Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy (Burford Family, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy (Burford Family, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy (Burford Family #1)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,472 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
The theft of the diamond necklace and the antique pistols might all be explained, but the body in the lake - that was a puzzle. Inspector Wilkins is called in to investigate, but it's going to take some intricate sleuthing to uncover who killed whom and why.
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published 1978 by Avon Books (first published 1975)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Mary Ronan Drew
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, boy! This is a good one. Written in 1975 and reprinted by the Poisoned Pen Press, James Anderson's The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy, set in the 1930s, has it all, starting with a classical-era detective who warns everyone at the very start that he's no good at this job and has been promoted above his abilities and that he yearns to be back on the uniformed force. But this modest, self-deprecating sleuth ("I'm not sanguine. Not sanguine at all" - think Peter Falk's Columbo) manages to ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a re-release of this 1975 gem, author James Anderson has penned a lovely — and loving — send-up of that old chestnut, the British house-party cozy mystery. Gathering for a weekend party at the West Country mansion of Alderley, owned by the stereotypically bluff Earl of Burford, are his diplomat brother, two Duchy diplomats there to conclude negotiations with Britain, a Texan oil tycoon and his wife, a travelogue writer, an insufferable bore, a shadowy French baroness, and a plucky gal-pal of ...more
This was a fun, little murder mystery set in the 1930s. However, my enjoyment was limited by a sense of the book not knowing whether it wanted to be a comedy or not.

While it made several sly nods towards more famous detective stories, it just wasn't funny enough to actually be a comedy. There is humour here but it's so gentle that it's constantly at risk of disappearing in a feeble wisp of early morning Springtime mist.

The book's other issue is the pacing. The murder doesn't even happen until ab
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll tell you up front I'm not going to give a plot summary, there are enough of those out there. This book doesn't take itself too seriously but has a complex murder mystery and believable likeable characters. There are three loosely related books in this trilogy. They all take place in a British Earl's country mansion: Adlderly, between the world wars and within a few months of each other. I read the third one first but the order doesn't really matter. The house, family and detective are the s ...more
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Agatha Christie and classic crime.
Shelves: crime
I really enjoyed this wonderful crime novel. It was very reminiscent of of a Christie novel and oozing with charm and and elegance. The characters were a delight, the plot intriguing and the denouement a surprise. I shall be reading the other books in this series, just a shame there are only 2 more.
Aug 16, 2015 rated it liked it
A fun and cosy murder mystery that reminds me of a cross between Poirot and Columbo set in an English country manor house.
There are several intricate mysteries that weave together to a satisfying conclusion.
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it

I had this book for Christmas and have been looking forward to a bit of country house murder-mystery escapism. I wasn't disappointed - this novel really has all the ingredients of a goold old fashioned style who-dunnit. Aristocrats, people who are not whom they are supposed to be, diplomats. politicians, an American millionaire, a beautiful baroness. Two robberies and two murders, and most of the household creeping around a large country house, in the dark during a thunder storm. A clever intric
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
A nice little cosy, the 1930s English country house murder as French farce.

For a further review: .
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Completely mad but completely and utterly brilliant! James Anderson gently pokes fun at the country house murder mystery genre. I say gently because there is no malice here (Anderson's love of the genre clearly shines through) and it reads just as well as any Agatha Christie novel. The plot was quite complex but I would have been disappointed otherwise and it kept you guessing till the end - now that was a surprise! And I love a book that gives you a plan of the house and a cast of characters at ...more
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A country house mystery set in the late 1930s at Lord and Lady Burford's country pad. Guests arrive, some unexpected, some from overseas and everything is set for an enjoyable weekend. But things go wrong, antique pistols go missing, murder is committed and suddenly everyone is a suspect. Inspector Wilkins, a reluctant inspector, arrives to sort things out but needs the help of one of the guests, who turns out to be not what he purports to be, as do some of the other guests. Wilkins eventually u ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a very fun English country house murder mystery. What I especially liked was how it puts forth a serious face, discussing Hitler, the war, and upper level political intrigue, but then it breaks out into an old fashioned comedy of manners. This contrast between light and heavy hovers in the background throughout. The mystery is complex with clues and motives all over the place, but there really is no way to solve it on your own. That does not lessen the satisfaction of having everything t ...more
Oct 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Libbeth by: Read It Swap It
Shelves: 2008, mystery
Although this book was written in the 70's it has the feel of the era in which it was set, a little before the Second World War. A good old fashioned country house murder mystery, with the emphasis on the mystery, and lots of twists and turns along the way.
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vintage-mystery
I love country house cozies and this send up of the Golden Age is wonderful!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to spend a week in London at the end of October. Last time in London, I read a Regency romance while having high tea at Fortnum and Mason. I decided to continue the tradition of reading a book set in England while I was there.

