The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks (Burford Family Mysteries, #3)
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The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks (Burford Family #3)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  293 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Who ever tires of the zany British country house murder?

"But Lavinia, I don't want people staying here," said the Earl. "After the last two house parties, we agreed no more."
"This wouldn't be a house party, George, it's nine guests for one night."
"But the last two times we've had people here it's been disastrous."
"This is quite different. These people are family, not spie...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published February 1st 2003)
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The Burford family pile at Alderley is once again the setting for misdeeds. A funeral and the reading of a will bring a rather disparate selection of folk to Lord Burford's country estate.

Everything starts off well but then things go downhill and after some threats are uttered at the will reading, a murder takes place. Chief Inspector Wilkins arrives, as usual, and after Lady Burford offers her apologies for having to call him once more he says, "That is quite alright your ladyship. I, for one,...more
Rebecca Tayles
A thoroughly enjoyable detective murder mystery of the traditional variety - set in the 1930s, Lord Burford is playing host to some distant relatives after the funeral of Great Aunt Florrie. He's a little wary, because the last two times his family had houseguests people ended up dead and he had to call in Inspector Wilkins, but surely lightning couldn't strike three times...

This book kept me guessing throughout, with multiple plot twists and red herrings. A little hard to follow at first, with...more
I wish James Anderson had written more than three books in this series!

I loved the 1930s setting and the twisty plot - admittedly the ending didn't catch me by surprise as much as the previous book, but the numerous red herrings, the wonderful Wilkins, and the Earl of Burford and his entertaining family kept me happily occupied for a couple of hours.
I loved this book. It is the first book I have read by James Anderson and the third in a triology of books with the same detective. Unfortunately, the author has passed away so there won't be any more. I don't usually read the third book first, but this was the only one the library had.
Anyway, the story takes place in England during the 1920s (?) back when they kept the telephone in a separate closet and everyone smoked. Most of the action takes place in the country mansion of an Earl and center...more
Bev Hankins
The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks is the third in a series of country house mystery send-ups by James Anderson. Real Golden Age mystery fare with a humorous twist. Lord Burford has misgivings about his wife's planned house party. That's perfectly understandable. After all, during the last two country house gatherings there had been "unfortunate incidents"--that is to say, murders. Lavinia assures her husband that this time it's different. This time the people are family. But, of course, this time t...more
James Anderson – 3rd in series
Alderley, the 17th-century country house of the Earl of Burford, provides the setting for Anderson's third 1930s madcap mystery (after The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cozy and The Affair of the Mutilated Mink). The somewhat batty earl is reluctant to open his house to visitors again, but his wife convinces him that this time will be different. The guests are coming only for one night and will all be family attending the funeral...more
Jules Jones
Third of the Alderley series. Once again a disparate group of people spend the weekend at Alderley, the country mansion of the Earl of Burford, and once again it leads to murder. This time it's for the funeral and will-reading of an elderly relative who has asked to be buried at Alderley. The second wife of Florrie's long-dead son feels entitled to the major share of the money after bringing up her orphaned stepdaughters. When she gets a deliberately insulting pittance, she accuses the others of...more
Nov 03, 2011 Anton rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want a change from Agatha Christie in crime.
Shelves: favorites, muder
This is my fist James Anderson book, and was recommended becuase James Anderson writes in the style of Agatha Christie.

The start, middle were really well written the way events occured before the murder kept you interested through the whole start and middle. I did think James Anderson had a few too many characters in the book, but still really enjoyable.

The end just kept on going and got really boring after a while. If the end was cut in half, then it would be 5 stars. I also thought it was co...more
Brian Collyer
A fun and interesting way to end a too-short series. That being said, I do think it was the weakest of the three Christie-esque novels. The mystery and clues weren't nearly as clever as they had been in the first two Anderson novels. The eventual unraveling wasn't that surprising.
These books are wondrously formulaic without ever being dull for it.

Three factors come back in each story: The key to the garden gate of the estate, always given by a family member to an outsider as a sign of special fondness and favour, an impostor who isn't who they claim to be and a completely dotty action that gives a veneer of absurd pantomime to a particular part of the plot. In this third installment, it's to do with a gypsy's curse and restless spirits.

As in the first two books, the thre...more
It's hard for me to review this book fairly, given that I waited about thirty years to read it! I loved Anderson's Affair of the Mutilated Mink, and kept an eye out for a sequel for many years... but I gave up long before 2006, when the third book was finally published. (I have a feeling it was written back in the day, but rejected by the publisher for some reason.)

Anyway, I'm glad I found it, and it's delightful. Our third visit to Adderley seems a little less fresh than the first two books, ma...more
Even though his last two parties ended in murder, the Earl of Burford reluctantly opens his stately home once more to an assortment of distant cousins attending his great aunt’s funeral. After the will is read, a slighted beneficiary declares her intent to ruin all of them, then is killed. Baffling incidents abound, such as thirty-nine scattered cufflinks, stolen toothpaste, and a poltergeist. Luckily, the incomparable (though never sanguine) Inspector Wilkins is on hand to cut through the red h...more
SPOILER - Am I the only one that's still trying to work out what Clara had on Dorry?!
So much fun. This is the last of 3 books about Inspector Wilkins ("I'm not sanguine, not sanguine at all") and the manor house at Alderley.

