Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Skeleton in the Closet ” as Want to Read:
The Skeleton in the Closet
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Skeleton in the Closet

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,292 ratings  ·  128 reviews
Fellworth Dolphin, 38, finds out his miserly dominating late parents hid a fortune in the bank, and in cash. Fell teams up with plain waitress Maggie to investigate an unsolved 1977 train robbery his father may have committed, and the aristocratic home he is named after. Someone tries to murder them. Will they find love or death?
Paperback, Minotaur, 218 pages
Published March 2002 by St Martin's (first published March 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Skeleton in the Closet, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Skeleton in the Closet

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,878)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Back in June I decided to read 100 books by Labor Day, a modest goal I have shattered to bits.

A large percentage of these titles have been by M.C. Beaton, who has two series detectives (Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin) and a few stand-alones.

I really enjoy the Macbeths, though they are formulaic. Agatha Raisin is a little harder to get into; she's kind of a jerk.

This one involves a youngish man — a waiter, an virgin and a man who has never left his small London exurb — and whose life goes topsy
I've read a few M>C>Beaon books before, and whilst not exactly a challenge, they have always been amusing.
not so sure about this one... I began to wonder half way through as to the simplicity of the style if it was in fact a kids book...
there was no depth to the characters, they seemed to just go about having crazy/awful/scary things happen, and just drift through it all, stopping for tea and food at appropriate intervals.
there was no mystery at all re train robbery.....

dull book
Fellworth Dolphin has led a tragic, bland life. Although in his late thirties, he has never even taken a girl out for a date. When his conservative old mother passes away, he finds himself on the brink of a new, free life – and also an unexpected adventure filled with secrets, danger and romance.

The Skeleton in the Closet has a nice balance of mystery, romance, irony and humour. Although Fell is frustratingly blind at first and Maggie somewhat clichéd, I enjoyed their characters and the unhurri
Robyn Porter
I was hoping this would be a fun new series like the Hamish series, but it was more like the Agatha Raisin series: whiny, shallow characters who have more on-again/off-again crushes than middle school girls.
Having not read any of this kind of "cozy mystery" type books before I wasn't sure what to expect. The result was an easy to read, unchallenging, straightforward mystery story. You won't find anything earth shattering in this book but at the same time it is perfectly readable on a rainy afternoon with a cuppa.

The story follows Fellworth Dolphin after the death of his mother. He comes into money he never knew his parents had and starts to discover that his family has "skeletons in the closet" and
Evanston Public  Library
As a fan of M.C. Beaton's two detective series (British Agatha Raisin and Scottish Hamish MacBeth), I was pleased to discover this appealing stand-alone mystery. Beaton answers the question: "What would a 40 year-old man do if he started living an active, full life after the death of his domineering, miserly parents?" His new financial and emotional independence open Fellworth Dolphin up to life's possibilities, including romance and discovering his own family history. Beaton is a capable myster ...more
Different and a stand alone book from the author. I enjoyed it very much. It's really about appreciating, then finding or rather seeing what was in front of you all along. The sleuthing was fun as well. Nice ending, if predictable, and nice change of pace.
A great stand-alone mystery/romance from M. C. Beaton (author of the most excellent Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin mysteries).
Good book . . . quick-paced, well-written, and very entertaining story with likeable characters and some interesting twists and turns to the plot!
(view spoiler)
Peter Auber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M. C. Beaton has strayed from her two series, Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth, to tell a story of two young people who were both abused as children and had never really had a chance to have lives until Fell's father and then his mother die. He finds out that his parents had a fortune salted away both in the bank and stashed at home. His whole life they played poor, denied him a college education saying he needed to go to work to support them. He thinks his father was part of a robbery at the ra ...more
I enjoyed the book overall but it ran a little slow due to detailing too many normal daily activities. I liked Maggie quite a bit and was annoyed at the obnoxious way Fell treated and thought of her much of the time. The author should have worked a little harder to make Fell a more likeable character.
Dec 29, 2008 Silvana is currently reading it
Up to page 48 and will finish the book because it is a fast read, BUT...I think the writer has no vision and speeds through her writing in a way that makes me believe she is tell the story to a child who has a short attention span.

It may make a great play though.

stay tuned...
I liked this much better than the Hamish MacBeth or Agatha Raisin books. The characters were much more pleasant and likeable - though I never did really warm up to the whiny Fell and wished that Maggie, who is a wonderful character, could find someone worthy of her.
Evelyn Bryant
Typical light fare, such as what I read M.C Beaton for.
I liked this book, since the characters were engaging if a little dim at times. I like these people better than Agatha Rasin who I do not like and not as well as Hamish Macbeth.
Julie Powell
One of the best things about this book is the effortless flow of words that grip you from beginning to end.

It's a good story with great characters and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I will not give any spoilers.

