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3.2 out of 5 stars
Murder at Madingley Grange
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2001
Call me old fashioned, but when I buy a whodunnit, I expect to have at least one murder in it. Unfortounatly, there is no murder, no investigation, and the crime is wrapped up in no more than 2 and a half pages.
But all due respect to Graham, the book is well written, and sets the classic genre exceptionally.
The story line is that of a brother and sister left in charge of their Aunt's gothic mansion, and, always on the look for a quick earner, the brother presudes the sister to put up a 1920s style murder weekend.
There are a host of funny and brilliantly portrayed characters (the transvestite maid and fortune telling old lady to name a few).
But, three quarters of the way through the book, there is not even a glint of a dagger. Not giving to much away, the plot is based on a planned, but unsucessful crime, which none of the guests are aware of even when they leave the Grange, and which almost leaves way for a sequel.
However, the book isn't easy reading. Graham is very descriptive, with many long words! Still, quite a good twist to the tale, and even a refreshing change to your average whodunnit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2011
The other reviewers seem to have missed the fact that this is a deliberate spoof of a thirties detective story, and in my opinion very well done. I have read it several times and always find it very funny. (Probably the fault of the publishers failing to make this clear on the blurb - I bet they thought it wouldn't sell as well.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I couldn't finish this. So ponderous in plot with dizzying characters, not in the least convincing. I am a big follower of Graham but I would not have recognised this as her work. Descriptions of the house and its rooms were interesting but there was nothing new for the reader and beyond that it was all a bit tiresome. Simon and Laurie were as silly as the visitors who came for a Murder-Mystery week-end. Quite the poorest crime fiction novel I've read and this is one of my favourite genres.
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on 19 August 2013
This is a good book, and although my favourite Caroline Graham novels are the Barnaby series, I enjoyed this. Ms Graham's writing is always a joy to read, and her characters brilliant to observe. I only discovered Ms Graham's writing recently as the woeful "Midsomer Murders" television series put me off ever reading the original books! What a mistake that was, the books are excellent and thus the exact opposite to the tv series....I recommend 'Murder at Madingly Grange' as a 'good read' but for real mystery and intrigue, read the Barnaby books! In a recent visit to New York I noticed all had been re-issued - they are just so good.
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on 9 December 2013
More PG Wodehouse than Agatha Christie (and no Detective Barnaby), this is lotsa fun. While reading with enjoyment I got the impression the author, while writing it, got a lot of pleasure too. Don't expect blood and gore, although there are tense moments. The novel's strength lies in conflict between extraordinary characters - an inventive talent peculiar to Caroline Graham.
Her whodunit Barnaby novels show this skill in creating homicide scenes. Here the emphasis is on humour, farcical situations and good writing.
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on 6 January 2014
I have always enjoyed murder mystery books and I came along Caroline Graham, Faithful unto Death was the first book I read of hers and I must say I was impressed, I have since read a number of her books, they are gripping, written well and have a few twists and turns, I would recommend them if you enjoy the murder genre.
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on 16 March 2014
The plot was a bit too confusing at times, somehow the story just didn't flow. I plodded through to the end but it wasn't an enthralling read
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on 20 February 2014
Couldn't get engrossed in this. Disappointed. Unbelievable plot. Didn't finish book. Was expecting better from author of much enjoyed Vera.
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on 5 October 2014
I can't believe that this book,written by this author was really meant for adults.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I spent most of the book waiting for a real murder, and then, all of a sudden, the story was over! Felt really sorry for the peacock, the only victim. Have read other Caroline Graham novels, mostly Midsomer Murders, and have enjoyed them, but I felt quite cheated by this one.
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