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Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

on 27 March 1998
Now then, put on your most comfortable lounging clothes, settle into your favorite oversized chair and make sure sustenance is nearby - tea and cookies would be appropriate. Get ready to let a delightful, middle-aged mystery-solving lady take you to her picturesque cathedral town in rural England. As the tale begins, our heroine just happens to be passing by the Town Hall at the right moment to be in on the discovery of a body. And she is off and running.
This second Dorothy Martin mystery makes it certain-sure that we have a genuine addition to the best in this particular genre. Dorothy is a believable and well-rounded village sleuth whose trademark is her collection of very noteworthy hats - she never goes without one. Recently widowed, she is a voluntary transplant to England, anxious to embrace all that is truly English - from her chosen home (an historical landmark that she is obligated to maintain in its original appearance) to her traditional English garden, the cultivation of which she finally turns over to a local expert, discovering as so many of us do that her gardening thumb is more grimy than green!
She has the insight into human nature that puts her in the category of Jane Marple. Dorothy says to Alan, "When you're as old as I am, feelings about people are perfectly legitimate evidence in themselves. They're always based on experience." She has the warm, sensitive and caring nature reminiscent of Jessica Fletcher. Alan points out to her, "You have a greater capacity for worrying about people you don't even care for than anyone else I know." And she has a gentle, self-deprecating sense of humor that charms us.
Dorothy is a skilled and resourceful snoop who carefully organizes her thinking onto pieces of paper in a manner suggesting a professional. As she makes her way about the village (not a simple matter in a land where everyone drives on the "wrong" side of the road!), investigating everyone and everything that might bear on the mystery! of the body in Town Hall, we become better acquainted with this witty, intelligent and perceptive lady. When a second murder is committed and it becomes obvious that Dorothy herself could be in danger, tensions mount and Dorothy must redouble her own efforts to solve the crime.
Sherebury has become so real to me while reading this book, as has Dorothy and her village friends, that it is surprising to remember that this is fiction. I hope Dorothy is here to stay. I can't wait for more.
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on 5 November 1998
This was my first introduction to the character of Dorothy Martin, and I was pleased with Ms. Dams' skill at creating a character I could love. I'm a cozy reader for the most part, and if "Trouble at the Town Hall" is any indication of the rest of her Dorothy series, I should love them.
Very skillful at writing so that we can "see" what she had in mind, I think. There is tension... there is angst (;-D) and there is a delightful plot that is fun to follow.
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This is the second in the Dorothy Martin mystery series. Dorothy is an American widow who lives in the UK and blessed with an insatiable curiosity about her fellow human beings. There is a certain amount of controversy about what to do in Sherebury with the now redundant Town Hall. One day Dorothy is walking past the Town Hall and sees Mrs Finch who cleans the building at the window. Dorothy uses this as an opportunity to see inside and between them they find a body.

Trying to find out who the body is - or was - and precisely what is going on with certain so-called pillars of the community is going to tax all Dorothy's detections skills to their very limits. In between trying to solve a murder Dorothy is wondering where her relationship with Alan Nesbitt, the Chief Constable, is going. He is very much occupied with a Royal visit to a concert in the cathedral and cannot spend as much time with Dorothy as either of them would like.

This is an entertaining mystery featuring a very determined widow in her sixties who is gradually getting used to living on her own. I like the characters and the background to this small town mystery. It is firmly rooted in everyday life and everyday events and characters go about their daily lives in between trying to solve crimes and prevent corruption in their midst.
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on 21 May 2015
Jeanne Dams was highly recommended to me by an American friend, so I bought and read the first two of the series. I won't be buying any more. The England Ms Dams writes about is a caricature, a myth. She may have improved in later books, I hope she did. But I won't be finding out.
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on 27 May 1999
This was my first Dorothy Martin mystery, and what a relief....an American in England who isn't awful. Dorothy manages to get herself in to trouble and back out again, and works her way into the hearts of the locals at the same time.
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on 25 February 1999
Jeanne Dams has taken the English Miss Marple mystery style and given it new life. Her characters are enjoyable. A good read.
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on 23 September 2016
Would have enjoyed it more if she hadn't kept referring to the English rainy weather.
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