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Tom Brown's Body
 
 

Tom Brown's Body [Kindle Edition]

Gladys Mitchell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description

Review

"Mrs Lestrange Bradley...is by far the best and most vital English female detective" (Observer)

"Mrs Bradley is easily the best woman detective in fiction" (News Chronicle)

"Judged the equal of Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie... but more like a mad combination of them both" (Independent on Sunday)

"The Great Gladys" (Philip Larkin)

Book Description

READ ALL AGATHA CHRISTIE? TRY A VINTAGE MURDER MYSTERY

An unpopular teacher at a private boy's school has breathed his last...a classic murder mystery from one of the queens of Golden Age crime fiction


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 493 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (27 May 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RSAKQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #107,191 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RELAX AND ENJOY! 16 Mar 2012
By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
At illustrious Spey Public School loathed teacher Gerald Conway is murdered. Suspects abound, not just amongst the staff. All (except the culprit) are indebted to Mrs. Bradley for her help.

For the most part, this novel delights. Sparkling dialogue is a particular feature - be it youngsters surmising and engaged in squabbles or adults vague, artless and pedantically at variance. To add to the interest, blind Lecky Harries, a reputed witch, lives nearby - unashamedly hamming it up for visitors.

Throughout, Gladys Mitchell mischievously pokes fun at an enclosed community with its own way of life. (Mrs. Bradley is informed all boys take Divinity, but the Army Class "the Old Testament only, of course".) Contributions from pupils Scrupe, Issacher and Prince Takhobali enrich (the latter's nickname a reminder of how attitudes have since changed).

The investigation unconvincingly (but entertainingly) stretches over many weeks, allowing a range of school activities to be described. The book's title may be weak, but its characters are not - especially, of course, Mrs. Bradley - she descended from a witch and witchlike herself, causing people to recoil whenever she cackles (which she is often). Mercifully she has here stopped calling everybody "child" - curiously with the term more appropriate in these surroundings than in other novels.

Roman bath, grotesque masks, secrets, undercurrents - I enjoyed it all immensely. And, goodness, was that a touch of real magic at the end!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom, not John. 28 Feb 2012
By kettlecharlie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The books by Gladys Mitchell do not fall into any of the usual types-- no aristocratic detective connected with the only, but innocent, suspect. There is no small village packed with characters all suspicious and all with skeletons neatly arranged in all the cupboards. No, Mrs. Bradley can be found in many parts of the UK-- here it is an out of the way public (in the UK this means a very private) school. During the action, an "abominable" master is murdered and Mrs.Bradley has to use guile on both the students and the masters before the solution to this 1949 mystery is revealed. A fine read...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Bradley and a school for boys 28 Sep 2011
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Set in a boarding school for boys this is a brilliant example of Gladys Mitchell's Mrs Bradley mysteries. The boys themselves are well drawn as are the masters and the murder victim is the best sort of corpse - one who everyone dislikes. Mr Conway is found dead in the garden of a cottage occupied by another master - Mr Kay - who has many reasons to dislike him.

There are plenty of suspects both boys and masters - very few of either category can account for their movements on the night in question. Mrs Bradley, who knows the headmaster, is staying in the area and trying to buy a book belonging to her ancestress, Mary Toadflax, who was a witch. The book is currently in the possession of a blind witch called Lecky Harries who seems to have doubtful associations with several of the most likely suspects.

The inimitable Mrs Bradley is at her best in this book, seeing what is going on under the surface and uttering her gnomic pronouncements at regular intervals. The plot is complicated and intriguing and the writing is crisp and stylish. I thought the dialogue between the boys was well done and their behaviour was convincing. An enjoyable story which will keep the reader guessing until nearly the end of the story.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Brown's Body 24 April 2010
Format:Paperback
Well worth money and as ever, excellent story from Gladys Mitchell. Old fashioned and sometimes quaint but good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A period piece, written shortly after World War II, and very upper class English in tone 3 Feb 2010
By M. C. Crammer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a reissue of a classic English mystery. The lead "detective" character is an English psychiatrist, Mrs. Bradley, who is a bit eccentric but who moves in circles of a certain class -- upper middle class, it seems. The setting for this mystery is a minor English "public" school (what we Americans would call a private prep or boarding school) set in the village of Spey. Mrs. Bradley has come to this village looking for a book of magic written by one of her ancestors, who was a witch. She believes a present-day witch in the village, also a descendent of the elder witch, has the book.

