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The Tale of Briar Bank (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter #5)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  740 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter, wearing the hat of amateur sleuth, returns in this delightful series “with legs—and tails.”(Publishers Weekly)

Near Sawrey, the seat of Miss Potter’s country home, is abuzz—Mr. Wickstead has died under a tree limb. The villagers are certain that his death had to do with a treasure he dug up last spring. But why was he in the wood o
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Berkley Hardcover (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,105)
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Mary
Pure escapism. I needed this to distract me from my disgust with the gullible, media-spun, lotus eating individuals who voted for the Obama-Biden ticket in this presidential election. If the shoe fits.......
C.
Susan Wittig Albert's historical series "The Cottage Tales Of Beatrix Potter" whirls across the spectrum. It is a unique introduction to the creator of hundred year-old stories, in Lake District life with talking animals. You believe Beatrix Potter would have been a keen sleuth and enjoy the variety of 1900s mysteries. Volume three, "The Tale Of Cuckoo Brow Wood" was magical and is my favourite. I gave it five stars. It was a dismaying drop that I found "The Tale Of Hawthorn House" terrible and ...more
Christina
I love this Beatrix Potter mystery series. I actually bought all of Beatrix Potter's children's books to reread after finishing this book (5th in the series). Beatrix Potter is a reserved but determined citizen of Sawrey, a small town in England where she periodically escapes from her parents in London on her farm - purchased from proceeds of her "little books" - Peter Rabbit and subsequent tales. Ms. Potter is a fully fledged member of the village, participating in the life of the town as conce ...more
Mascanlon
The Beatrice Potter series by well inow mystery writer Susan Wittig Albert is a treat. This maybe my favorite of her various characters. Once again Beatrice as escaped from the London grind of waiting on her nasty parents to the lake country where she has bought a farm. Along with the local pets and animals she stumbles on a long ago treasure hunt and frauds underway which leads to a mysterious death at the hands of...oh I won't spoil it for you! This book is a charming blend of romance, mystery ...more
Kim
I really love this series! I just love the mix of the era, the personalities, the fantasy and the animals. And when the dragon appeared, the little girl in me clapped her hands in delight! And it was a NICE dragon! I've read The Wind in the Willows over and over again since I was a child and find stories about animals living people-type lives charming. This series has really made me interested in reading a biography of Beatrix Potter.
Caralyn
Although I'm all for talking animals, the introduction of a dragon in this installment of the Cottage Tales was a bit much, even for me. Still, it was a fun read. I especially enjoyed the scene during which Miss Potter cleverly convinces the old matriarch of the village to do the right thing:

"But Beatrix felt very strongly that she had right on her side--or rather, on the side of Mr. Sutton. So she began by saying that the village might be at risk of losing its veterinarian (without saying why),
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The Library Lady
Is it me or are these books getting more "twee" by the book? Or is it just that my saccharine meter is set on high this week?

It's not just the animal bits--which frankly I ignore. It's that she seems to be attempting to write the whole book in the style of a Beatrix Potter childrens books and it doesn't work. It comes off as cloying and phony. All we need is a simpering "Dear Reader".

These books are referred to as "family friendly" in a jacket blurb. Does the publisher or Ms Albert really think
...more
Miz Lizzie
Mar 07, 2009 Miz Lizzie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: tweens, teens, and adults
What can I say? Beatrix Potter is not only one of my favorite children's book author/illustrators, she's one of my top personal heroines. The mix of talking animals, biography, and fictional mysteries might not be everyone's cup of tea, but Albert brews just the right combination for my taste. It's also perfectly appropriate for tweens and teens -- could make a great family read-aloud.
Barbra
I really enjoyed this book, but had a hard time keeping up with the plot. It a very complex story which takes place between people, then between animals. It does make me want to read more about Beatrix Potter so with the resources information in the back of the book, to the library I will go.
Francey
An antiquities collector dies in an accident, a badger takes a winter swim in Moss Eccles Tarn, and a dragon discovers that there's more to life than guarding a treasure. The villagers are mystified, but our Miss Potter is on the case.
Kristen
This is my first time reading a new series from SWA. It has a bit of fantasy, based on actual events on Beatrix Potter's life, and is historical fiction with a mystery series. I enjoyed it immensely for a four day read.
Michelle
A very nice book to relax with. There's a mystery that the humans never completely solve however, the animals do! A charming story with Beatrix Potter as heroine. Enjoy.
Jenny
Another cute story written as seen through the eyes of the animals Beatrix Potter wrote about. All the books in this series are nice reads.
Grey853
I'm a sucker for books set around or near Christmas. Throw in the idea that it's Beatrix Potter at Hill Top Farm and it's all good.
Bridget R. Wilson
There's a dragon in this book!
Susan
Delightful nighttime reading
Elizabeth
sweet, light read
Qnpoohbear
December 1909: snow is falling softly over the village of Sawrey and Beatrix Potter longs with all her heart to be there to experience the peaceful snowfall, supervise renovations at her newly purchased second farm and experience the Christmas celebrations in the twin villages. Defying her cantankerous mother, Beatrix heads off to the Land Between the Lakes with her guinea pig companions Nutmeg (an excitable young female) and Thackeray (a grouchy old gentleman who loves books and hates travel). ...more
Kate
"Snow has draped a woolly shawl over Near Sawrey, where Miss Beatrix Potter has retreated to her country house. But the quiet, snow-covered setting belies the buzz below the surface, where Mr. Wickstead has met his death under a tree limb. The villagers are certain that his death had to do with a treasure he had dug up last spring. But why was he in the woods on a frigid night? And what of the claw markis on the limb? And what was the treasure?

