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This Private Plot: An Oliver Swithin Mystery (Alan Beechey Mystery #3)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Sherlock Holmes once claimed that “the lowest and vilest alleys of London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside."
And Oliver Swithin, reluctant guest in an English village, is about to find out that it's true.

Coaxed out of his clothes and into a midnight streak by his girlfriend, Oliver’s amorous intentions are thwart
Paperback, 250 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published May 1st 2014)
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Oct 07, 2016 Fred rated it really liked it
Beechey's mysteries are clever and humorous. Hoping the next one arrives more quickly than the third did!
Jun 27, 2014 Bev rated it liked it
The odd thing about a banana," Oliver Swithin mused as he chased the naked policewoman across the moonlit field, "is not that it's an excellent source of potassium, but that everybody seems to know it is.

According to local legend in the British village of Synne (standing joke "living in Synne"), it is the custom for young lovers to run naked to a local landmark known as Shakespeare's Race at midnight on May Day and follow the path of the oddly named turf maze to the (most romantic) old gibbet th
Jun 22, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing

Alan Beechey’s latest, This Private Plot, is a wonderful romp. His character, Oliver Swithin, is a children’s book author that is currently working on a trivia book. We travel with him to his childhood home in a small village appropriately named Synne, which I am pretty sure is pronounced “sin”. Swithin is with his girlfriend, a police officer that reports to Swithin’s uncle, who is also on holiday in Synne.

While out on a naked midnight romp in the “Shakespeare Race” an authentic turf maze, our
Jun 24, 2014 Judie rated it it was amazing
Streaking on the Synne Commons at midnight with his Scotland Yard girlfriend, Effie Strongitham, children’s book author Oliver Swithin and his uncle, Scotland Yard detective superintendent find the body of Dennis Breedlove, a retired children’s radio program host hanging from a tree. The initial investigation discloses a blackmail letter Breedlove’s desk. The death is quickly declared a suicide. Oliver believes if such a letter drives someone to commit suicide, that person is guilty of murder. ...more
Jul 26, 2014 Cissa rated it really liked it
Imagine: if P.G. Wodehouse were alive and writing mysteries. This is a perfect description!

The plot is nice and twisty, and mostly character-driven. The absurd moments are very absurd, including the shout-out to Pride & Prejudice -- in a neighboring town there's a couple named the Bennetts, with five unmarried daughters, although their names and characters are not parallel. There were silly situations that yet proceeded naturally from the course of events, and there were twists that I didn't
Jul 10, 2014 April rated it liked it
I have a sense that people either love these books or hate them. I have seldom read a book that so epitomizes the phrase "madcap romp," but Beechey's book definitely does! If you like literary references and lots of puns being tossed off, both good and bad, then you will like this book. I particularly loved the idea of MindSpam...the one factoid that everyone will tell you when you raise a particular topic, such as: George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, or Eskimos have 137 different ...more
Sep 04, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing
Oliver Swithin and his girlfriend Effie (that's Detective Sergeant Strongitham to you) are part of a family houseparty visiting Oliver's parents in their retirement home in the tiny village of Synne--don't worry, all the jokes are made--when they come upon the body of an elderly man who seems to have committed suicide. A blackmail note in his cottage gives his possible motive. But Oliver is not convinced that the man killed himself, and if he did, it seems to him that the blackmailer should be ...more
Try this for a first sentence to grab you: "The odd thing about a banana," Oliver Swithin mused as he chased the naked policewoman across the moonlit field, "is not that it's an excellent source of potassium, but that everybody seems to know it is."
Witty and amusing, with a lot of literary references, puns, eccentric characters with improbable names,five unmarried Bennett sisters, a mysterious monk who wanders at night,a Shakespeare obsessed brother, streaking,a very funny funeral service,and ev
Jun 15, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
I was so happy to see the third book in the series; it's been about 15 years since the second installment in the series was released, and I most certainly hope that it isn't another 15 years for #4!

I really hated to see this story come to a close, but I couldn't just stop reading. Again, it's a small village...we have a suspected suicide (was it murder?), a blackmailer, and tons of 'secret' risque goings-on. A vampire, too! Wonderful wordplay, and lots of red herrings. Oliver Swithin and his gir
Jul 14, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
What a fun read! This is the first book that I have read that is written by Alan Beechey. This Private Plot is the third book in the Oliver Swithin series. It can stand alone but now I am planning to go back and read the first maybe reading them in order would be a good idea!

Blackmail...suicide....streaking...and that is just how the book starts. Sometimes a little raunchy and filled with puns. This is definitely a fun read. I has been available since May and is a great mystery filled w
Feb 05, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Unfortunately, I started with the 3rd book in the series, because that's all the library had. But thanks to the awesome St. Louis Public Library, they ordered the 1st and 2nd books in the series! So now I'm looking forward to reading An Embarrassment of Corpses and then Murdering Ministers. I really like this guy's sense of humor and writing style. Story is set in England and This Private Plot has a bit of Shakespeare thrown in for good measure.
Lance Wright
Jul 05, 2014 Lance Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-titles
This is a delightfully entertaining, English village-style mystery, with an abundance of wry humor and clever wordplay sprinkled throughout. More literate-based than action-oriented, though there is plenty of that, especially towards the end, this very enjoyable story is highly recommended. Read our full review, here:
Selena Sheaves
Jun 19, 2016 Selena Sheaves rated it liked it
Took me a little longer to get through this book than I'd anticipated. While I loved the humor (and laughed out loud a few times), the story itself, and the almost keystone cops-like adventure, I found much of the dialogue and particularly the Shakespeare scenes tedious. Ended up skipping through a bit. I did quite like the main characters, however, and because the book was well-written and the plot was interesting and funny enough to keep me engaged, Alan Beechey stays on my To Read list.
Aug 04, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
A perfectly balanced tale with wit, humor and plenty of loose ends woven together to make an excellent whole.
Corinna rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2014
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Feb 08, 2015
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Jun 27, 2016
Kathlene Frasher
Kathlene Frasher rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2014
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Sep 17, 2014
Marie rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2016
Asquaretail rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2016
Virginia Netherton
Virginia Netherton rated it it was ok
Sep 06, 2014
Michelle rated it it was ok
Jan 27, 2015
Felicia rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2014
Robert rated it really liked it
May 05, 2016
Tanya Salyers
Tanya Salyers rated it really liked it
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Aug 03, 2014
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Jan 23, 2016
Amy rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2014
dr anthony j porter
dr anthony j porter rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2014
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Alan Beechey was born in England and grew up in London. He moved to Manhattan in his twenties and now lives with his three sons and his rescue mutt, Leila, in Rye, New York. This Private Plot is Alan Beechey’s third mystery featuring children’s book author and amateur sleuth Oliver Swithin and his girlfriend, Scotland Yard detective Effie Strongitharm.

More about Alan Beechey...

Other Books in the Series

Alan Beechey Mystery (3 books)
  • An Embarrassment of Corpses
  • Murdering Ministers: An Oliver Swithin Mystery

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“The odd thing about a banana," Oliver Swithin mused as he chased the naked policewoman across the moonlit field, "is not that it's an excellent source of potassium, but that everybody seems to know it is.” 0 likes
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