Before she can obtain the book, however, one of the teachers (masters, as they call them) in the school is found dead, apparently murdered, and somehow or another, Mrs. Bradley ends up assisting the school and the police in solving the crime. The deceased had many enemies, so the list of suspects is quite long -- after all, there are all these teachers and students living together in this school. Mrs. Bradley -- sometimes with the aid of the police or one of the school faculty -- interrogate a number of people until in the final pages, the killer is revealed.

I found the style of the book a bit irritating, particularly the scenes with the village witch, who is given to talking like one of the witches in MacBeth -- confusing, cryptic statements that you have trouble understanding. Mrs. Bradley is given to responding in kind, compounding the work for the reader in trying to figure out what they're saying.

The mystery itself was quite well plotted and that part of the book I enjoyed well enough that I intend to read more in the series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A whodunit twister 13 Feb 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Gladys Mitchell is often linked with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers as the three queens of the Golden Age of Mystery, but in reality Mitchell was not as well known or published in the United States. Thanks to the British Broadcasting System, however, many of her stories have found their way into feature film, with Dame Diana Rigg playing the part of Beatrice Bradley. Mitchell was a teacher of English, history and games at several British public (in reality private) schools. She was made a member of the Detection Club in 1933, and in 1976 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger.

Beatrice Bradley is hot on the trail of a witch in the village of Spey, who she believes has in her possession a book written by one of her female relations. But she is waylaid by a friend on the Board of Governors of a local school to investigate a recent murder. The victim is almost universally disliked by his colleagues, but murder is murder. The school boasts the usual population of mischievous boys, and two of them might have real knowledge of the murder. Ms. Bradley joins her favorite nephew from Scotland Yard, Detective Inspector David Gavin, and the fun begins:

"'You, yourself, not to mention your sister, had actually been out of the house and at the Roman bath that night,' she gravely explained, 'and therefore you wanted to be sure that the police not suspect you of having murdered Mr. Conway.'

'Oh, nonsense!' said Mr. Loveday, with unusual vigor. 'We could scarcely have known that somebody would attack and drown poor Conway on a night when we were out of the house! By putting my house in order, as I believe I termed it, I merely wished to be certain that none of my boys could be held blameworthy. It was a very great shock to me when I was told that Merrys and Skene had been absent from the house one night not long before the event.'"

Gladys Mitchell contrives to turn TOM BROWN'S BODY into a whodunit twister and succeeds. From the first page she presents the reader with a whodunit barnstormer. Everyone is a suspect, and the real murderer does not emerge until Mitchell allows it.

Shelley Glodowski
Senior Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Bradley and a school for boys 8 April 2012
By Damaskcat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Set in a boarding school for boys this is a brilliant example of Gladys Mitchell's Mrs Bradley mysteries. The boys themselves are well drawn as are the masters and the murder victim is the best sort of corpse - one who everyone dislikes. Mr Conway is found dead in the garden of a cottage occupied by another master - Mr Kay - who has many reasons to dislike him.

There are plenty of suspects both boys and masters - very few of either category can account for their movements on the night in question. Mrs Bradley, who knows the headmaster, is staying in the area and trying to buy a book belonging to her ancestress, Mary Toadflax, who was a witch. The book is currently in the possession of a blind witch called Lecky Harries who seems to have doubtful associations with several of the most likely suspects.

The inimitable Mrs Bradley is at her best in this book, seeing what is going on under the surface and uttering her gnomic pronouncements at regular intervals. The plot is complicated and intriguing and the writing is crisp and stylish. I thought the dialogue between the boys was well done and their behaviour was convincing. An enjoyable story which will keep the reader guessing until nearly the end of the story.
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