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Death of a Unicorn
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Death of a Unicorn

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  22 reviews
For best-selling author Lady Margaret, the past is no longer a pleasant memory. Her first lover's mysterious death and the seeming inevitability of her inheriting the family's stately home are cast in new light by secrets unwillingly revisited. The first in a series of reprints of Peter Dickinson's mysteries, this classic British mystery will win fans currently engrossed i ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Small Beer Press (first published 1984)
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Althea Ann
When I was a kid, I loved Dickinson's 'Changes' trilogy, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story set in Britain. I've read a few of his other books, including some of the short-stories he published with his wife, Robin McKinley (one of my very favorite authors), and always loved his sense of place and his capturing of the feel of mythology.
I was aware that he also wrote adult mystery novels, but hadn't read any. I picked this up thinking it was a mystery. However, it's really not. There is a murder...
...more
Ann
I read a recommendation of this 1982 book on NPR Books. I had read many of Dickinson's books years ago and forgotten how much I love them. This one is actually not quite as good as some others. It features a young upper-class British woman who gets involved with a financier while she is working at a social whirl type magazine in the 1950s. His books are really novels of suspense rather than straight mysteries but what sets them apart is his ability to make the reader feel like he/she is inhabiti ...more
Mary
Where in the world did I get the idea to order this out-of-print book from Better World Books? I must have read a recommendation somewhere--but not from my usual sources.

It was a quirky read but very enjoyable. Lady Margaret at age 21 and at age 51 was memorable; her lover Mr. B, her sister Jane, her domineering mother, and later her daughter and son are less so. Their motivations were not always that clear to me.

An incident near the end of the book resonated with me. Lady Margaret visits an ag
...more
Cathy
3-1/2 stars, really. This was a very interesting read. I orderd the book from Bookbub, intrigued by the title. Set in England in the 1950s and later in teh 1980s, it chronicles the life of a twin born into a titled family, weathly because of the estate and land, poor becuase the estate and land required so much maintenance. There is a mystery intwined in the story that slowly unfolds. The book evoked quite a lot of different emotions ranging from interest to disgust (at the actions of one of the ...more
Holly Troup
I read most of Peter Dickinson's books many years ago, so when I found this book, I was eager to read it and see if Dickinson's writing still cast the same spell.
I can see why, at one time, I was seeking everything that Dickinson wrote....he is a very good writer. I was a bit disappointed that I chose this book. As I recall King and Joker and the Glass-sided Antcase had greater depth. All in all, a nice memory sojourn.
Madonna
Still undecided about the book. I expected something different from Dickinson, given his reputation. And this book's recommendation.
I kept reading, waiting for the mystery to develop.
I liked the characters and their stories. I enjoyed the nods to acceptable behaviors of the times. I'm sure some of the behavior, such as becoming a mistress, for the times would cause more of a ripple than the matter-of-fact way it was reported. She didn't seem embarrassed, based on her reporting it, to report her
...more
Jami Leigh
Plot: 2 stars
Characters: 2 1/2 stars
Style: 3 stars
Pace: 2 1/2 stars

I knew the streak of amazing books had to end.
I'd picked a bunch of random paperbacks off my TBR shelf to take to work with me, and I figured I'd read this one first. There were bits I started to like, but it's far more a character study in shallow 1950s bubblebrains than anything resembling a coherent narrative. The structure on this one was strange as well, leaping forward abruptly, and getting lost in side paths. I probab
...more
Hpnyknits
I was hoping to enjoy this much more alas- found the story disappointing. the social background and the matter of inheritance and the privilege and burden of it, were much more interesting than the "mystery."
Roberta
I got a little lost in this book and had to keep checking the two time periods and the various little hints I missed but I enjoyed it. I prefer his young adult books.
Amy
Two-part history of a love affair in the aftermath of World War Two.
Linda Amos
Very slow to take off.
Jessica
I don't know why this was on my "to-read" list. I'm guessing a list of recommended mysteries? I liked the time period and the characters...it had potential. But there wasn't enough development. A 20 year old woman becomes the mistress of her boss and then he dies. She doesn't look into his death. She moves on with her life. Which seems weird to me, because she says she loved him. Then 40 some-odd years later she starts wondering about things. Nothing exciting is revealed. Not worth the time inve ...more
Liz
Loved it - a mystery about a love story.
Saoirse Sterling
Not this one; too slow and irritating. Try another.
Hannah
I'm going to give this three stars because I'm not sure I really got the whole of it, as a single piece. The description is misleading: Margaret Millett's story is not about a mystery, it's about people caught between the old world and the new, before the war and after, each making their choice about where they belong and trying to make a go of it. One dies in mysterious circumstances, and discovering his story helps Margaret understand her own.
NaomiRuth
This was not what I expected at all from the cover (I see why they changed it later). I'm glad I didn't know it was a "who dunit" novel, because I might not have read it. But I liked it. It was interesting. I liked the details. I didn't want to stop. It's one of those books that feels like it's going to stick around for a while.
Carolynne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandi
A young socialite meets a mysterious older man who sets her up as a society columnist at a magazine he owns in the 1950's. The author worked at Punch magazine for many years.
Kirsten
Honestly, I'm not sure why this is a classic. It just didn't grab me and I wasn't able to work up an interest in the characters or the drawn out mystery.
Liz
I think I like DIckinson better when he's writing for kids. Or writing fantasy. I enjoyed this book, but I was never really struck by it or really drawn in.
Colleen
it was a bit dated-but still well plotted
Tiffany Kinnaird
Tiffany Kinnaird marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2015
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Peter Malcolm de Brissac Dickinson OBE FRSL (born 16 December 1927) is a prolific English author and poet, best known for children's books and detective stories.

Peter Dickinson lives in Hampshire with his second wife, author Robin McKinley. He has written more than fifty novels for adults and young readers. He has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Award twice, and his novel
...more
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