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The Twenty-Third Man (Mrs. Bradley #30)

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  90 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published 1985 by Michael Joseph (first published 1957)
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Feb 27, 2014 BrokenTune rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Review first posted on BookLikes:

The Twenty-third Man is another installment of the cozy mystery series starring Mrs. Bradley, though now elevated to Dame Beatrice.

Dame Beatrice visits a fictional island holiday resort in the Canaries, and is inevitably drawn into the investigation when one of the hotel guests is found dead.

In TheTwenty-third Man, the murder mystery does not take centre stage. Maybe it was supposed to but in this story the actual sleuthing
Gillian Kevern
Finally! Just as I was beginning to doubt, Gladys Mitchell knocked it out of the park! A really solid murder, and I have new appreciation for her -- reading the book, there was a moment that it suddenly occurred to me that there could never have been a moment when there were 24 kings in the cave, and I shook my head, thinking that she'd goofed. Shame on me. Two chapters later, Laura goes, 'wait. There couldn't have been 24 kings in the cave! Why did the kid say there were?' Mrs. Bradley replies, ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 13, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a great character study or dry humor
Even on holiday, the peripatetic Mrs. Beatrice Bradley (now elevated to Dame Beatrice) cannot take a vacation from murder. While on the out-of-the-way and entirely fictional Canary island of Hombres Muertos (Dead Men), Mrs. Bradley takes a visit to a tourist attraction that consists of 23 dead, mummified prehistoric kings (which gives the island its name). But there's a 24th dead man, stabbed in the back, there -- Karl Emden, a womanizer who had managed to "go native" in the few months he'd been ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Lucy rated it it was ok
I bought a job lot of Gladys Mitchell books, 10 of them, I'm glad they were very cheap. Ngaio Marsh she isn't. Maybe I'll get used to the disjointed style and ragged plotting as I read through the rest, though I'm a bit disheartened by reading on a tribute site that this is regarded as one of her more comprehensible stories.
Oct 22, 2016 Polly rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction, adult
I found the setting and the invented historical background very compelling.
Philip Jackson
The detective novels of Gladys Mitchell are very much a curate's egg. She created a truly memorable detective in the character of Mrs Bradley, but the novels themselves are very patchy in quality, and some are almost impenetrable.
The Twenty-Third Man is one of Mitchell's books that I found easier to get through, with a fairly straightforward 'whodunnit' mystery at its core.
Mrs Bradley is holidaying on Hombres Muertos, an island renowned for its cave of twenty-three mummified kings. When an ext
Sep 02, 2013 Meo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another entertaining mystery featuring Mrs Bradley, this time on a remote island where a group of English holidaymakers seem to spend an inordinate amount of time relaxing at a sunny hotel. One of their number is murdered and his corpse left in a cave where (normally) 23 mummified remains sit at a stone table, a bizarre relic of ancient times which has become a tourist attraction.

Mrs Bradley's investigations uncover a web of deceit and connections between some of the suspects. The solution is o
Aug 30, 2016 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could have been half as long

I'm a fan of this series, but having read ten of them in a row, I am inclined to think it's time to take a break.

I have tended to rate these books rather highly, probably more than I should have, but I like the characters - each book has its own set, with only a few standards.

The back stories leading up to and generally including the mysteries are usually pretty good, this one could have been much shorter, which might have made it a bit more palatable.
Another convoluted outing for Mrs Bradley. As ever the plot was serpentine and the writing was engaging, she is a good "golden age" crime author though I have to say that overall I prefer Dorothy L for characters and Agatha Christie for plots. Its quite late in the series I think so maybe not the place to start if you want to understand the relationships & backstories between some of the characters & Mrs Bradley herself.
Megan Davis
Apr 11, 2016 Megan Davis rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I could not finish this one. Dry and slow, and after the unfortunate finale of her first novel, I couldn't press on through the dust in hopes this would end any better. I also found I couldn't like the detective/protagonist. Sad to find this contemporary of Agatha Christie was not at all on her level. No wonder I had never heard of her until a couple years ago.
Dec 24, 2014 Wendy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
As seems to be common with Mrs. Bradley mysteries, the chain of bizarre coincidences that unravels near the end seems a bit contrived. But as usual, it's delightful to watch Mrs. Bradley, Laura, and the odd cast of supporting characters do their stuff.
Jun 17, 2014 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Gladys Mitchell books, they're very Christie-esque in style. I've felt let down by the reveal at the end in both books I've read so far though, too rambling or something. Still, a nice read for a detective novel addict like me :)
Steven Heywood
Jul 13, 2013 Steven Heywood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicely-written and outrageously-plotted, another trip out with the gloriously-amoral Mrs. Bradley. Marred only by a weak last page (not a spoiler: if you skip to it you'll be disappointed but none the wiser).
Jules Jones
Another outing for the inestimable Mrs Bradley, this time on holiday to the Canary Islands, and a cave with a somewhat erratic number of mummies of ancient Kings. As usual for this series, enjoyable murder mystery with a fair bit of macabre humour.
Sep 10, 2013 Poonam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting mystery set in an island, has old world, Miss Marple-ish charm. A Dame Beatrice Bradley mystery. Well-crafted though I didn't quite like the end.
Nancy rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2015
May 08, 2016 Simon rated it liked it
A good old murder mystery.
Miranda rated it liked it
Jan 23, 2013
Janefairfax rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2014
Richard Popple
Richard Popple rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2015
Anna rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2014
Les Wilson
Feb 01, 2016 Les Wilson rated it really liked it
An exiled book and well worth a read
Jude rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2016
DAVID rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2016
Christine Comai
Christine Comai rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2016
Catherine Higham
Catherine Higham rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2016
Linda Jane
Linda Jane rated it really liked it
Dec 14, 2015
Nick Fuller
Nick Fuller rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2015
Karen rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2015
Pretty Predictable
Pretty Predictable rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2016
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Aka Malcolm Torrie, Stephen Hockaby.

Born in Cowley, Oxford, in 1901, Gladys Maude Winifred Mitchell was the daughter of market gardener James Mitchell, and his wife, Annie.

She was educated at Rothschild School, Brentford and Green School, Isleworth, before attending Goldsmiths College and University College, London from 1919-1921.

She taught English, history and games at St Paul's School, Brentfo
More about Gladys Mitchell...

Other Books in the Series

Mrs. Bradley (1 - 10 of 66 books)
  • A Speedy Death (Mrs. Bradley, #1)
  • The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop (Mrs. Bradley, #2)
  • The Longer Bodies (Mrs. Bradley, #3)
  • The Saltmarsh Murders (Mrs. Bradley, #4)
  • Death at the Opera (Mrs. Bradley, #5)
  • The Devil at Saxon Wall (Mrs. Bradley, #6)
  • Dead Men's Morris (Mrs. Bradley, #7)
  • Come Away, Death (Mrs. Bradley, #8)
  • St. Peter's Finger (Mrs. Bradley, #9)
  • Printer's Error (Mrs. Bradley, #10)

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