Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
TONGUE FIRMLY IN CHEEK?
on 10 March 2012
This 1930 novel is set firmly in an England of manor houses, lorgnettes, cucumber sandwiches, absent-minded vicars, wills about to be changed, people talking at length about nothing in particular - oh, and human remains hanging from hooks in a butcher's shop.
A mischievous narrative presents many suspects, several theories and, new to the neighbourhood, Beatrice Lestrange Bradley - a small wizened sleuth prone to cackling. No prizes for guessing she deduces who did what.
For full enjoyment one has to accept much that is preposterous - not least seemingly half the neighbourhood roaming the woods on the evening of the death. Throughout Gladys Mitchell's style appears gently mocking. ('"It's me!" said Felicity, with an ungrammatical terseness born of nervousness.')
A murder mystery that will either try the patience or provoke chuckles of pleasure. "Superbly odd" declares the cover. It is certainly that.