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The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter #3)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  1,378 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews

Miss Potter's new hometown of Holly How is having its share of troubles, and three children, favorites of Beatrix, are counting on the help of the fairies of Cuckoo Brow Wood. Now, with her signature tact, Beatrix must work with her friends-human and animal-to set things right.

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published May 14th 2009 by Recorded Books, LLC (first published 2007)
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Pamela Shropshire
Miss Potter is back in the Lake District just at the time spring is really making an appearance. The village is preparing for May Day celebrations, the village school is about to break at half term and it's lambing and calving time.

There are two village children we have met in previous books, Jeremy Crosfield and Caroline, granddaughter of the local lady-of-the-manor, Lady Longfield. Both are orphans and Miss Potter has befriended both. In this book, a third orphan has come to the village, a gin
I had REALLY mixed feelings about this book. In some ways I would say it is a 5-star book and in others a 2-star book.

The book is well-written and plotted (and edited, too) and I am crazy about the real person Beatrix Potter becoming a fictional amateur detective.

I am less enthusiastic about talking animals but at least in this book they talk only among themselves (sort of like the adults in Peanuts cartoons) and not to humans. What I really hated in this book was animals who were wearing clot
Becky Hoferer
Mar 02, 2009 Becky Hoferer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really do like this historical thread of Wittig Albert's Beatrix Potter. It was very engaging to read and you don't have to start with the first book (I know I didn't). If you start somewhere other than book 1, you can easily catch on to what is happening since it is explained on how it happen in the first place (book 1). The sluething that is done by Miss Potter is independent from each book in the series. What I really liked was, at the end of the book, there are recipes from that time perio ...more
Lake district 1907. Quaint, endearing, and relaxing, these stories can't help but provoke nostalgic reminiscences of childhood, when everyone seemed to believe in fairies, magic, Father Christmas and talking pets! On a more serious level, the historical context seems to be accurate, and the social position of women in that era certainly gives food for thought!

If, as a child, your mother or granny used to read you bedtime stories such as Beatrix Potter's Tales and Cicely Mary Barker's beautiful "
Mar 22, 2008 Grey853 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozy, historical
Let me just say that I have "rat phobia" and because of that I had a very hard time even finishing this book. It seemed like every chapter was full of either animals or people talking about the rat problem. It gave me the creeps. The story itself would've been interesting if I could've just concentrated on Caroline and the con game storylines, but I was too distracted by all the comments about rats in the attic, barn, and just about everywhere else.
Feb 18, 2009 Marci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the first in the series that I read, and then I got all the rest and read them too. It really takes me back to my summers in the Lake District and makes me very homesick! I love the series. I think Ms. Albert got all the details just right. It's charming without being silly. It's well written. It's interesting. The blend of fictional and historical characters is virtually seamless.
Oct 02, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I have said before, I really enjoy this series. They are so much fun and just a breath of fresh air.
Doris' Library
3.5 stars.
Sep 03, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a cozy mystery
oh dear how i love these little beatrix potter mysteries. they are so charming, such gentle reads, really lovely.
Shala Howell
Feb 05, 2017 Shala Howell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series continues to be a charming antidote to anxiety. It's a fairy tale for adults packaged as a cozy mystery, and as long as you wander into it with the expectation that nothing too diabolical or exciting will happen I think you will enjoy it. It's a gentle soothing sort of read, with a sweet hint of budding romance.
April 1907: Spring is springing in Sawrey and Miss Potter is back at Hill Top Farm happily ensconced in her newly renovated farm house. She's perfectly happy with the changes except for a problem with rats in the attic. Miss Felicia Frummety, the farm cat, is too uppity to kill rats and the other village cats refuse to violate the Cat Code Of Honour which states that no cat may poach on another cat's territory without permission. Miss Potter will simply have to hire more cats. Ridley Rattail, ge ...more
Sep 20, 2012 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: up-to-2012
This is the most exciting, magical story by Susan Wittig Albert! Even though she colours in every resident, we stay with characters we like: Beatrix, Will Heelis, Caroline, Dimity Woodcock, and introduce Irish schoolmate Deidre Malone. Deidre is housed by the veterinarian family, for being their nanny. She tells Caroline and Jeremy what her mother taught her about fairies, thus bringing an element I love that had been missing: something mystical!