"As often happens, the town's animals know more than
...more
Jayne
2010: Imagine the setting: a train ride through the snowy countryside -destination remote English village. Arriving at a warm and cozy farmhouse - your farmhouse - to indulge in hot tea and filling foods. And later welcoming visitors out of the snow who are among your choicest friends. Throw in a few talking animals and you have the recipe for THE most wonderful comfort read :)

This was an easy read and I especially enjoyed the purely animal parts, especially towards the end, and was pleasantly l
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Kalendra Dee
A major snowstorm has buried the village of Sawrey just as Beatrix Potter arrives for a visit. Comfortably settled into Hill Top Farm, Beatrix finds a mystery has unfolded in her absence. It seems that Mr. Wickstead had found a Viking treasure horde only to have mysteriously died out in the woods soon after the discovery. The treasure is also missing leading some to speculate that the two events are related. The only witness to the death was Pickles, Mr. Wickstead’s fox terrier. As the humans sp ...more
Rhonda Pickens
Though it still hasn't met its potential, I will continue to read the series. The whimsy and sense of place are very Beatrix Potter, but I find the continuing use of a narrator speaking directly to the reader rather cumbersome. The characters, both human and animal, are very charming though and I look forward to learning more of their lives.
Alysnyder Snyder
The author is able to put into words some of those things we've all felt but never been able to fully describe. For example,

"It had been four long years since she had lost him.... She tended Norman's memory like a hearth fire in her heart, warming herself by it, fueling it by rereading his letters to her, and never letting it die down. She owed that to him, and to herself."


Personally, I love anthropromorphism and this is perfect.

"The December wind had stripped November's leave right off the t
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Helen
The latest in this series. Far more fanciful than the others. All of the books have chapters devoted to the animals view of the stories. The animals are usually the farm animals or pets of the people who live in the area. This book goes a little further introducing a dragon. The wod dragon is also used many times to describe certain people. While the dragon was not my favorite part of the story I thought this book was very good because I felt it became closer to real-life Beatrix Potter. You can ...more
Ann
Another Beatrix Potter mystery another charming story. Beatrix has come to Hill Top farm to get a taste of small town Christmas. A neighbor is found dead when a tree falls on him. There are a series of mysterious scratches on the base of the tree but no one knows what put them there. The victim has recently met his long-lost sister who now inherits his property. What has happened to a much gossiped about treasure trove the victim reportedly found? This edition is not as mysterious as others sinc ...more
Leah
These little Beatrix Potter mysteries are so cute and I love reading them because they combine actual facts of Bea's life with stories that include talking animals. The villagers in the stories lead simple lives, but I've grown quite attached to the characters. The stories oftern include elements of mystery and fantasy, but this time, one of the main fantasy characters was a dragon. I wasn't crazy about the dragon and parts of the story dragged, mainly the parts that took place in the badger set ...more
Anne
A root beer float of a book. An escape to a picturesque world based on Beatrix Potter's life and stories filled with a little history, some great literary quotes, and a simply woven plot in which the animals talk and contribute to the storyline. I enjoyed this fun, light read, but I mean light in every sense of the word: having little weight, of small intensity, free from care or worry, requiring little effort or exertion, amusing but essentially empty and frivolous. (Even the death in this "mys ...more
Pam Brown
I am so glad Susan wittig Albert wrote this book. And it would really be great if she wrote one big book of this series.
Joan
As a child I really liked Beatrice Potters little books. I thought this was going to be dumb as some of the animal mysteries are but I found this one very fun to read combining both Potter's stories with Wind in the Willow and some other books that are similar. The human story is also fun with Beatrice Potter staring center role. Badger was always one of my favorite character in Wind in the Willows so this particular story was doubly intriguing to me. I was happy to see the author has written ma ...more
Donna Zigmont
I loved this book.The conversations between the animals are great.And the backround story of the badgers were great too.I really like the multiple stories happening in one book.I think the author does A great job of making you feel like you're there in the village and A member of the community.I love that its essentially the same characters in all the books and not A whole new cast in each book.You really get to know the characters that way.And the mystery in each book has both A humorous and se ...more
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Susan is the author/co-author of biographical/historical fiction, mysteries, and nonfiction.

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