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The Yellow Room Conspiracy (James Pibble Mysteries)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Gerry Grantworth died mysteriously in the gas-filled Yellow Room at the Vereker family mansion. Gerry had been the passion of Lucy Vereker and the best friend of her lover, Paul. Now, 36 years later, as the two compare accounts of that fatal day, along with war years, sexual liaisons, political scandals and intimate secrets, they will piece together a deadly puzzle.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1994)
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Miriam
Feb 17, 2015 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Nearing the end of their lives, an elderly couple decides to bring up the question they have always avoided: How did you kill Gerry?

Yes, the same question from both Paul and Lucy. Turns out they have each spent decades believing the other to be responsible. But if it wasn't either of them, then...?

I thought this was a very interesting hook, and Dickinson's writing really pulled me in. However, there is a LOT of lead-up before we get anywhere near the meat of the mystery, and although it was nice
...more
Bev
Nov 12, 2011 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once upon a time I read a book by Peter Dickinson. I don't know what it was, except that it was a mystery. I don't have the title logged. The only thing I have noted by Peter Dickinson's name is "NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" One might wonder then why I decided to read The Yellow Room Conspiracy by Dickinson when I found that I needed one more book with word beginning with "Y" for my Monthly Mix-up Mania Challenge book list. After all, there must be lots of other books with a ...more
Ruthie
Feb 17, 2012 Ruthie rated it it was amazing
Peter Dickinson is one of Britain's most celebrated mystery authors, and it shows. In "The Yellow Room Conspiracy" we find a tale as complex and confusing as anything Agatha Christie or Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle ever wrote.

This mystery is written in the form of a memoir written by two of the main characters in the mystery. Through their notes about the events we learn that Paul and Lucy are now elderly. Lucy is rapidly succumbing to a disease that sounds a lot like Parkinson's, although it's neve
...more
Nancy Oakes
"The Yellow Room Conspiracy" begins in 1992, after a radio program has a quiz show that features what was known as "The Seddon Affair" in 1956. Paul Ackerley hears the show while working in his garden and promptly breaks the radio. Lucy (Vereker) Seddon, his companion is suffering from a terminal disease, and asks Paul to marry her. She also asks him to tell her how he managed to kill Gerry Grantworth years ago, considering that the door to the room he was in was locked, at which point he tells ...more
Cat.
Nov 09, 2013 Cat. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always forget how much I love Peter Dickinson, which is one reason I (mostly subconsciously) don't read him back-to-back. His stories are just all of a piece and consistently good. They transport me, usually to another time, certainly to another place.

In this book, the transportation is back to the years surrounding World War II, up to about 1955. For those of us born well after the war, and in another place, it is sometimes hard to remember what a watershed the war years were, how much chang
...more
Alison
Feb 15, 2012 Alison rated it liked it
I'd read this before, and completely forgot how it ended, since I have an excellent ability for forgetting murder mysteries. It's a good story, but it's rather annoyingly told, in a back-and-forth manner that relies on diary-memories of two of the people implicated in what is, essentially, a spy-murder-mystery. It's like a John Le Carré told rather sloppily by the protagonists, rather than by the omniscient narrator. I say 'sloppily' because that's how people remember; they aren't going to tell ...more
Tony
Dec 10, 2014 Tony rated it it was ok
THE YELLOW ROOM CONSPIRACY. (1994). Peter Dickinson. **.
If this had been the first novel by Dickinson that I tried to read, there would never have been another one. The plot is obscured by changes in the identity of the speaker and shifts in the time references from which they speak. It involves a relationship between a man and a woman – once lovers – each of whom thinks that the other had committed murder. In a kind of diary form, each one writes his/her part of the story based on their recolle
...more
Jenny
Jun 28, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
This book was very compelling although I'm not sure why I liked it so much. I liked that the viewpoints alternated between Lucy and Paul (I rather liked Lucy's chapters). The ending I have more of a beef with. I'm not sure what this book was meant to be: mystery? character study? a sports review of cricket (which I didn't much follow AT ALL)? It seems like it was meant to show one man's struggle with staying true to himself and why was it such a mystery about the murder? DUH.

