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The Mournful Teddy (A Bear Collector's Mystery #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  332 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Retired San Francisco cop Brad Lyon is settling into a quieter life with his wife Ashleigh in Virginia's mountain country, where they collect and create teddy bears. But even here, stuff happens... The day is here?and Brad Lyon is helping his wife put the finishing touches on her best bears, just in time for the Shenandoah Valley Teddy Bear Extravaganza. The event will dra ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Berkley Prime Crime (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 882)
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Lisa Kay
Steiff Black Teddy Bear, a Titanic commemorative keepsake, sold for $136,000/91,750 pounds in 2000 at Christie’s.

They say write what you know and that certainly holds true here for John J. Lamb. Loved this first in the Bear Collector’s Mystery series! Mr. Lamb, a retired San Francisco policeman, writes about a retired SF cop, Brad Lyon. (Lamb to Lyon? Cute.)

Instead of another dead groundhog, Brad’s Old English Sheepdog, Kitchener, finds a dead body down by the river. Knowing it is a homicide –
Jan 20, 2009 Mendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2006
John Lamb writes a very well developed story line involving interesting and smart characters. This is not a traditional cozy in the sense that the main character, Brad, is a retired Inspector from the San Franisco Police Department. In fact, Mr. Lamb pokes a little fun at a cozy mystery his wife is reading that is solved by a woman with a talking dog. :o)

The world of the Teddy Bear Collector is introduced in a way that is easy to understand and Mr. Lamb doesn't beat you over the head with it. So
Barbara ★
This little Virginia town at the foot of the Shenandoah Valley is a regular hot bed of illicit activity. Let's see, the sheriff couldn't be bothered to investigate a suspicious death, even though retired San Francisco cop, Brad Lyon flat out told him and showed him the proof. The local pastor is selling stolen merchandise at his monthly flea markets right across the street from the sheriff's office. If any of the cops question the sheriff's orders, they are immediately fired for insubordination. ...more
Sep 02, 2015 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-challenges
The Mournful Teddy is the first in the A Bear Collectors Mystery series. The series centers around retired San Francisco police officer Brad Lyons and wife Ashleigh. After suffering a crippling leg injury that forced him to leave the force, Brad and Ash move back to her hometown of Remmelkemp Mill, VA in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

Ash is an avid teddy bear collector and has begun to design and sew her own bears with Brad's assistance. The couple is very excited to attend the Shenandoah V
Jan 22, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great characters, murder, suspense and teddy bear intrigue. This books is much more than you expect. I regret missing this author's event at my local independent bookstore (mysterious galaxy). I will be reading more from this author!
Heather L
Oct 30, 2014 Heather L rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2014
A good mystery, and I loved the author's sense of humor. I would actually give this 3-1/2 stars were it possible.
Mark Baker
Mar 19, 2014 Mark Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2006
Brad and his wife Ashleigh are enjoying his retirement by indulging their hobby of teddy bear collecting and creating. But then Brad finds a body on their property and a local show featuring a rare bear is robbed. Will this ex-cop be able to figure out what is happening? I loved this debut. The characters were great, there was some good humor, and the mystery was well plotted. The only issue was that the first chapter was a data dump.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Donald Scott
Having never had a teddy bear as a kid (I finally broke down and got one when I was about thirty, naming it Sebastian after the main character in Brideshead Revisited; go figure), I thought a mystery series set around the making of artisan teddy bears and their collectors sounded both original and fascinating, but The Mournful Teddy (first in the "Bear Collectors" series) was just too slow-paced and not quite engaging enough, character-wise, to hold my interest. Brad Lyon, recently relocating wi ...more
Sue Ross
Sep 22, 2014 Sue Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The mournful teddy was recommended to me by my friend Paige. It is a great cozy that is written by a man in a man’s voice and his ideas. It was easy to read and once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. Unfortunately life got in the way, but now I’m happy to say I finished it and bought the rest of the series of 5 books. So if you are looking for an easy read written from a man’s point of view, this is the one for you.
Aug 23, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Although it isn't a literary classic, it's a fun read and it does surprise you by the outcome. It's definitely a pleasure read - something done for fun and a quick read.
The sinking of the Titanic was one of the greatest disasters of the 20th century, and one of the many ways to commemorate this tragic event was the creation of a teddy bear, called the Steiff Mourning Bear which in this new mystery series is at the center of the mystery.

