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A Little Local Murder (Bello)

A Little Local Murder (Bello) [Kindle Edition]

Robert Barnard
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Radio Broadwich decides to do a documentary on the small village of Twytching for international broadcast, and the townspeople divide between those who seek the patronage of Mrs. Deborah Withins, arbiter of taste and morals, and those determined to displace her in the cutthroat contest for media recognition. When a rash of poison-pen letters and a murder coincide, quiet inspector George Parrish begins to uncover secrets the leading citizens of Twytching had thought, and fervently hoped, were buried.

A Little Local Murder skilfully demonstrates that no one is more cunning than Robert Barnard in preparing the reader for the totally unexpected. And the incisive character portrayals in this early gem impart a dimension rarely found in English detective fiction.

‘Barnard’s sharp and funny style and cast of eccentric characters make a clever mystery of small-town backbiting’ Kirkus Reviews


Excitement was running high in the small town of Twytching, as the local radio station had arrived to make a documentary about the place. When a murder tarnishes Twytching's smug image, it is left to Detective Inspector George Parrish to search behind the respectable facade and find the killer.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 599 KB
  • Print Length: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Bello (29 Nov 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AER805G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,044 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars not one of his best books 6 Dec 2013
By g
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Predictable ending and most of the storyline. The characters are stilted and do not ring true. The setting is uninteresting. I only continued to the end hoping it would have a Barnard twist. I would not recommend this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Shenanigans on the local council 4 Dec 2013
By feering
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is very dated, but I previously read Posthumous Papers, which was much better with a clever story. They are gentle crime detective stories and an enjoyable read if you can get over the slow style.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Small Town Nightmare 1 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. It portrays what nasty places small towns and villages can be. The vociferous types either have sharp elbows or blunt minds, often vying to be Town Councillors. A good read, if you live in one of these places you will be reminded of someone you know.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely Entertaining 3 May 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Robert Barnard deserves to be more famous than he is. A Little Local Murder is a top-notch mystery, seething with interesting, pathetic, and ridiculous personages, each of whom in his own way believes that the world revolves around him! It is an English village mystery with plenty of discussion of village life in AND out of doors; one really gets the sense of 'being there'. Barnard is extremely witty but he takes his books seriously (which cannot be said for all writers, who think that the way to entertain is to make everything a joke.) It's a pleasure to read an author of such shining and perceptive intelligence.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Robert Barnard - a wickedly sharp pen 29 July 2006
By S. Saunders - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this crime novel first published in 1976, the stodgy English village of Twytching learns that the international media is coming, and some things are never quite the same again. It's small potatoes: a radio documentary will be made by a British radio network in conjunction with a US radio station in the sister town of Twytching, Wisconsin. But it's a big deal to the good folks in Twytching, who of course start jockeying for a chance to be on the program.

Barnard wickedly portrays small-town power plays, egotism, cliques, and other timeless human foibles. There's an abundance of material here: the tyrannical Mayoress who's used to calling the shots, her oppressed mouse of a husband, a sleek cold housewife who's also a master manipulator, her doting husband and quiet daughter, the toady librarian, the garrulous shopkeeper, the pompous twit schoolteacher and his longsuffering wife, and more.

The radio production crew arrives in town a few weeks later, and murder is done. The police find that someone's been sending poison pen letters. The plot has a nice twist.

This is good vintage Robert Barnard, meaning that the characters' foibles are presented with cutting wit. A lesser writer could have induced tedium.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Barnard in a very wicked mood 2 May 2001
By Michael Schau - Published on
If the mysteries of Robert Barnard are more a snack than a meal, they are savory, salty and a touch on the bitter side. In this one Barnard has created a British village rampant with small-minded hypocrites, petty and pompous. The great fun of the book is not in deft plotting (it's fairly ordinary) but in the take-no-prisoners descriptions of the shallowness and pretentions of small-town life in the 1970s. There is nothing sly about Barnard's ill regard for his villagers; he loathes all characters who are not police officers (and he's not overly kind about most of them either). Some of the references are dated (Enoch Powell is hardly as rich a punchline now as he was then), but there is sufficient wit and sarcasm that has traveled well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caricature and Burlesque Take Center Stage 13 Feb 2010
By John F. Rooney - Published on
"A Little Local Murder" is British crime writer Robert Barnard in his black humor, wickedly sardonic mode, dissecting, skewering a small town with its menagerie of nasty inhabitants. The town of Twytching has been twinned with an American town in Wisconsin, and the radio station there wants to do a profile of their sister town. They contact a British radio station which sends spies out to reconnoiter the town. The upcoming radio broadcast triggers a series of events including turning neighbor against neighbor, poison pen letters, and, of course, murder.
Several marriages, already travesties, flounder on the rocks and innocent people get clobbered.
This is one of Barnard's burlesques with more caricature than characterization in some of his people. He has a tendency to blend the comic targets with some more serious psychological probing. The novel is full of ironic twists and little gems exploring the funny foibles of people. There are the usual dimwits, cold-blooded monsters, nut cases, egotists, doormats, worms who turn, male and female, and those married souls who are trampled over by their dominant alpha mates. Even though he presents many characters in this mystery, it's very easy to keep the characters straight and differentiate them.
Starting with the mean-spirited mayor's wife, almost everyone is vying to be featured on the radio program. The two British radio people are squalid, randy creatures who take advantage of their situation. Mrs. Leaze, the grocery mistress, is a sleazy gossip, the vicar is off the tracks-and on it goes with each of the townspeople susceptible because of some secret vice or weakness.
In this Barnard novel one would be hard-pressed to find a nice person. (One nice person is too weak-kneed.) Timothy Jimson, schoolteacher, is particularly awful. One character is full of "tittle tattle, back-biting, and conspiracy."
The Brits do twisted black comedy better than their American cousins because they're more biting, more daring, nastier, and more insightful. They'll take that extra step that Americans often are too wary to take. A good example is "Monty Python."
Mix a lot of nasty, despicable characters, stir frantically, and what do you get?--another classic piece of Barnard black humor. The people of Twytching are "the closest thing on this earth to a bunch of turnips."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read 23 Jan 2010
By Pentiumm - Published on
The tiny village of Twythching is about to face the most important thing in its history - an unimportant radio program on an obscure network is coming to town (sorry - village) to profile the inhabitants. It's part of a series of such profiles with the intent of conveying a salt-of-the-earth story with a concerted dash of homey and quaint and a touch of nostalgia for Empire.

But then, murder occurs.

The strength of this story is in the descriptions of the village people - their petty, biting, and idiosyncratic ways. And that takes up much of the book. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The mystery part is still central to the story, but the plot isn't terribly new and the pacing lags a bit.

Overall, it was a good read. If you like delving into the silly shenanigans of an English village plus a murder mystery, you will like this book.
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