This is Susan at her best: detailed where you want
"Perhaps it's the gentle breezes that waft into Sawrey off the lake. Or perhaps it's the town's distance from big-city life. Whatever the reason, Miss Beatrix Potter loves the genuine warmth of her new neighbors. But even the kindest of souls can turn snappish when houseguests overstay their welcome ...

"When Beatrix returns to Hill Top Farm from her parents' home in London, she finds the attic overrun with rats. Rosabelle, resident rat and generous hostess, has offered her family a place to stay
Anne Hawn Smith
In this third book of the series, the local children are attempting to get the fairies to help them and they find a true believer in Beatrix Potter. Susan Wittig Albert writes about fairies with the same mix of awe, reverence and fear that Tolkien does. The quest for the fairies help and the plight of the children is by far, the most important thread in the book. We are led into a world where fairies do get involved with the life of the “big people,” but they can never be taken for granted or co ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Holli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This series of books is my favorite form of escape. I really liked this one because of the fairies. The quote below says it all:

Now, you may think it strange and perhaps even silly that a woman of Beatrix Potter's age (I won't say exactly what that is, but some might say she was old enough to know better) would get down on her hands and knees to hunt for fairy doorways in the mossy roots of old oak trees, or stop to build a little garden-house for fairies who wanted to have their supper out of
Feb 25, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had skipped this installment of the series and needed to get it back in order. I'm glad I did. This is the installment that begins the romance of Beatrix and Mr. Heelis. Major Kittridge has returned from the war to his estate. He was injured in the war and has lost an arm and has major burns to one side of his face but still retains his rugged handsomeness. He has brought home his new wife and the town is very curious to meet her. Beatrix, in the meantime, has arrived to visit Hill Top Farm an ...more
There was some more darkness in this one (rat extermination by scarily efficient rat-killing cats) but it also had charming moments.

Here's a quote that I especially liked about Beatrix's manner:

"But Beatrix was a practical person. She stayed cheerful by focusing on what she had and what she could do, rather than making herself unhappy by longing for what she would never have or couldn't do....And that was the way she intended to deal with everything else in her life--her family responsibilities,
Jun 25, 2013 Vilo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge Beatrix Potter fan, so I could not resist a mystery written with Beatrix Potter as the "sleuth." I was not sure anyone could pull off such a thing, but this is a fabulous read. The author has kept a tone that matches Potter's tales and her journals. Stories from the animals' points of view intersperse and often connect with the human mystery. The mystery was gentle but compelling. It is possible that people not as familiar with Beatrix Potter's life would not enjoy the books as much, ...more
These sweet little tales are fun and amusing although this one had too many rats, with lots of murdering of said rodents. The historical note at the end references a letter she wrote saying the problem was getting out of hand and she was dealing with it by getting more cats, but even anthropomorphic rodents are hard for me to ignore in such numbers. The storyline about the search for the fairies by Miss Potter and the children was sweet and fun and I really liked that. This one also had a myster ...more
May 27, 2008 Carolynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another delightful story of the Lake Country folk and creatures by Susan Wittig Albert. Not much of a mystery in this tale of Beatrix Potter's adventures in Sawrey, but we get to see Jeremy again and worry over his pending apprenticeship to an apothecary--not the most Dickensian fate in the world, but not up to his potential. There is a humorous sub-plot starring Ridley Rattail and one of the most obnoxious cats I've seen since Walt Disney's Cinderella. It takes a lot to make a rat a sympathetic ...more
Feb 16, 2009 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
As good as the first if not better, this reminds me so much of Tolkien's Hobbit style, not the subject matter but this terrific cozy mystery is very appropriate to all ages. If you read to your children this would make an excellent choice, it'll keep you as interested in the storyline as the kids will be by the talking animals.My only problem is that I read this out of order, it seems that Fantastic Fiction listed this out of order it is really the third book in the series, The Tale of Cuckoo Br ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
In this volume, the series stepped too far into fantasy for me. My favorite part of the series has been the story lines that draw on author/artist Beatrice Potter’s life and give a perspective on her personality and work. While the ongoing story lines with talking animals living in the town and countryside fit in as an homage to Ms. Potter’s work, adding a dragon didn’t fit the rest of the story and was a bit too fantastical. Worse, it appears the dragon will be a recurring character. My rating ...more
Again two mysteries are afoot in this light hearted adaptation of the life of Beatrix Potter. First off,
one of the towns local residents has returned from the Boer Wars with a mysterious and all together unknown
women as his bride. But she is not what she appears to be. Secondly, some of the children that Beatrix has
grown fond of are wondering if there really are such things as fairies? As before Beatrix is always in the right pace at the right down to get to the bottom of both mysteries.
The Hobbit
Third in the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Rats have invaded the attic of Hill Top; if Beatrix does not do something they will infest the town. The local war hero, Major Kitteridge, has returned with a wife - who is the mysterious Mrs Kitteridge? Three of the village children have asked Beatrix to accompany them on May Eve as they try to find fairies. The local animals spice up the mysteries by knowing more than the humans.
Jan 19, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did not enjoy. Being generous giving it three stars.

