Tilling Green was a charming little village nestling in the Ledshire countryside. Not at all the sort of place you would expect to find an anonymous letter writer. And when one of the recipients, a young woman, was found drowned in the lake belonging to the Manor House, Miss Silver was persuaded to go and investigate. Valentine Grey, the pretty young heiress from the Manor House, was marrying one Gilbert Earle, but on the night of Valentine's pre-wedding party Jason Leigh, Valentine's former love, returned after months without a word. Valentine discovered Gilbert in a compromising situation with her guardian's wife. And several people received extremely nasty letters. Connie Brooks knew who had written those letters. But on the same night, she was murdered...
©1955 Patricia Wentworth Turnbull (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This book will not be for everyone. I believe it was first published in 1955 but it reads like something much older, it's aesthetic seems to be 1930's, or even earlier. I love that, but please be warned that it moves slowly, that there is much conversation and little action, and that motivations appear at least on first reading to be wildly different in this book than they are in modern American life. However, as is often the case with Miss Silver, there are aspects of this close examination of people and their relationships and the results of their choices that are just as relevant and timely today as they were when they were written.
Miss Silver, the series sleuth, is the ultimate working lady (lady being the operative word) and she reminds me very much of my grandmother. I adore her for her reserve, her dowdy attire, her resistance to familiarity, her quiet independence, compassion, and shrewd insight. She's a version of Miss Marple (Agatha Christie) and Miss Climpson (Dorothy Sayers) and I love all these independent, intrepid, elderly spinster sleuths with their subtle social camouflage that causes wrongdoers not to take them seriously until it is far too late. Miss Silver is portrayed with less humor than either of the other two ladies but she is a sister under the skin all the same, being a quietly attired and unstoppable force of nature.
I find Patricia Wentworth to be a uniquely period writer who's insights are still relevant today, and I love to spend time with Miss Silver from time to time, especially when life gets chaotic and I need a sense of continuity. I'm thrilled that Audible is brining the entire list to audio book form, and thrilled that Diana Bishop is reading them all, I can't imagine Miss Silver read by anyone else. What a treat!
Never lonely with a good book in hand
It absolutely met my expectations for a Miss Silver novel. All the voices are done well by Diana Bishop and the story addresses all levels of society, woven together as well as a jumper knitted by Miss Silver. I'm eager to listen to another.
The author's customary character development is missing, and we are left with Ms Silver and her detective endlessly discussing case details and possibilities. I found I was in a fog of Mettie and Maggie and Renie, sometimes called Irene, to further complicate. After a bit, i just didn't care, really.
I felt no connection with any character, save Ms. Silver; and even she got on my nerves after a while, because it's impossible that she should've solved this particular case with so little contact with the 'suspects' or opportunity to observe them--they were none of them on the scene long enough.
The perpetual stuttering of the various characters, whenever anxious or fearful, just works my nerves. This is true for all the books I have heard in the series, but this time in particular, she was on my last nerve.
Disappointment and aggravation with both narrator and author. Come on, ladies; you can do better than this.
I will certainly listen to more in this series-- I should say again that this volume was singularly disappointing for the reasons given.
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