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The Herring in the Library (Elsie and Ethelred Mystery #3)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  27 reviews


Ethelred and Elsie are an unlikely duo: He’s a deeply mediocre mystery writer (first encountered in the Edgar-nominated The Herring Seller’s Apprentice), and she’s his deeply nosy, chocolate-chomping agent. And yet they are stuck with one another, if only because their combined sleuthing abilities are much more impressiv

Paperback, 225 pages
Published June 16th 2011 by Felony & Mayhem (first published July 23rd 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 197)
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Ethelred and Elsie are invited to dinner by an old university acquaintance of Ethelred's - Sir Robert Mundham. Their dinner companions seem an ill-assorted and ill at ease group of people and the pair are starting to wonder what is going to happen as it seems like an ideal set up for a murder and the house reminds them of the game of Cluedo they had been playing earlier in the day.

Half way through the meal the host makes a speech and disappears. He is found dead in his library shortly afterwards
Jan Yates (Hunter)
I enjoy Ethelred & Elsie. The first two books in the series are very clever and well done. This third entry is the weakest of the three, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to like about it.

The story takes its queue from locked room mysteries of yore - with Ethelred and Elsie opening the book playing a game of Cluedo. The book then alternates the unfolding of the story of how Shagger could have been murdered in a locked library across Ethelred's point of view, Elsie's point of view (a
Ethelred Tressider is a mystery writer although not first rate. His agent, Elsie Thirkettle, is visiting Ethelred and while occupying their time with a game of Clue (Cludeo) Elsie is attempting to get Ethelred busy on his next book. The game that occupies their time is one that they will soon be playing with a real life mystery.

Ethelred reminds Elsie that they are soon due at the estate of Sir Robert and Lady Muntham of Muntham Court for dinner. Sir Robert is an old friend of Ethelred’s who was
Lizzie Hayes
‘The Herring in the Library’ by L C Tyler
Published by MacMillan, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-230-71468-7

When writer Ethelred Tressider bumps into Rob (Shagger) Muntham outside the village Post Office, last seen considerably inebriated celebrating his degree, he expects nothing more than a quick nod, but having advised Ethelred that he is now Sir Robert Muntham of the large pile up the road called Muntham Court he invites himself into Ethelreds bijou residence - a couple of rooms across the village green.
Ethelred and Elsie are at it again--this time taking their sleuthing skills to the old country manor house and investigating The Herring in the Library. L. C. Taylor's third installment in his comic mystery series once again provides readers with a send-up of Agatha Christie and her Golden Age contemporaries. We have a gathering of dear old chums at a dinner party given by Sir Robert "Shagger" Muntham at his newly acquired country home. Nearly everyone on the guest list has a reason to be glad w ...more
I loved this book. First, let me say I don't know why they call Clue...Cluedo. That said I loved the book. It was funny. The book is written from the perspective of both Ethelred and Elsie. The type is different for each person, so pay attention. Ethelred is, according to Elsie, a third rate crime writer. He's also not to sharp with observation. Elsie is loud, opinionated and fond of sweets. The two of them together must solve the perfect mystery of a murder in a locked room. Evey person at dinn ...more
Puzzle Doctor
Such an entertaining series. I preferred the first two, but this is still a great read. Full review at
Deborah Swift
A good dose of wit and mystery in a spoof Cluedo setting, with a jolly good plot. A sort of Agatha Christie meets Stephen Fry written with panache. The suspects for the inevitable murder in the library (don't think I'm giving away too much here)are observed from two opposing points of view - those of Ethelred the aspiring novelist and his long-suffering agent.Full of references to books and films you thought you had forgotten until Tyler reminds you of them, it entertains and keeps you guessing. ...more
A pleasant and enjoyable book with two very engaging lead characters and some very funny exchanges. Ethelred and Elsie are invited to a dinner party at a manor house where the host is later found dead in a locked library.....good fun.
This clever little novel of a third rare murder mystery author and his difficult relationship with his agent and their involvement with a hosted dinner party that results in the death of the host, is set in England. Also included is the historical murder mystery that the character is working on during the action of the story. This creates an interesting mirror of the plot and reflects on the real author. The narrative role is played alternately by the murder mystery author and his agent, which r ...more
Quynh Ly
A complete letdown! A star for the beautiful cover which was why I bought it in the first place.. *sigh*
Mystery writer Ethelred encounters a college friend, "Slugger" Muntham, now Lord Robert, and brings his literary agent Elsie to dinner at the Muntham estate. Naturally, someone is murdered. Ethelred is sure that the one person above suspicion is Lady Muntham, so of course she becomes Elsie's main suspect. Ethelred, meanwhile, is working on a new historical mystery, which is excerpted throughout. Is it his subconscious that causes Ethelred to include themes from the current death in his draft?
Wilde Sky
When an unsuccessful writer, Ethelred, and his literary agent, Elsie, are invited to a posh dinner by one of his old college friend the last thing Ethelred is expecting is a mysterious death.

Quite an amusing story told from the viewpoint, in different chapters, of Ethelred and Elsie. The characters are well developed and the tale proceeds at a good pace. However I could have done without the sections of Ethelred’s writing.
Another fabulous book by L.C. Tyler. The third title in the ongoing series featuring Elsie and Ethelred was excellent. I loved every bit of it. I can't wait to read book four, Herring on the Nile, to find out how this one really ended. :)
I would have given this a five star rating right up until the last 2 pages. The ending sucked! Ugh, how could the writer end it that way? I admit, I skipped all the italicized parts in the book that were the story within a story that one of the narrators was writing. I could ignore that and give it five stars, but no way to ignore the dumb, ambiguous, totally backward ending.
Kirsty Darbyshire
In the beginning I really enjoyed this light hearted satirical take on the classic mystery. The first few chapters were a really easy and fun read. However it started to grate about half way through and I found I didn't really care very much about the plot or the characters. A pity, as it started in a very promising fashion.
Aug 22, 2011 Glitter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Secret sleuths
I absolutely loved it! Very rarely do I read a book in less than 24 hours, but this is exactly what happened here. It was clever, suspenceful and incredibly entertaining. The ending was not what I expected, but I was entertained until the very last line, so no complaints there.
Very fun read. Tyler's characters really come into themselves in this book - Ethelred is sweeter and yet more stupid than ever, while Elsie is more caustic, sarcastic, and yet good hearted to those few, ever so few, deserving (especially if they offer her chocolate).
I'm so tired of trusting reviews. I picked up this book because the website FelonyAndMayhem called it an intelligent read. Not so.
Simon Gosden
A gentle comic novel that parodies locked room country house murder stories in a knowing and genial way. Pleasant read and quite good fun.
Interesting and amusingly written overall. Not so brilliant as to send me searching for more, though.
Rin Simpson
You can read my review at Reviewing The Evidence:
As an Agatha Christie fan, this book was right up my street.
Nick Benson
good solid series, and sometimes reasonable jokes
Not as enjoyable as his first book
Cute story!
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L. C. Tyler grew up in Essex and studied geography at Jesus College Oxford University and systems analysis at City University in London. During a career with the British Council he lived in Malaysia, Sudan, Thailand and Denmark. More recently he has been based in Islington and West Sussex and is Chief Executive of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. He is married and has two childre ...more
More about L.C. Tyler...

Other Books in the Series

Elsie and Ethelred Mystery (5 books)
  • The Herring Seller's Apprentice
  • Ten Little Herrings
  • Herring on the Nile
  • Crooked Herring

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