When Rupert Sethleigh’s body is found one morning, laid out in the village butcher’s shop and minus its head, the inhabitants of Wandles Parva aren’t particularly upset. Sethleigh was a blackmailing money lender and when Mrs Bradley begins her investigation she finds no shortage of suspects.
It soon transpires that most of the village seem to have been wandering about Manor Woods, home of the mysterious druidic stone on which Sethleigh’s blood is found splashed, on the night he was murdered. But can she eliminate the red herrings and catch the real killer?
©1930 Gladys Mitchell (P)2012 Soundings
Not as well known as Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey or Dorothy Sayers; Gladys Mitchell but a classic golden age mystery writer and story teller. Featuring Dame Beatrice Lestrade Bradley, forensic psychologist and aquited murderess, the mysteries can be a little uneven. However the wonderfully excentric Dame Beatrice is always worth a visit. Gladys Mitchell uses the British countryside and fokelore to add fasinating layers. The Mys of the Butcher's Shop is one of her early and better stories. Well narrated, it was a pleasure. Gladies Mitchell wrote 66 mysteries, under her own name, hopefully many will be translated into an audio version.
I ended up bailing on this one after a couple of hours. Mrs. Bradley herself had barely appeared, and wasn't that interesting once she did - if you're expecting Diana Rigg here, fuhgeddaboutit. Instead, we're introduced to several local characters who are largely ... overdone by the narrator to the point where I found them an irritating lot.
It's great to see audiobook versions of Gladys Mitchell's Mrs. Bradley mysteries! They are gems, and I can't imagine any other narrator but Patience Tomlinson for these books. Her vocal range and dexterity is matchless, her characterizations are flawless, and it seems clear that she enjoys reading the books as much as we enjoy listening to them, and to her. I look forward to listening to all of them, and hope she narrates the entire Mrs.Bradley corpus.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop is the second of some 66 Mrs. Bradley books written by Gladys Mitchell, beginning in 1929. Mrs. Bradley is elderly, but that is the only way in which she resembles Miss Marple or Miss Silver. She is a widow, enjoying the wealth which her husband left to her, and there is nothing sweet or unassuming about her -- she screeches with laughter about unexpected things and tends to order people around.
This book involves the murder of a man who has inherited a sizeable estate, including the country house and grounds where he is killed.You have many of the requisite characters for a country house murder mystery -- the Vicar, his daughter, the Doctor, his daughter, the local Constable and Sergeant of Police, and the victim's aunts, cousins, and other assorted rleatives. Mitchell constructed an interesting puzzle in this tale, and I enjoyed the book. Although I must say that I had some problems keeping the large cast of characters straight.
Patience Tomlinson does an excellent job of narrating.
An elderly scary female detective as oppose to one who might be side tracked by a bit o' muslin' on the side? Count me in! Sorry Nancy Drew, I stopped reading about you once it started to center round her relationships. I read Mysteries for MYSTERIES.
Also, Mrs. Bradley is scarily awesome, or was it awesomely scary?
Mrs. Bradley! The others are mere side dishes. Also, I may like the forgetful and sporting pastor.
I bought this book because it was Patience Tomlinson.
Beware of old ladies with teeth.
I like mysteries well enough, but I think I'd only purchase more if they are on sale.
Mrs. Bradley is a fine read if you like British classic mysteries and enjoy a mix of Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse, with a dash of accountant's spreadsheet of facts and clues.
Personally, I find a heroine with "beady eyes" and "yellow talons" enchanting. Not suffering fools is another trait I like in Mrs. Bradley. I _felt_ the book is playing by the rules and, if I was attentive and as intuitive as Mrs. B, I should have figured it out. Was it playing by the rules? I haven't a clue, nor do I care...it is a detailed romp that was fun.
It is a silly but serious handling of a story. I _felt_ the book is playing by the rules and, if I was attentive and as intuitive as Mrs. B, I should have figured it out. Was it playing by the rules? I haven't a clue, nor do I care...it is a detailed detective romp that was fun.
It was not a waste of time, but it would be a bit strong to say that it was time well spent.
I could imagine a friend getting interested in the author's work and this might be a good introduction to it.
A trifle grating.
I am listening to this in bed as I drift off to sleep - I must admit I drift off quicker than I normally would: this really is outdated: I have the Mrs Bradley DVDs but these bear no relation and normally one says the book is better: in this case it is not. I just do not understand half of what is going on and why it is and why it has been written at all. As I have paid for it, I keep listening, but half in the hope that it might improve; so far it hasn't! Sorry, I really did try to like it!!
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