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The Tale of Holly How (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter #2)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  1,456 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
New in the delightful series that's "a most ingenious blend of fact and fiction."* In the second Cottage Tales mystery, Miss Beatrix Potter has won over human and animal hearts alike in her new home, the sleepy village of Sawrey, England. Here, everyone-- of both human and animal persuasion--has a good word to say about local shepherd Ben Hornby. But one day, Beatrix finds ...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published July 5th 2005 by Berkley Hardcover (first published 2005)
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Aug 24, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really enjoying this series. They are definitely fairytale for adults. Just a good escape from life's woes.
Sep 17, 2012 C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: up-to-2012
Learning about Beatrice Potter in "The Tale Of Hill Top Cottage" and having enjoyed her personality in the early 1900s re-enactment of her life, I was happy to tune in more. I never care for the early parts of any story where people are dubious about the protagonist achieving something. Novel #2 has gotten past the question of a single, London city woman running a farm. We watch her grow involved with Sawrey villagers and enjoy all she is building.

Calm feminism is strong, for another newcomer is
Mar 14, 2008 Grey853 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozy, historical
I wish I could give this book six stars instead of five. I actually like this one better than THE TALE OF HILLTOP FARM, which is saying something. The fun of this series is the delightful cast of characters and richness of the narrative.

The odd thing is I don't usually go for quaint, but this series wins me over very quickly, making me see and smell the world of Beatrix's Potter's farm and small town in England. What I really like about this book in particular is the character of Caroline. She'
Anne Hawn Smith
In this second tale of life in the village, Bearix Potter is beginning to fit in better because of her kind manner and quiet ways. The villagers don’t know what to make of her determination to run her farm by herself though, but they like the fact that she is attempting to build up a herd of local sheep which are in danger of dying out. When she goes to look over some sheep she has bought, she finds the body of the elderly shepherd and it appears that he has been murdered.

At the same time, she i
Apr 27, 2010 Vickie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
Oh boy, how I love this series. It is such a gentle, charming, wonderfully written mystery series. Just a wee bit of fantasy since the animals talk amongst themselves and the reader is in on the conversations and their own investigation.
There are two mysteries going on in the book, each is resolved nicely. I kind of had an idea on whodunnit on one mystery, but I kept reading as the story is just so wonderfully told. And there was the other mystery going on and I didn't figure it out.
I am lookin
Becky Hoferer
Mar 02, 2009 Becky Hoferer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really do like this historical thread of Wittig Albert's Beatrix Potter. It was very engaging to read and you don't have to start with the first book (I know I didn't). If you start somewhere other than book 1, you can easily catch on to what is happening since it is explained on how it happen in the first place (book 1). The sluething that is done by Miss Potter is independent from each book in the series. What I really liked was, at the end of the book, there are recipes from that time perio ...more
This is another delightful installment in the Beatrix Potter mystery series. Reminiscent of Dr. Doolittle with the talking animals, it adds a tiny bit of fantasy to it. This is the second mystery she solved. For those who like less gore in their mysteries, this is a light one for you. There's a lot of drama in Beatrix's world, even for the ladyship too in her own home, when there's talk of a new head teacher. Three events happen in Holly How around the same time. An easy and delightful read.
Cozy early twentieth-century mysteries, full of charming country Britishness. Oh, and talking animals that do things like eat buttered scones and hang out on porches in rocking chairs. Fun and thoroughly undisturbing.
Jun 24, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is such a delight. Light and fun and of course it takes place in a village I would love to live in!
Pamela Shropshire
Dec 28, 2016 Pamela Shropshire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 of the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series. It picks up about a year after Hill Top Farm leaves off and revisits the villages of Near and Far Sawrey and the inhabitants we previously met, along with a few new ones.

We get to know Lady Longford better, as well as her granddaughter, Caroline, and her companion, Miss Martine. Will Heelis, a solicitor from Hawkshead, is a rather important character (and will be even more so later, as anyone who knows about Miss Potter's life can tell you).
Another charming excursion into the fantasy of English village life at the turn of the century (the last century that is.) As usual, practical but generous Beatrix finds herself drawn into the difficulties of her adopted village, and happy to be drawn. She would live on her farm in this rural village full time if not for the unreasonable, selfish demands of her parents, who insist they cannot do without her and manipulate her into being the dutiful daughter by any means available to them.