Highly recommended.
I picked up The Skeleton in the Closet thinking it was one of the Agatha Raisin series of mysteries, but alas, it was not. I continued reading the book because of the unique nature of the story. There is not one single lovable character in the book. At first the reader feels sympathetic to the main characters, but as the story moves along and more of their character is revealed, all empathy is lost. Nonetheless, it is to the credit of the author that the story remains interesting enough on its o ...more
Thoroughly enjoyable stand alone cozy mystery. I got angry at Fell's parents SO many times!
A cliched & predictable read. I much prefer her "Hamish Macbeth" series.
This was not M.C. Beaton's best book. I have read it before but couldn't remember the ending. The story is about 2 adult 'children' who have been damaged by their parents and live very strange lives until the met while working in a hotel dining room and they join together after the man's parents are both dead and he finds a large amount of cash money. They join together to figure out where the money came from - a train robbery is one possibility. Parts of the book are good and others are just no ...more
An Odd1
In a muggy English "dandelion summer", "two ordinary people made in a brief moment extraordinary by their love for each other" p 200 are Fellworth Dolphin 37, and Margaret "Maggie" Partlett. The lonely shy sweet jealous dreamers are pursued romantically by greedy widow Melissa Harley and drunken reporter Peter South, and murderously by 1977 train robbers. The fake affianced couple investigate cash left by Fell's late parents - dominating abusive misers, small and dumpy, where Fell is tall and th ...more
Raven R.
Usually I love M. C. Beaton. Agatha Raisin, while hauty and annoying, has always been one of my favourite ameture detectives because she's not perfect... she's human.

The characters in this book, were boring, bland and spineless. I particularly didn't like Fell, he was a spineless little man with no bravery and courage. While Maggie gives off the impression that looks are all you need in life and everything gets better when you change everything about yourself.

The only reason this isn't getting
Synopsis: Fellworth Dolphin is a pretty simple kid who works hard to pay the bills and support his mother after his father died. The Dolphin's live in a simple house and have never really had anything exciting happen to them. When Fellworth's mother dies suddenly Fell finds out that he has inherited a sizable sum. He can't figure out how or where this money came from so he enlists the help of his homely friend Maggie to help him unravel the mystery.

My Review: This book wasn't great, but I enjoye
Another re-read, but I wanted to make sure (that I had read it, that I had remembered it was slightly different, that I would give it away). Sadly I might keep it. It's typical Beaton, with the (OMG lank-haired! overweight!) woman constantly hoping and being disappointed, but here it's married with her former genre, the romance, so she gets contact lenses and a haircut, loses weight and they get together. The "mystery" is also just the usual talking-with-the-same-people-about-nothing. Eating out ...more
I can't stand Agatha Raisin, but the author is so popular when I heard about a stand-alone novel I figured I'd give Beaton another chance.

Meh. So much description - lots of telling and not enough showing. Could have used a really good edit and a lot of rewriting - it wasn't suspenseful at all. The character development wasn't too bad though.
This is the first of the M.C. Beaton mysteries I have read that was not either an Agatha Raisin story or a Hamish MacBeth. I believe it is my favorite, so far! It was a good story with lots of twists, but still quick-moving and easy to follow, with a bit of romance thrown in. A very good example of a cozy!
Michele Thulborn-chapman
A 38 year old virgin, a mismatched relationship, money coming out of holes in the ground, an unsolved train robbery and more...

We had 2 really nice sunny days this weekend so I managed to get a few hours out on my "reading chair" on the back kitchen veranda with "Mr. Kindle" and decided to take on a nice easy read as I've had my head buried in Jack Reacher action during my last 2 books.

I've read one other M C Beaton novel before set around Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus and found I quite liked it so
My first MC Beaton. Apparently a standalone and not part of her series. This was an enjoyable read with all the small English village interpersonal dynamics and good plot twists. I could not get over how much it reminded me of the Rita Mae Brown Mrs. Murphy mysteries which I love-but without Brown's unique critters!
I especially loved the characters in this book, how they developed and changed in response to the events of interactions with others. It was a great mystery and well written.
Fun. light. Fellworth Dolphin & his girlfriend, Maggie, look for the source of his newly inherited wealth. Loot from a train robbery? Results of parents' miserliness?
3.5 stars for another easy and entertaining book by M.C. Beaton. I needed something light, yet charming, and she delivered. Silliness, mystery, humour, nicely done!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 62 63 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Snobbery With Violence
  • Aunt Dimity: Detective (An Aunt Dimity Mystery, #7)
  • Henrietta Who? (Inspector Sloan #2)
  • The Body In The Transept (Dorothy Martin, #1)
  • The Gazebo (Miss Silver, #27)
  • The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries (Mrs. Jeffries, #1)
  • The Christmas Mouse (Fairacre, #10)
  • The Alpine Obituary (Emma Lord Mystery, #15)
  • Evans Above (Constable Evans, #1)
Like her on Facebook!

Learn more on her website!

Watch a video of Marion discussing the casting of the AGATHA RAISIN Christmas special

Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Marion Chesney, Charlotte Ward, Sarah Chester.

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John
More about M.C. Beaton...
The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1) Death Of A Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1) The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin, #2) Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Agatha Raisin, #3) Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)

Share This Book