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A Charitable Body (Charlie Peace #10)

2.83 of 5 stars 2.83  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  29 reviews
What an honor – to become a trustee of one of England’s distinguished stately homes. Yorkshire cop Charlie Peace’s wife Felicity is at first thrilled when she’s asked to help oversee Walbrook Manor, a recent gift to the nation. It’s not long, though, before both she and Charlie smell trouble.

Walbrook has over the years suffered a lurid history of feuds and treachery. Perha
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 7th 2013 by Scribner (first published January 3rd 2012)
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Only giving this one 3 stars. It was interesting and I finished it. But I had problems with a number of things. The writing was just OK - and the dialogues juvenile at times. The author clearly knows a lot about 20th century British culture, but seemed to be packing too much of this knowledge in the story.

The biggest issue is that the protagonist began trying to solve the mystery before the crime was discovered. I think the author forgot the body had not yet been found. And the progression from
Jill Hutchinson
I have read other books in the Detective Inspector Charlie Peace series and have always enjoyed them. This entry is certainly not my favorite since the story is all over the place. I was not really sure where the author was going with the plot.

The story concerns a stately home that is now administered by a trust under the chairmanship of a relative of the family that once owned it. Most of the story is concerned with who is related to who and is there something shady going on in the trust. In th
P.d.r. Lindsay
One of the librarians at my local library is a great fan of police procedural crime fiction. She’s been suggesting books to me for weeks, but I haven’t felt like reading anything gritty, brutal, grim and bloody. She pounced on me with a grin last week. “Try this one,” she said. “It’s not a bit gruesome. You’ll enjoy it, it’s by Robert Barnard.” She was right and I did.

Robert Barnard has a long list of crime writing awards and life time achievement awards from both America and the U.K. He is a p
Richard Stueber
This is probably the last novel by Robert Barnard who died 19 Sept 2013. Earlier in his career Barnard was known for the nastiness of some of his characters and the lack of happy endings. There was a gradual mellowing, particularly in his Charlie Peace novels,
Dexter "Charlie" Peace is a Yorkshire police inspector. His wife Felicity is a novelist and professor of literature at Leeds University.
Stately Walbrook Manor has been given by its owner to a charitable trust for use as a museum and art exh
I liked some of the characters in the book but didn't particularly like the plot. I've heard that others books by this author are better. I know the author died in 2013. This was published in 2012. Sad that there won't be any more. I'd give another one of his books a chance. Sad I didn't like this one better.
This is much more like "A Mansion and its Murder" (which was published originally under the name Bernard Bastable, although Bastable and Barnard are the same person) than any of the other novels published under the Barnard name. It's not a story that suits Charlie Peace very well, and indeed, he doesn't come out seeming much like himself--this is Charlie Peace at the blandest he's ever been. It's a decent mystery if you like the kind where English country house crimes of many decades ago are rev ...more
This is a pretty good series. Charlie Peace is a police inspector in Yorkshire. His wife Felicity is asked to join the board that oversees the Walbrook Manor, a stately home that has been donated and opened to the public. She begins to look into the history of the estate and soon finds herself involved in family intrigue. When a body is found, Charlie is also on the scene to get things resolved. This was a good read but got a little dry in places.
It's delightful to have a return visit with Yorkshire police inspector Charlie Peace, though this outing seems to be devoted to his novelist-wife Felicity. Felicity joins the board governing a stately home, recently set up as a charitable trust by its former owner. The museum expert in charge of the board is the former owner's cousin, although there's some friction between the two branches of the family. There may be hidden secrets concealed in the past of the family--and even among the archives ...more
Katherine Clark
I love Robert Barnard. So far so good.