The boo
Summer 1906: Beatrix Potter is back in Sawrey working hard to renovate the farm house and make the farm productive. She has purchased some sheep from old Ben Hornby, a crusty old shepherd who breeds the best Herdwick sheep. When Beatrix goes to collect the sheep, their pen is open and Mr. Hornby turns up dead. Beatrix suspects the death was no accident. The sheep may have a clue but they've disappeared! Meanwhile, the animals have their own dilemma. Someone has dug up a badger sett and kidnapped ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Holli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I love this series of books and hope that Albert writes many more. They make me want to brew a pot of tea and curl up on a window seat to read on a rainy day. Too bad I don’t have a window seat.--HR

From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–In this second entry in a delightful and cozy mystery series, Albert hits her stride. Miss Potter is starting to make a life for herself, both on her farm and in the villages of Far and Near Sawrey. She's acquired a herd of Herdwick sheep, is remodeling t
2.5 stars. I have mixed feelings about this series and this particular book. They fit into the "cozy mystery" genre, and are built around the premise of Beatrix Potter's farm in the Lake District. Straightforward enough, right? One thing that really bugs me is that the animals talk - just to each other mind you, not to the humans, but it bugs me. (Although at times the unheard animal speech influences what the human does at that point.) And animal speech is presented in italics, which my brain t ...more
Oct 24, 2015 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I definitely enjoyed The Tale of Holly How by Susan Wittig Albert. It is the second book in her Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter mystery series. I think the book will appeal to adults with an interest in historical fiction, cozy mysteries, animals (especially cats and dogs), and children's literature. The series stars Beatrix Potter and a LARGE cast of animals. I do wish my library had a copy of the first book in the series. I would have loved to have had a PROPER start to the series. (I do like ...more
Feb 06, 2010 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This refers to the audio version.

#2 in the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter cozy historical series. Beatrix is buying a few sheep to make Hilltop Farm more profitable, and also adding on to the farmhouse so that the farmer who's been managing the property can stay on with his family and not displace Beatrix herself. When the shepherd is found dead, at first presumed accidentally, at the bottom of a cliff, Beatrix (who found the body) investigates on the sly.

The village is also trying to work thr
Although this ended up being cheerful jaunt to Sawrey, there were some dark moments (poisoning, pushing old fellas down hills, stealing badgers for violent sport) and a fair amount of meaningful dialogue. For example, this exchange between Miss Potter and a young orphan girl who is living with her grandmother illustrates the more somber and yet still very dear moments:

