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Who Killed the Curate? [Paperback]

Joan Coggin
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 157 pages
  • Publisher: Rue Morgue Press (Nov 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915230445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915230440
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,308,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Who Killed the Curate? When Lady Lupin turned her back on the gay society life to marry the Vicar of Glanville, she didn't expect she'd have to turn detective in this comic detective novel first published in England in 1944 and set at Christmas 1937. Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather silly 12 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was surprisingly poor, in fact I couldn't finish it. It was silly, rather than witty, the characters were two dimensional, and the plot took far too long to get into its stride. I got as far as halfway, and the crime still hadnt been committed! Very disappointing.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie meets Amelia Bedelia 15 April 2002
By CLM - Published on Amazon.com
Rue Morgue has done mystery fans a favor with their reprints of vintage British mysteries, and I found this story by Joan Coggin (known also for her school stories written as Joanna Lloyd - sadly, these are long OP) absolutely charming. Lady Lupin and her friend Duds are inane detectives but are very funny and well intentioned. Vicarage life is depicted in a way that seems both realistic and hysterical. I can't wait to read more.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comme ci comme ca 13 Sep 2006
By Pentiumm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lady Lupin, lover of cocktails, parties, and fast motor cars, finds herself married to a charming and thoughtful vicar. Unfortunately, his parish is located in an obsure and unimportant part of the country - to call it a backwater would be to flatter it.

Just as Lady Lupin is settling into her new home (complete with competative women heading up various girl guides, mother's assocation, you-name-it organizations), her husband's curate is killed.

Here enters the mystery. Unfortunately, it really isn't much of one. The majority of the book is about Lady Lupin and how she deals with other people, domestics, guests, misunderstandings, etc. All very interesting, sometimes charming, and sometimes amusing. But as far as the mystery goes, there is very little action on it after the curate is killed.

I'm not sure if I'm being clear, but this is one of those mysteries where the murder takes place, then there is a lot of interpersonal/character developement in the middle in the guise of sleuthing, and then the killer is unmasked at the end.

There is no slowly revealing and adding new clues along the way, no additional happenings (perhaps a second killing) to deepen the puzzle, really no puzzle, per se, at all.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Funny 24 Oct 2003
By Sherry - Published on Amazon.com
I enjoyed this book so much. Would make a wonderful play, the dialog is witty and quick and the mystery intrigues you. A real British classic. Don't miss it, I can't wait to read more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars England, 1937 10 July 2009
By Lyn Reese - Published on Amazon.com
Lady Lupin Lorrimer Hastings is the newlywed wife of Andrew, the attractive vicar of St. Marks Parish. A London society girl, Lupin is totally unprepared for the multiple tasks assigned to the wife of the vicar of a seaside village church. Scatterbrained, even described in a loving way as "batty" by one of her friends, Lupin at the same time is lovable and warmhearted. When Andrew's curate is poisoned, Lupin finds herself defending the most likely suspect, the local author of detective stories.

Coggin's plot revolves around the doings of a small circle of parishioners who always seem to be dropping in on the vicarage. Lupin does not uncover the murderer on her own. Rather she relies on investigations undertaken by various church members and by her old friends. It is hard, however, to connect with any of Coggin's cast of characters. Most, Lupin in particular, lack any real concern about the murderer in their midst. The larger events in Europe are ignored as well, with only one small reference to the Fascist and Nazi governments on the continent. What does seem real is the very 1930s English middle class dialogue, written by an author who lived in the period.

Lupin is featured in three following mysteries, perhaps the first clergyman's wife to take up crime-solving as a hobby. The Lady Lupin mysteries, written by Coggin who was born in 1898, are out of print vintage works recently revived in 2001 by the Rue Morgue Press. The book contains an interesting preface about Joan Coggin.
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Read That Still Interests 31 May 2008
By VB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book follows two story lines. The most obvious, of course, is in the title. Who, indeed, killed the curate? By the time you have finished the book, you will have the answer. The second, and much more interesting story line, follows the seemingly empty-headed, twenty-one year old socialite Lady Lupin after she meets and quickly marries a man no one would have ever thought she would find attractive. The man in question is a 43 year old vicar of a small church in a small town. This second story line follows her somewhat difficult adjustment to life in a small town as a young vicar's wife. This is why I rated the book as deserving four stars. The author writes convincingly of Lady Lupin missing her easy-going, fun-seeking single life in London while still finding the sacrifice worth while in her happy marriage.

If you are looking for a tight, logical, and riveting mystery, you probably want to keep looking. However, if you like a bit of a cozy British mystery with character development, look no further. The author introduces us to Lady Lupin and her husband, but you also get to know some other characters that I hope make an appearance in the subsequent novels written by this author. Further, I enjoyed the setting-- England in the late 1930's I believe-- and through the authors writing of the story, I got to know what life was like during that time.
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