Anyway, good book bu
...more
Shelley
Mar 19, 2009 Shelley rated it liked it
This was my first Peter Dickinson book. I thought it was well worth the read and something very different in terms of a mystery novel. The male characters were well drawn, but I was not as certain about the female ones. The family of girls seem to lack the depth that his main male character is given. I am not sure if that is just who these people are or if it is a trait of the author. It would be necessary to read more of his books to find out. I thought that telling the story from two vantage ...more
Marilyn Brooks
Oct 09, 2014 Marilyn Brooks rated it liked it
Rounding up from a 2.5. This book was interesting in the parts that covered the wartime activities of some of the characters but not a great plot overall. I found the English upper class lifestyle insights of interest as well. But the couple trading off telling the tale did not hit home, having not examined the affair until one was about to die? Maybe that is the difference between English toffs and Americans: I doubt that would happen here. We are more likely to rehash something to death.
Val
Aug 21, 2014 Val rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful period piece and mystery set over many years in England. It was written from two viewpoints, which was very well done. The mystery is referred to at the very beginning, but then unfolds slowly through the memories of two people. I thought it was fascinating and could barely put it down.
Ellen
Feb 05, 2011 Ellen rated it it was ok
This one started really slowly, the blow by blow of two cricket matches made it hard to get into. Once the war started it got better. I liked the style of writing and how the two points of view traded off. I really liked how everything got explained in the end. Other than the cricket, there were a lot of little things that left me feeling like I wasn't British enough for this book.
Carol Berkman
So very confusing

I guess confusing is what we look for in novels like this but so many characters and I could not care about any of them. I only finished the book because I'm obsessive. Two stars because it is well written and structured but not imho enjoyable.
Elizabeth LaPrelle
Sep 06, 2011 Elizabeth LaPrelle rated it really liked it
Yo! This book is insanely smart and scary and weird and ordinary. Dickinson is a total master. So much smarter than me. The characters! Whew. I don't know how he does it. If you are into mystery, this is a game-changer.
Polly
Mar 28, 2015 Polly rated it it was amazing
I don't exactly like Peter Dickinson's historical mysteries. They are too unsettling to be liked. I do, however, find them fascinating, and extremely compelling.
Gail
Jan 10, 2011 Gail rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2010
An excellent work that quickly turns from an ordinary mystery story to a thoughtful, fascinating study in character development. Highly recommended.
Cera
May 12, 2010 Cera rated it it was amazing
The first Dickinson book that completely worked for me; it was interesting and suspenseful and the dual-time frame he seems to use in every novel heightened the suspense instead of sapping it.
John
Apr 12, 2010 John rated it liked it
The character development of the two main characters is excellent, and the interplay of personalities. Made me want to learn more about cricket.
Kathryn McCary
Kathryn McCary rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2010
Vicki
Vicki rated it it was amazing
Jun 05, 2013
Lisa Mcternan
Lisa Mcternan rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2014
Ann
Ann rated it liked it
May 03, 2013
Jeffrey Capp
Jeffrey Capp rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2013
Linda
May 06, 2011 Linda rated it it was ok
You need a program to keep track of the characters!
Robyn
Robyn rated it liked it
Apr 06, 2014
Ruth Helman
Ruth Helman rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2016
Ed
Ed rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2013
Jacquelyn Mitchard
Jacquelyn Mitchard rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2015
Marian Mertes
Marian Mertes rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2016
Palomablue
Palomablue rated it did not like it
Mar 17, 2015
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Peter Malcolm de Brissac Dickinson OBE FRSL (born 16 December 1927) was a prolific English author and poet, best known for children's books and detective stories.

Peter Dickinson lived in Hampshire with his second wife, author Robin McKinley. He wrote more than fifty novels for adults and young readers. He won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Award twice, and his novel The Blue
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More about Peter Dickinson...

Other Books in the Series

James Pibble Mysteries (6 books)
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