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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beatrix Potter vs. the Crabbe Woman
I have read the entire series of "Victorian Mysteries" written by Mrs. Albert and her husband under the name of Robin Paige and have found most of the books in that series to be quite good. I was particularly impressed with the entry in that series that featured Beatrix Potter and so I was sure that I would really like this new series that would revolve entirely around...
Published on 1 Dec. 2005 by Dennis Phillips

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute but Slow
Beatrix Potter, successful author, has bought a farm in the Lake District of England. She loves the area and is hoping to use it to set up an independent life from her parents.

She expects peace and quite in the village of Near Sawrey. But on her first visit, she realizes that's not to be.

Miss Tolliver passed away rather unexpectedly on her...
Published on 8 Mar. 2007 by Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beatrix Potter vs. the Crabbe Woman, 1 Dec. 2005
By 
Dennis Phillips "The Book Friar" (Bulls Gap, Tennessee USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tale of Hill Top Farm (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read the entire series of "Victorian Mysteries" written by Mrs. Albert and her husband under the name of Robin Paige and have found most of the books in that series to be quite good. I was particularly impressed with the entry in that series that featured Beatrix Potter and so I was sure that I would really like this new series that would revolve entirely around the famous author of children's books.
This series is based on Potter's real life purchase of Hill Top Farm in England's Lake District and features not only a captivating set of villagers but also an eclectic group of mystery solving animals. Both the people and the animals of the village are a gossipy bunch and both tend to make mountains out of molehills and spread inaccurate speculation. In the case of this book however these things may be a virtue for although there are several little mysteries running along as secondary plot lines all of the mysteries are quite shallow and could use any weight that the village grapevine might add to them.
It seems to be the style of this author to use the first book in a series as an introductory volume that introduces her readers to both the characters and setting of the series. That is certainly what she has done here for if the depth of the mystery content of this book were a creek one could wade across it without getting the top of ones feet wet. One of the main mysteries in this book for example is that an entire two pounds has gone missing and its disappearance has the ever-domineering Miss Myrtle Crabbe on the warpath. I'm sorry but this is just not the kind of despicable crime that would get the attention of Sherlock Holmes, or even Agatha Raisin for that matter. Now that the setting and characters have been introduced I have high hopes for the next entry and am expecting to find a little bit more meat in that book's mystery stew.
As usual however, Mrs. Albert has a delightful writing style and her ability to create characters that are fanciful but still realistic never ceases to amaze. Her animal characterizations are so good that they rival those of Beatrix Potter herself and include an owl with a recipe book for cooking rat and a cat that is afraid of heights. Add to that a couple of art thieves, a missing Parish register and a mouse that drinks champagne and what you get is a delightfully fun warm fuzzy mystery of the cozy variety. With just a spoonful or two more of actual mystery I think that this author will again have found the recipe for success.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute but Slow, 8 Mar. 2007
By 
Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Tale of Hill Top Farm (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
Beatrix Potter, successful author, has bought a farm in the Lake District of England. She loves the area and is hoping to use it to set up an independent life from her parents.

She expects peace and quite in the village of Near Sawrey. But on her first visit, she realizes that's not to be.

Miss Tolliver passed away rather unexpectedly on her birthday. Her death was a shock to all, and the village is buzzing. Additionally, things seem to be disappearing around the village, and Miss Potter gets caught up in the middle.

All this is on top of the personal problems Miss Potter faces. She's still reeling from the death of her fiance just a few months before. And, while she may own Hill Top Farm, she must figure out a way to live there while keeping the current farmers there to run it for her.

I went back and forth on whether I enjoyed the book or not. The pacing is slow, and at times I was ready for things to speed up. Yet at other times I got caught up in events and couldn't put the book down.

The characters were interesting. I especially like the portrayal of Beatrix. I completely believed her temperament from the little I know about this period of her life.

Since the book is about Beatrix Potter, there are lots of animals in the story. While they can't communicate with humans, they can talk to each other and actually play an important part in the story. It's handled in a believable way but might bother those who don't like that kind of thing.

There were parts that were enjoyable, but on the whole it was an average read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars THE TALE OF HILL TOP FARM., 1 May 2013
This review is from: The Tale of Hill Top Farm (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
Part one in what I believe is a series of 8 books, whilst I felt that The Tale Of Hill Top Farm had many things to recommend it there were some things that troubled me.

Not normally one to quibble about the use of American spellings - why should I be when so many of the books I read are by American authors - it did however seem incongruous to me that a book featuring the quintessentially British novelist, Beatrix Potter, should be riddled with such spellings (Color, Organize, Neighbor ...... I could go on but won't).

Not my main gripe though. Not something I will go into at any great length about here BUT given my views on keeping hedgehogs as 'pets' suffice to say the very mention did considerably mar my enjoyment of the book.

Anyway, pet hedgehogs aside. I loved the fact that the animals were given a voice (not that they were understood by humans you understand, only by each other), that their conversations were written in italics so that it was easy to identify that it was Crumpet the cat or Rascal the dog or one of the other animals who was speaking rather than any of the myriad of human characters who by the way almost without exception had such wonderfully quaint names.

A gentle, one could even say, genteel read set in the English Lake District (not 80 miles from where I live). Apart from the cosy mystery at the heart of the story I loved the biographical glimpses into Beatrix's life, of how the author managed to convey that here was a woman yearning for love and independence and yet, at the same time, in many ways a woman of her time, a woman who felt somewhat duty bound to obey her parents wishes.

Copyright: Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper.

The Tale of Hill Top Farm (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries)
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The Tale of Hill Top Farm (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries)
The Tale of Hill Top Farm (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries) by Susan Wittig Albert (Mass Market Paperback - Oct. 2005)
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