Whether or not one agrees with one of the main characters' thoughts on the history of the actual Mourning Bear at the end of the book, this is still a great start to a new series on the craft topic of collecting and creating ted
Holly Davis
After a while of it being in my to be read pile for months I finally picked it up and found myself not able to put it down. So then I finished it in record time. So I met Brad Lyon, a retired homicide detective from the SFPD. He finds that the floating body of a man in the river that flows by his house. Immediately knows its foul play due to his years looking at dead bodies. The sheriff dismisses the whole thing then threatens him.
He then feels like he must investigate! So the investigation is
Janine Fenton
May 05, 2015 Janine Fenton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries-read
A really great mystery story seat in the world of teddybear collecting in the blue ridge mountains. As a mystery loving teddy lover these could not be any more up my street.
Dec 27, 2011 Liora rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
The first novel of a fun cozy mystery series set in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The main character is retired on disability from the San Francisco Police Department and now helps his wife with her burgeoning business of designing teddy bears. He becomes involved in a murder investigation when he discovers the body on his property, but the town sheriff is obviously involved in a cover-up and the town seems to seethe with petty corruption. The mystery was well-plotted, and I really enjoyed ...more
Nov 02, 2015 Karen-Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-mysteries
This is one of my favourite series and I am majorly disappointed that there are only five of them in the series. I wish Mr. Lamb would write more.
Ann aka Iftcan
Book 1 in the Bear Collector's Mystery series. A charming series new to me. Of course--it IS populated by teddy bears, so what's not to love, right?

In this case, the title teddy is worth 170,000 or so dollars and is a very rare Steiff bear. One that was made to commemmorate the sinking of the Titanic (hence the name "The Mourning Bear"). Now he has been stolen and the last person known to have him is dead. Who killed the courier and why? Where is the teddy and does he have anything to do with t
Feb 24, 2010 Sfdreams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book is the first book in a new (to me) series. The protagonist, Brad Lyon, is a retired San Francisco homicide detective and his wife, who move to Virginia and make artistic teddy bears for a living.

Brad is very sassy (like me) and there were several times that I laughed out loud reading this book.

Very enjoyable, even if you are not into teddy bears or teddy bear collecting.
Sep 15, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Surprisingly good. A retired policeman finds a body next to his house and is determined to bring the murderer to justice. Only problem is that there's corruption everywhere. The joy of this book is the likeability of the 2 main characters, you really want them to win. The reader also learns a lot about teddy bears, the mournful teddy does indeed exist, I googled it.

A nice, fun read.
Hongyi Guo
Jun 22, 2011 Hongyi Guo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book describes how a detective solve a mystery of a murder of a man found in a river. John J. Lamb's way of writing is truly captivating and it makes people not wanting to stop reading it. This book should be recommended to people who love mysteries that are not too violent.
Oct 20, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very gripping and entertaining mystery about a retired homicide detective and his teddy bear making wife who investigate a murder centered around the theft of a valuable antique teddy bear which was made to commemorate those who died in the sinking of the Titanic.
Jan 23, 2012 Kelly24 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a nice change to the usual cozy plot. Although there were parts that came across as preachy, the humour more than made up for it. I will be hunting down the rest of the books in this series. Can't wait to read them!
Dec 07, 2012 Lizzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
A nice fluffy read. Who cannot like a detective who loves teddy bears? Being the author is a former detective, he can get a little bogged down in details. I enjoyed the relationship of the detective and his wife.
Sarah Adamson
May 26, 2015 Sarah Adamson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a really fun cozy mystery featuring teddy bears, an ex-homicide detective, small town sherrifs, an ex-KGB agent and a dog. Great humor, wonderful descriptions and turns of phrase. Fun and exciting!
Sep 22, 2010 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I found this to be a cut above the usual "cozy mystery." There is lots of police procedure in it and the one protagonist is a retired cop who really knows how to investigate
May 08, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This mystery murder involving the Mournful Teddy was cute. I had read the others and wanted to see what Mr. Lamb dreamed up next in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Jan 05, 2012 Bobbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light, cute, and entertaining mystery from one who likes stuffed animals. This is a series to read when you just want to read something light and enjoyable.
Jan 01, 2013 CD rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A straight up good detective/mystery story. Suitable for all who like murder mystery stories.

I am looking forward to the second book in the series.
Mary Lechner
Feb 01, 2008 Mary Lechner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sharon, Pat
Teddy bears, the Titantic, and murder, what more could you ask for? An easy, enjoyable read. I recommend it. I can hardly wait to read more of this series.
Aug 13, 2010 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this first book in the series after the third book in the series. It didn't really matter. I still enjoy this series. Will move on to book 4.
Maggie Bryan
Nov 16, 2012 Maggie Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really decent mystery told with a light humorous touch. I can really see this series of books being adapted for a cable television show.
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John Lamb is the author of "Bear Collector" mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. Prior to becoming a writer, he had a distinguished career as a Southern California cop, serving as a CSI, a homicide investigator, hostage negotiator,and detective sergeant."

* A Bear Collector's Mystery
* Steve and Victoria MacKinnon Mystery
More about John J. Lamb...

Other Books in the Series

A Bear Collector's Mystery (5 books)
  • The False-Hearted Teddy (A Bear Collector's Mystery, #2)
  • The Crafty Teddy: A Bear Collector's Mystery
  • The Clockwork Teddy: A Bear Collector's Mystery
  • The Treacherous Teddy

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