"Miss Potter stood silent for a moment, her head cocked to one side, regarding her seriously. Then she said, very slowly and thou
Nov 15, 2012 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming series. The story focuses on Beatrix Potter when she purchased Hill Top Farm in Far and Near Swarey. She has purchased several sheep and goes to pick them up and finds the farmer dead and the sheep missing. The richest lady in the town has decided that she knows a suitable candidate for the job of local schoolmaster, even though the local woman who has been doing the job is well suited and the children love her. Then there are the animals. The local badger who keeps a chronicl ...more
I am really enjoying these books! In this one, we're getting closer to a "cosy mystery" in that someone is almost murdered. There are also not just one, but FOUR mysteries that are explored and tied up by the end of the book. In spite of all this activity, the writing is clear, engaging and very enjoyable. The animals are probably my favorite part, and the adventure of Tuppeny is really fun. The resolution is perhaps a little too perfect, with everything working out so beautifully, but, for me, ...more
Jose Santos
Aug 16, 2012 Jose Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, ipad
Neste segundo livro das 'Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter' continua a descrição de personagens da pequena aldeia inglesa onde Beatrix Potter comprou uma quinta e onde os acontecimentos são recheados de mistério. Mais uma vez a autora conta-nos uma boa história onde a riqueza das personagens humanas se mistura com as personagens da fauna doméstica e silvestre inglesa.
Um velho criador de gado que é encontrado morto em condições estranhas, um texugo que gere uma 'pensão' e um lugar de director da p
The Hobbit
A cozy mystery featuring Beatrix Potter and her corner of the English Lake District, Near Sawrey. Who says nothing happens in a small village? The mysterious death of a grumpy old farmer - foul play suspected; a young man who claims to be Oxford educated applying for the role of head teacher of the local school; the strange illness of Lady Langford; the disappearance of Lady Langford's granddaughter; and illegal badger-baiting fights -- the local animals can tell you all about each of these myst ...more
Jun 12, 2016 LobsterQuadrille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beatrix Potter fans and anyone who likes cozy mysteries
This is another charming installment in the Cottage Tales series, but I personally didn't like it quite as much as the first. A lot of the dialogue in the human characters' scenes began to feel repetitious towards the end, but other than that I still really liked this book. The different subplots don't interfere with each other, despite there being many, and the mysteries themselves are well-done, and are noticeably more intense and have higher stakes than in the first book. The characters are ...more
In this second installment of the Cottage Mysteries, Ms. Potter is trying to fix up the farm she has bought in the village os Sawrey and to that end she has purchased so sheep from a local man. But when she goes to pick them up and finds the man dead at the bottom of a cliff, it's all work and no play until the killer is found.
The animals are also solving a mystery of their own, who has stolen the Badgers from their set and where have the gone to? The two mysteries are inter-connected and it's u
Miss Lemon
Jun 03, 2016 Miss Lemon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First let me say that I have picked this book up and put it back on the shelf after a few chapters 2or 3 times It just didn't interest me. But for some reason I grabbed it and found myself happy with Susan's world of English country folk and the world of talking country animals. It's a bit silly but turned out to be sweet enough if you suspend reality. A good quick read, not complicated, lovely settings and descriptions of nature and cozy English life, and the mystery is simple, straightforward ...more
I listened to this second installment of the Beatrix Potter mysteries and the mystery in this one involves a murder with a little darker tone than the first novel. A local farmer is murdered, the area is plagued with illegal badger-baiting that unnerves the animals who are characters in the series. Issues of women's rights continue to wriggle their way in as Beatrix is a farm owner and Sarah is a business owner who wears pants & rides a bicycle. The talking animals are growing on me and seem ...more
Donna Zigmont
Oct 21, 2013 Donna Zigmont rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much.The author does a real good job of making you feel like you're actually a part of the village.I love the mix of human and animal characters.I find the conversations between the animals to be hilarious.I would describe the book as an account of everyday life in an English village in the early 1900's with a mystery mixed in.I look forward to continuing with the series.The mystery aspect of the story is very well written.I would recommend this series to anyone who like ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Margarette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, library
This series is an interesting mix of fantasy (talking animals) and history, and is just pure fun to read. The protagonist is real, the children's book author Beatrice Potter, but in the series she is always solving a fictional murder mystery during her time at her real farm in an English village in the early 1900s. The animal characters are often straight from the real work of Beatrice Potter; the Village people, with their gossip and concerns with class, are pure Jane Austen, and the village is ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Sher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful! I love how the author weaves the back story of the animals and she animates the creatures both domestic and wild of the Surrey Lake district with a main mystery and various sub-themes. Familiar characters, some dying off, some added all filled with such rural charm. The plot is predictable but utterly charming the way the plot unfolds. These are cozy, cozy reads. I so enjoy immersing myself in the world of Beatrix Potter.
Jan 29, 2016 Angel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute book. Miss Potter is just like you imagine and the village is amusing. There are talking animals (only to each other) and that might put some people off, but while dislike Rita Mae brown books for that, in this one it sorta fit considering it's Beatrix Potter. The murder was sorta pushed back in importance though with everything going on with Lady Langdon and such but still got solved.
May 13, 2010 Zoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This was a re-read, but it reminded me that this is probably th best of the series (so far). A seasond writer like Albert juggles large casts of characters with ease, but what's delightful about this book is two seperate little mysteries. They are both resolved at the end to everyone's satisfaction, and one lears a great deal in each of these books about some aspect of english country life - in this story, flypaper and badger baiting. Sounds strange, but it's a fabulous read!
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Susan is the author/co-author of biographical/historical fiction, mysteries, and nonfiction.

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Other Books in the Series

The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter (8 books)
  • The Tale of Hill Top Farm (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #1)
  • The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #3)
  • The Tale of Hawthorn House (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #4)
  • The Tale of Briar Bank (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #5)
  • The Tale of Applebeck Orchard (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #6)
  • The Tale of Oat Cake Crag (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #7)
  • The Tale of Castle Cottage (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #8)

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