A Speedy Death (Mrs. Bradley, #1)
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A Speedy Death (Mrs. Bradley #1)

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Dr Beatrice Bradley is elderly, ugly, has darkly sharp insights and an extremely wicked tongue. 1929 genteel country house guests are shocked by the death of their famous guest, world traveler Mountjoy, in a bathtub. Suspects include his quiet (but extremely competent) fiancee Eleanor, pompous Alastair and forceful son Garde, engaged to lovely Dorothy, plus curious natural...more
Paperback, Black Dagger Crime, 192 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Chivers Audio Books (first published 1929)
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Despite being listed as ‘Mrs Bradley 2’ this is actually the first Mrs Bradley mystery. As I am pretty obsessive about reading series in order, this seems a pretty silly mistake for the publisher to have made. The Mystery of a Butcher’s Shop is the second book in a series which spanned 66 novels featuring Mrs Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley – psychoanalyst and amateur sleuth. Although a lady in her fifties when we first meet her, the author has great fun in poking fun at her looks and dress sen...more
May 17, 2014 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: GavReads
Shelves: 2014-books
I discovered Gladys Mitchell from Gav of GavReads and she did not disappoint. This is the first of her 60+ mysteries featuring Mrs. Bradley who seems to be the polar opposite of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. Her physical description is vivid and repulsive which sort of matches her overbearing personality. She is visiting friends when two murders occur and while some of the characters were not fleshed out, the story hooked me and Mrs. Bradley's investigative skills owe a little to Sherlock Holme...more
1929, #1 Dr. Beatrice Bradley, Chayning Court, rural England; classic Manor House style but with very dark edges.

The death of the famous world traveler Mountjoy in the bathtub isn’t the worst thing that happens to a genteel houseparty, but it sets the stage and puts all the pieces in play immediately the story opens. The darkly sharp insights of Mrs. Bradley (not to mention her extremely wicked tongue) serve to spice the goings-on rather nicely, as we ramble from room to room in the large old h...more
This was glorious. Why do I never get invited to house parties where someone is murdered? Why don't I know any frivolous young men named Bertie?
Ruby Rose Scarlett
Very odd book, which is exactly what I said about the first Michell I read, The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop. It's very eccentric and sometimes frankly absurd (the identity of Mountjoy is preposterous) but it's still compelling. There's a lot of ethical problems in this book which are very casually addressed (the final confession is disturbing - what are we supposed to do with that?) Mitchell has a lot of personality but I feel her books suffer from a clear lack of consistency and general tighten...more
H. M. Snow
Having watched the Masterpiece Mystery! version of the Mrs Bradley Mysteries, I had some idea of how the story would go. From reading other reviews, I was prepared for the character of Mrs Bradley to vary quite a bit-- well, almost entirely-- from that portrayed by Diana Riggs with such elan. All the same, I was still surprised. Pleasantly surprised, I admit, but surprised all the same. As a whodunit, I thought Mitchell was resolving it far too early, until I realized that the mystery was only s...more
One of those books that is a little too cute to be a straight-forward mystery and a little to sober to be a farce. Lots of complicated twists and turns, red herrings and second guesses, but in the end, not very satisfying to read.
I saw the film before reading the book. Though I loved Diana Rigg, I kind of like the literary Mrs. Bradley a little more. While she is not liked by most of the other characters in the book, she herself is fascinating.
The mystery was pretty well done, with a lot of suspects and a few (perhaps misleading) clues. Events in the book are only somewhat akin to those in the film, so if you've seen the film you might well still enjoy the book (and vice versa). I think the part that threw me the most wa...more
I have watch and enjoyed the Mrs. Bradley mysteries on PBS, starring Diana Riggs, so the Mrs. Bradley character in this first book in the (long) series was a shock! Nothing at all like the Diana Riggs character, she appeared to me to be a cross between Miss Marple and one of the witches from Macbeth - many times in the text, she is described as cackling and she clearly comes across as an intelligent but not nice person.

The mystery itself I found disappointing after a very promising beginning - a...more
A convoluted mess of a farce masquerading as a mystery. Meant to be humorous but isn't. Tries for quirky but only succeeds in being bizarre. Don't waste your time.
Joy Jakubaitis
They never quite finish handling the first death, and then who the other murderer was, I didn't see that coming. But still going to give another one a try, since the pacing picked up as it went on.
I thought this was a really good read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The very first Mrs Bradley book from 1929 in which "The Great Gladys" set the scene for many more great stories over several decades to come, during which time Mrs B. mysteriously stayed the same age'

Difficult to review without giving the game away, it has all the elements that make up the English Country House Murder Mystery and some that are a bit weird and remain unexplained.

I love the fact that the author has the ability to cr...more
Jan 06, 2010 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
A country house, a corpse. And the butler's not to blame. A Gladys Mitchell 'whodunnit' with Leslie Phillips and Mary Wimbush.

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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Great ending--will be sure to read more of her works.
Lots of suspects. Sad ending. Mrs. Bradley is great.
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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
More about Gladys Mitchell...
The Saltmarsh Murders (Mrs. Bradley, #4) The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop (Mrs. Bradley, #2) The Rising of the Moon (Mrs. Bradley, #18) When Last I Died (Mrs. Bradley, #13) Death at the Opera (Mrs. Bradley, #5)

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“Look here, Mrs. Bradley," he said. "I feel a pretty frightful bounder telling you all this about the poor girl, but I think some woman ought to know about it. On Wednesday night, yes, last night, Eleanor came into my bedroom at about half-past twelve and--and wanted to stay there! I thought it was a ghost at first. I had terrible difficulty in getting rid of her. In fact, I had to get out of bed and shove her outside and lock the door. Choice, isn't it?"
"Of course you will lock your door tonight," she said.
"You bet I shall," Bertie said fervently, "and nothing short of the house catching fire is going to persuade me to open it.”
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