Anderson is witty, tongue in cheek (two sisters named Agatha and Dorothy, for instance), and he obviously had a fantastic time writing the series.

This one may not be quite up to the first two (the culprit is somewhat easy to deduce, even if the "how" isn't), but it's still an enjoyable read from start to finish.

Recommended for: fans of Christie, Sayers, &...more
I really enjoyed the first couple of Burford Family mysteries. I liked this one for the time period and the location it takes place in. However, I don't think the mystery was plotted as well as the others. The author set it up so plenty of the guests had reasons to be the killer, but there were enough clues early on that I guessed who had "done it" before I was halfway through the book. I don't think that this book in the series is as good as the first 2.
This is a typical 1930s lighthearted British murder mystery. The writing was competent and the characters interesting. The murderer was easy to determine but the side mysteries were harder to explain until the end and the most fun. The beginning was somewhat drawn out; murder occurred around page 150.
This was an easy light read. Nothing extremely enticing or boring - just an average book. It would be a good beach read or something to tuck in between a couple heavy literary works. Would not have been a book I would have selected, had it not been a read for a book club. I found the characters overly dramatic and somewhat unbelievable, but that may have been the point of the book. I have not read any other works by James Anderson.
While I enjoyed this third (and, I think, final) installment of the Burford mysteries, for me it lacked the tongue-in-cheek quality of the first two that made them so fun to read. There's even another theatre friend posing as another dead relative, a plot point that figured heavily in the second book. I'm also sorry to say I figured out whodunnit fairly quickly. Still, for what these books are, they're well done and I'm sorry to see them end.
I'm listening to this on audio book and really enjoying it. It captures the Agatha Christie flavour without the self-consciousness of a lot of other imitators. It has humour and style. Not regretting spending the money. will be looking out for more James Anderson in the future.
I've now finished it and loved it. A fun mystery, good characters, nice light touch! I'd recommend it to any Christie fans.
Anderson last mystery is a golden age of mystery book in style and content is a wonderful and fun read. No lover of the genre will be cheated by this little known series by James Anderson. Finding who among the the family members gathered for the reading of a will killed a woman who no one liked. All of the suspects are hiding secrets and lying to Chief Inspector Wilkens and Lady Geraldine.
Kate (sleepy kitten)
A murder mystery set in the 1930's, this book is brilliant. It transports you into an era of politeness where you can relax and let the story drag you along. I was not overly surprised at the ending but that added to the relaxed feel of the book. Having started with this book, the third one in the series, I will definately be seeking out the other two.
Great light reading!!! This and the previous 2 Burford Family Mysteries, "The Affair of the Blood Stained Egg Cosy" and "The Affair of the Mutilated Mink" are wonderful English Country House murder mysteries. If Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse had collaborated something akin to these novels may well have been the result!!!
Nancy Wilson
I loved it, in fact I loved all three of the books that made up this trilogy. I think probably the way this book ended it was meant to be a trilogy but apparently he died shortly after finishing this. Anyway it was a fun read and you will love the main characters, especially Merryweather and the unsanguine Wilkins!!
A pleasant enough read. Perhaps not as strongly plotted as the first two, I was certainly much nearer the mark in terms of guessing whodunnit. Overall I think that it may have a been a good thing that the series ended after just three books.
Absolutely loved this book. It's a pure cosy mystery with all the right ingredients. I loved the family setting, the random murder and the fact that I guessed who the victim would be as well as the murderer far in advance of the crime. :D It was a completely enjoyable read.
If you like stories from the golden age, you will like James Anderson's "Affairs of...." books. There are manor houses, upstairs/downstairs characters and clues and red herrings galore. And, of course, all the suspects are gathered in one room for the denouement.
Mark Macatee
Well the murder this time was pretty unimpressive and obvious almost from the start. However, the rest of the story and it's format-different from the earlier ones- was delightful. I hope there are more Birford mysteries to be found but I am afraid there may not be.
Third and final of the Insp Wilkins/Burford Family murder mysteries. A good plot with plenty of suspects but I felt the writing style was a little off compared to the first two. Still a very entertaining story which kept me guessing.
possibly my least favourite of the three. still enjoyable. the plot was a bit overly complicated and wilkins needed a whole chapter away from the main plot to explain everything. but a fun read none the less.
Susan Jones
This cosy crime is like a mixture of Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse. Need I say more? Other than, if you read this book, you will be on the lookout for others in the series. I am...
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James Anderson was educated at Reading University where he gained a History degree and although born in Swindon, Wiltshire, he lived for most of his life near Cardiff.

He worked as a salesman before becoming a copywriter and then a freelance journalist, contributing to many newspapers, house journals and specialist magazines. He later turned to writing novels, the first of which was 'Assassin' (196...more
More about James Anderson...
The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy (Burford Family Mysteries, #1) The Affair of the Mutilated Mink (Burford Family Mysteries, #2) The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy/The Affair of the Mutilated Mink/The Affair of the Thirthy-Nine Cufflinks: An Omnibus Edition Murder, She Wrote The Murder of Sherlock Holmes (Jessica Fletcher, #2) Murder, She Wrote Hooray for Homicide (Jessica Fletcher, #1)

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