seemed to be a bit of all over the place.