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The Plain Old Man (Kelling & Bittersohn, #6)
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The Plain Old Man (Kelling & Bittersohn #6)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  431 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Sarah investigates the death of con artist Charlie Daventer on his bathroom floor, when his title role acting replacement, old cousin Fred, insists murder was the cause. Her Aunt Emma's theater troupe is doing The Sorcerer, with Emma as Lady Sangazure. Husband Max away in Finland, Sarah sorts clues herself.
Published (first published August 1st 1985)
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Sep 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cozy lovers who don't mind a lot of talking
Shelves: mysteries
I'm listening to The Plain Old Man by Charlotte MacLeod. I really liked her when I was younger, but now, and especially on audio, I find her writing annoying. I like the plot on this one - Sarah's aunt is putting on an amateur production of Gilbert and Sullivan when a painting is stolen and a cast member murdered - but enough with the interior monologue! Do something already! If it was a written book, I could skip forward, but with it being a tape, I don't know if I'm missing anything important. ...more
I did enjoy this one a great deal. I think it was the combination of a good story along with Sarah's backstory, good characterization, and good ethics. Actually, the weakest part was the pro thieves. That almost seemed shoved in to make the mystery a mystery since it is part of a mystery series. However, the dirty old man got his rightful comeuppance; the bratty kids were actually incompetently trying to help their mother, who the dirty old man had been ignoring; and all loose ends were nicely t ...more
Susan in NC
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this light-hearted, clever mystery much more upon re-reading this time, my third (or fourth!), hence I bumped the rating up from 3 stars to 4. It's always interesting to reread old favorites after several years to see how our feelings change; I've always enjoyed MacLeod's literate, sparkling dialogue and quirky characters, but sometimes tired of her "telling, not showing" style where characters go on and on with their internal monologue and analysis of the mystery and potential suspect ...more
Jenny Schwartz
Mar 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Delightful. I love Gilbert and Sullivan.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book a lot, partly because I love Gilbert & Sullivan. Sarah's Aunt Emma is putting on The Sorcerer as her swan song, and since Max is in Europe, Sarah is staying with her to help. When a valuable painting of Emma's disappears and an old friend is murdered, Sarah has to do the detecting without the help of Max. As usual, there are several plot threads: the operetta; the dysfunctional family, all of whom are in the show (father is chasing a young woman in the caste, to the disma ...more
Moira Shepard
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this one, because we spent a fair amount of time with one of Sarah's more human, and humane, family members. Really enjoyed Emma Kelling - great character - and her wonderful household, including Mr. and Mrs. Heatherstone. Fun story, good twist ... enjoyed this much more than than Kelling & Bittersohn #4.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent series. This one was great fun. I knocked one star off of this one because Max is out of the country, leaving Sarah to solve the mystery herself.
S Dizzy
Quirky and entertaining
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sarah Kelling Bittersohn has been enlisted by her Aunt Emma to paint the backdrops for her Pirates of Pleasance group's performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer in The Plain Old Man, the sixth book in Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah Kelling/ Max Bittersohn  series.

Read the rest of this review, more reviews, and other wonderful, geeky articles on FangirlNation
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
#6 in the Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn mystery series. Finalist 1986 Anthony Award for Best Mystery.

Producing a Gilbert & Sullivan opera requires a special kind of madness, and the Kelling family is large and peculiar enough to undertake an entire company by themselves. For years now, Sarah Kelling's Aunt Emma has supervised these annual productions--from The Pirates of Penzance to The Mikado --and this year she has invited her cast of relatives to rehearse The Sorcerer in her stately ma
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, mystery
While Sarah didn't get much play in the previous book in this series, Max gets little here, I guess to make up for it. While Max is out of the country, Sarah stays with her cousin Emma. Emma is mentioned in previous books, but this is the first time the reader really gets to meet her, and what a wonderful character she is. The mystery was easily solved before the unveiling, but the mini-romance more than offsets it. I adore these books. No one is too old to find happiness with someone else.
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was grand fun. The coziest of mysteries -- no direct blood and gore, lots of wry humor.

Since the background of the story is an amateur production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer, there are MANY quotations from the songs in that play. G&S fans, beware -- you, too, may find yourselves looking for a recording of the play, so that you can sing along with the characters!
Jenn Estepp
While the last book was all Max and no Sarah, this one is mostly Sarah and only a smidge of Max, right at the end. It mostly works, mostly due to how utterly terrific the extended Kellings who play a part in this one, which finds Sarah helping out with an amateur Gilbert and Sullivan production. Of course there is murder and art theft and various bits of mayhem and it's charming and fun.
May 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
This book is all Sarah and no Max. I'm finding it slow going and kind of dull. She spends a lot of time thinking about who the culprit is. A lot of time.....
Nope, it didn't get much better. I hope the next one is better or I'm moving onto something else.
May 11, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was set in the same busy family only this time they are having a play and a painting is stolen. This was a slow book and the pace was painful. I had actually figured out the murderer and their about half way through. Not the best I have read by this author
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2013
Entertaining enough but I don't think this is the best in the series. Max is absent until the last scenes and his presence is missed. Sarah's aunt is putting on a play and murder and the theft of a painting interfere.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent cozy mystery.
May 08, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: mysteries, re-read, 2011
I lost this library book. Someone at the Columbus Renaissance is enjoying a lovely mystery while I have to confess my sins to the Summit County Public Library.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it liked it
sarah kelling mystery. sarah is on her own without max at family operetta when a painting disappears. mayhem and hilarity.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Fun quick read. Focused on Sara and a good character study.
A lovely cozy re-read for me, to ease me through my first & second weeks of my new job. Very nice to come home to, and read before bed.
Feb 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another enjoyable Sarah Kelling/Max Bittersohn book. This one features only Sarah, as Max is away on business.
Linda Cole
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good mystery

Different than usual of this series missed the witty exchange between max and Sarah but Sarah did great on her own.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-mystery
Reliable fun although less inspiring than earlier in series as she has fewer obstacles to overcome. DPL e book via totalboox
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May 01, 2009
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May 03, 2013
Harriet Lois Culver
rated it really liked it
May 18, 2016
Jen Rodemeyer
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Jul 18, 2015
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Aug 10, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2012
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Naturalized US Citizen

Also wrote as Alisa Craig

Charlotte MacLeod, born in New Brunswick, Canada, and a naturalized U.S. citizen, was the multi-award-winning author of over thirty acclaimed novels. Her series featuring detective Professor Peter Shandy, America's homegrown Hercule Poirot, delivers "generous dollops of...warmth, wit, and whimsy" (San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle). But full
More about Charlotte MacLeod...

Other Books in the Series

Kelling & Bittersohn (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Family Vault (Kelling & Bittersohn, #1)
  • The Withdrawing Room (Kelling & Bittersohn, #2)
  • The Palace Guard (Kelling & Bittersohn, #3)
  • The Bilbao Looking Glass (Kelling & Bittersohn, #4)
  • The Convivial Codfish (Kelling & Bittersohn, #5)
  • The Recycled Citizen (Kelling & Bittersohn, #7)
  • The Silver Ghost (Kelling & Bittersohn, #8)
  • The Gladstone Bag (Kelling & Bittersohn, #9)
  • The Resurrection Man (Kelling & Bittersohn, #10)
  • The Odd Job (Kelling & Bittersohn, #11)