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

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  195 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIES, TWO EDGAR NOMINATIONSEthelred 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 impressive than ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Pan Publishing (first published July 23rd 2010)
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Jul 30, 2016 Stephen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't the best in the series so far just couldn't into it felt the characters were wooden
Aug 23, 2015 Damaskcat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 08, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rupert Matthews
Oct 17, 2016 Rupert Matthews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fun in a gentle, holiday reading sort of a way. Highly recommended for entertainment if not for great literary style. But then who wants a book that is hard work. I never finished War and Peace anyway.
Sara Eames
Jan 09, 2017 Sara Eames rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good read. I love the Elsie and Ethelred books and this one is what I've come to expect from L C Tyler. It is a cosy mystery, which is well-written with interesting characters. Ok, the plot is a little far-fetched at times, but it is still a good read. I look forward to reading more in this excellent series.
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 Lizzie Hayes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘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.
Jul 03, 2011 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, humor
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
Jun 27, 2016 Yoy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deel een van the Herring series was super, deel twee vond ik duidelijk minder humorvol en stilistisch minder mooi. Echt het tweede boek van een auteur, die wat teveel druk van buitenaf voelt.

In deel drie is L.C. Tyler weer helemaal terug. Alle voordelen van het eerste deel zijn er: de flegmatische tweederangsauteur Ethelred is weer meer aan het woord, maar literair agente Elsie ook, en Ethelred schrijft ook weer een boek, waardoor zijn hoofdpersoon ook een stem, een visie heeft. Aangezien het b
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
Charlotte Jones
I picked this up at random whilst waiting for an appointment and although it had me gripped from the beginning, I can't say I enjoyed it overall.

The writing style was clunky and the dual perspectives felt completely redundant at points, with the two characters repeating each other quite a lot.

The conclusion to the mystery is probably one of the most dissatisfying I've read in a detective fiction; there are so many red herrings, even the synopsis on the back of the book has one!

Overall this was e
Mar 01, 2016 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ethelred and Elsie become involved in the death of Ethelred's friend from university, Shagger Muntham, at a dinner party held at Muntham Court. The whole mystery is based on the question of whether he was murdered or did he commit suicide and if it was murder how did the murderer escape from the locked room? It was an interesting romp getting to know the stories of all those involved and of course getting to hear the same story from the two very different viewpoints of Ethelred and Elsie. I like ...more
Deborah Swift
Oct 30, 2010 Deborah Swift rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 25, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
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. :)
Wilde Sky
Dec 27, 2012 Wilde Sky rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 18, 2013 Brenda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Verity W
Jul 28, 2016 Verity W rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm getting more and more perplexed by these. They should be just my sort of thing, but I often find myself wanting to throw things at Ethelred and Elsie - both of whom are stupid and obtuse in their own special ways. But that's not making for a fun reading experience. I've got a couple more of these in the library book bag and I'll give them a go, but I don't think I'll be buying any more.
3.5 Stars.

While not my favourite of the Elise and Ethelred series, it was still an enjoyable read. Witty, light and well paced - it's difficult not to pleasantly read this style of writing. L.C.Tyler is a fab writer. The ending was a little bit of a disappointment but character development, the use of herrings and dialogue cannot be faulted.
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.
Aug 22, 2011 Glitter rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 29, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
Puzzle Doctor
Aug 04, 2015 Puzzle Doctor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an entertaining series. I preferred the first two, but this is still a great read. Full review at
Rin Simpson
Feb 14, 2012 Rin Simpson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can read my review at Reviewing The Evidence:
Simon Gosden
Sep 14, 2010 Simon Gosden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gentle comic novel that parodies locked room country house murder stories in a knowing and genial way. Pleasant read and quite good fun.
Quynh Ly
Feb 19, 2014 Quynh Ly rated it did not like it
A complete letdown! A star for the beautiful cover which was why I bought it in the first place.. *sigh*
Aug 05, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Interesting and amusingly written overall. Not so brilliant as to send me searching for more, though.
J. Paul Murdock
May 01, 2016 J. Paul Murdock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A jolly good read, though...

Usual romp with Ethelred and Elsie. Though I have taken a star off for the weird (though typical) ending and the fact that nothing really happened.
Apr 26, 2012 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm so tired of trusting reviews. I picked up this book because the website FelonyAndMayhem called it an intelligent read. Not so.
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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 (6 books)
  • The Herring Seller's Apprentice
  • Ten Little Herrings
  • Herring on the Nile
  • Crooked Herring
  • Cat Among The Herrings (Elsie and Ethelred, #6)

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