I find the aspect of the animals talking to each other and of their trying to talk to us, enjoyable (especially since I can imagine our own animals' frustration in trying to communicate with us and not being able to do so), but I didn't at all like the plot point of fairies, elves, etc. I found that very boring.

I also enjoy the building up of romance between Beatrix Potter and Will Heelis.
Feb 26, 2014 Bekka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk, historical, mystery
Another excellent addition to this series! I love the characters, the homey feel of the story. This is truly gentle reading at its best. The children are wonderful, and I love all the descriptions of village life. The "evil" this time is pretty tame, and pretty easily resolved, but the charm of the story makes up for any lack of suspense. I also really enjoyed the rats! Some good humor there.
Donna Zigmont
Oct 28, 2013 Donna Zigmont rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must admit I'm quite taken with this series.I find myself wanting to go to that village and meet the characters.I love how the author tells the story.She makes you feel like you're really there.And one thing I really like is if something is referenced from A previous book,she'll go back and explain.So if you're reading the books out of order it's ok.I also love how she weaves mysteries into the tales of village life in the early 1900's.I can't wait to start the next book.
Jul 27, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm am thoroughly enjoying reading these little mysteries (The Cottage Tales) about Beatrix Potter by Susan Wittig Albert. This one, The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood, has attempted robbery, a fairy adventure in the woods around a creepy castle, murder (rats), and beautiful descriptions of countryside. Reading these books while there is snow falling, and it's cold and windy outside, makes for a wonderful, cozy afternoon and evening. I'm looking forward to the next installment of the Cottage Tales!
I liked this 3rd book in the Beatrix Potter cottage tales series. I unfortunately read it out of order (accidentally read the 4th book before this one) so some of the mystery was already revealed. However, the story was delightful and I am becoming fond of the characters. It was fun to see Beatrix's child-like delight in the Fair Folk that played a key part of the story.
As far as the actual storyline goes, I thought that things fell into place a bit too neatly, but I don't mind that so much in a cozy mystery. I do wonder how nobody ever catches a glimpse of animals wearing clothes, such as the rats in waistcoats who live in the attic. Or perhaps it just escapes our notice because our human minds gloss over such things as impossible.
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Susan is the author/co-author of biographical/historical fiction, mysteries, and nonfiction.

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Other Books in the Series

The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter (8 books)
  • The Tale of Hill Top Farm (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #1)
  • The Tale of Holly How (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #2)
  • The Tale of Hawthorn House (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #4)
  • The Tale of Briar Bank (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #5)
  • The Tale of Applebeck Orchard (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #6)
  • The Tale of Oat Cake Crag (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #7)
  • The Tale of Castle Cottage (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, #8)

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“And Miss Potter? Well, having believed in fairies when she was a child and continuing to believe in the creative power of the imagination, she was not at all bothered by the possibility that she and the children might see something they didn't understand.” 2 likes
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