Ivonne Rovira's Reviews > The Saltmarsh Murders

The Saltmarsh Murders by Gladys Mitchell
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Jun 06, 12

Read in May, 2011

I love the classic detectives of the Golden Age of British cozies: Miss Jane Marple, Miss Maud Silver, and Lord Roderick Alleyn. But I have a new favorite: Mrs. Beatrice Bradley. She's considerably less likable than any of the aforementioned, what with her yellowed, shriveled looks, her cackling laugh, her domineering personality, and her malicious wit. Yet, she's so sly, and the satire of early 20th century refined society is so delicious, that I think she may well dethrone Miss Marple in my heart. (Forgive me, Dame Agatha!)

In this novel, Mrs. Bradley sleuths out the murderer of a "ruined" housemaid who had been keeping the father of her illegitimate baby a secret. Needless to say, police officials leap at the obvious, only to be shown up by "the Bradley," as curate Noël Wells calls her. The curate narrates the tale, and his timidity and conformity to the conventional thinking of his day only add to the fun. So does his lack of self-awareness, which lead Reverend Wells to make some unintentionally funny remarks.

Of course, I love the television version of Mrs. Bradley; however, that production, featuring a more chic and less quirky Mrs. Bradley, is quite, quite different from the books. You can view the television programs without ruining in the least the enjoyment of the novels.
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