Unfortunately, it didn't pick up and it didn't have the usual Barnard magic. Some of his relatively recent mysteries haven't been that good as mysteries, but I so love the atmosphere he creates that I am OK with that. This one lacked any kind of interesting atmoshphere. I usually love Charlie Peace. Here he was insipid--as was his wife. I didn't care about the mystery--very uninteresting. Where is Barnard's biting wit and satire? His compassion for his prota
Good start but just ok
Apr 28, 2012 Mandy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: insomniacs
Oh my goodness. Yawn. Over a hundred pages in and still no body has been found. This just didn't go anywhere, just a bunch of talking and set up to what, I'll never know. DNF. Two stars for being in an English historical house. The author must have sat on some boards and had some kind of axe to grind because I can think of no other reason why a novelist would expound on the formation of the governing boards of a charitable trust, in what is advertised as a murder mystery.
I've read several Barnard books in the past and recall liking them. This one was quite disappointing. It seemed to be missing parts of the story development, relied to much on characters remembering trivial details told to them many years in the past, and finally the plot ending was, to the extent I followed it, pulled out of thin air and highly unlikely to boot. Finally, though I finished the book, it did not hold my interest.
I've been reading this series about a black British policeman, named Charles Peace and his wife,since the beginning, and I like it.

I found out something interesting, though, while reading a book about Scotland Yard/The Metropolitan (London) Police. Charley Peace was a famous criminal, dark skinned (though not black.) He played the violin and lived a good life; but most nights he was out burgling the neighbors.
I have a good time with Robert Barnard books, especially the comfy satire. In this case, an old family manor has been turned over to a trust and managed as a museum. Now that an antique automobile complete with body has been found, DI Charlie Peace must discover whether the old family feud descended to murder.
A good mystery by Barnard. Started me on a whole track of looking at all of the mysteries this man has written - a ton! So this was a good introduction - a bit droll - some lovely English characters. And a mystery based on some world war III goings-on among some nasty people - too many of whom are related.
Kenneth Bearden
A real disappointment. The usually-splendid Barnard delivers a dull book. All talk, talk, talk, and about an incident over seventy years old. Weakly-plottted, slender characterization, and a just plain stupid conclusion.
Had to look up sticky beak, never heard that before. And not sure about peculation, but I really had fun with this Charlie Peace mystery. His wife, Felicity, played a major role and I liked her a lot.
I've read many of Barnard's mysteries in the past and this one just doesn't hold up. Hardly anything happens--it is all talk, talk, talk as an old mystery is unveiled. Really disappointing.

Barnard doesn't use many recurring characters. This one featured Felicity and Charley Peace, a police inspector. It had some interesting information about World War 2 poets and musicians.
A plotless story about an old English manor house. Witty writing, but all the characters sound the same. Could have been told in ten pages.
Debbie G
Nice, simple detective novel easy to read with a solution that requires more than you think it will. An author I will read more of.
Amanda DeWees
Probably my lowest grade on a Robert Barnard by far. Usually he's clever, caustic, perceptive, and engaging. This book... wasn't.
Another charming mystery in the series. The best satire is always charming, yes?
A village/stately home cozy but not cutesy - good hammock read on a hot July weekend.
Mark Levine
Classic family problems with added class warfare.Stlish writing without surprises.
The last few books, including this one, have been disappointing.
Disappointing - plot seemed implausible.
Al Stoess
Jul 23, 2012 Al Stoess rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Barnard fans
Interesting in spots. Unsatisfactory ending.
Sheldon Lehman
Another great story from a master!
Gitte marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2015
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Aka Bernard Bastable.

Robert Barnard (born 23 November 1936) is an English crime writer, critic and lecturer.

Born in Essex, Barnard was educated at the Royal Grammar School in Colchester and at Balliol College in Oxford. His first crime novel, A Little Local Murder, was published in 1976. The novel was written while he was a lecturer at University of Tromsø in Norway. He has gone on to write more t
More about Robert Barnard...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Peace (10 books)
  • Death And The Chaste Apprentice (Charlie Peace, #1)
  • A Fatal Attachment (Charlie Peace, #2)
  • A Hovering Of Vultures (Charlie Peace, #3)
  • The Bad Samaritan (Charlie Peace, #4)
  • No Place Of Safety (Charlie Peace, #5)
  • The Corpse At The Haworth Tandoori (Charlie Peace, #6)
  • The Bones In The Attic (Charlie Peace, #7)
  • A Fall From Grace (Charlie Peace, #8)
  • The Killings on Jubilee Terrace (Charlie Peace, #9)
The Bones In The Attic (Charlie Peace, #7) Out of the Blackout Skeleton in the Grass Death By Sheer Torture (Perry Trethowan, #1) Death And The Chaste Apprentice (Charlie Peace, #1)

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