I went to the Waterstone's at Trafalgar Square and fell in love with this book cover and the title. The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy, what a perfect title! The book is set in England just before the start of WWII, at an old English manor. Oooh, lo
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
1930s country house mysteries, with these 2 books written in 1975 and 1981 respectively. As convoluted as anything written by Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, and in fact various characters mention meeting with both Poirot and Lord Peter Whimsey! In book 1, a small central European duchy is concerned by the rise of Hitler, and enter into negotiations with Britain for protection. The talks are arranged to be held secretly, under the guise of a weekend house party, at the estate of the Earl of B ...more
Nina Jon
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the first of the Inspector Wilkins Series.

That this novel was first published in 1975 and is still selling well with lots of fans all these years later, is a testament to it and the cosy mystery genre.
As a cosy parody, it has everything – literally everything. It becomes quite serious towards the end, and the answer is provided for pretty much everything.
I read it over a period of time which I think was a mistake, because I found it difficult to get properly engaged with the many storyl
Maureen Feeney
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Tongue in cheek cosy mystery. As a cosy mystery, this has literally everything. Set in the 1930's , manor house weekend party, everyone with secrets, red herrings galore, dead bodies, and an old fashioned whodunnit. In my opinion Its aimed at Christie fans, same era , genre, etc...look, this isn't in the same league as Agatha Christie. Yet, it does mirror her books with settings, plots, in a fun way and I think her fans will like them. It's well written, good characters and a really enjoyable En ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Fun, although I would have liked a bit more character (archetype?) development and a little less of who was where when.

I'm probably being too harsh as I'm currently also reading The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse and any country house farce is going to appear average in comparison with the Master.
Jenn Estepp
Quite the corker of a mystery, golden-age inspired, though written in the seventies. A decade whose chief influence on the tale seems to be a Columbo-inspired inspector who attempts (grumpily, reluctantly) to untangle the Country House mystery that involves murder, blackmail, national security and more. Really delightful and I can't wait to read the sequel.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, police
Light-hearted country house murder mystery in the tradition of Agatha Christie. British aristocrats rub shoulders with foreign diplomats until somebody ends up dead. Twists, turns and red-herrings all over the place. I really enjoyed it.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Just finished rereading it. It's a cute old-fashioned thing. Not entirely satisfying, but worth a read for fans of classic detective fiction.
Katie Bee
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books-read
International diplomatic negotiations must be held in the utmost secrecy, and fast. A country house belonging to the titled older brother of the British negotiator is selected for the talks. But there are other people at the house party used as cover, and some of them may be there for nefarious purposes, however innocuous their cover story! Are these potential villains after the glittering pearl necklace of a visiting American? Her husband's priceless gun (he's a collector)? Or are they intendin ...more
It can take a while for a new series to get going and it did feel a little like it took some time for this book to get going, however – the setup was well done and once events started rolling – Oh wow! This, for me, is up with the best of the best of the “English Manor House Murder” genre. Really like the plot developments and the characters…though I am not quite sure to what to expect from future books since the series is “the Buford family” mysteries. Hmm…something to figure out with book two!
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disparate people descend on an English manor where mysterious activities, dead of night cavorting, a thunderstorm, two murders, a jewel heist, and weaponry all entangle the reader. Misdirection, false leads and red herrings abound through the story. The inevitable drawing room denouement was extremely long, but provided some surprises. The narration was highly appropriate, especially the butler's rolled "Rs." This book will appeal to fans of traditional British manor & drawing room cosy myst ...more
A house party in Alderley, owned by the Earl of Burford, to finalize the negotiations between Britain and the Duchy, led to blackmail, the theft of a necklace and a pair of Bergman Bayards, mysterious goings-on in the house dead at night, guests who are drugged, bashed on the head, and even murdered, and to a final twist in the end. An entertaining read.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book but one thing did bother me. Everyone seemed to know the time they were doing things down to the exact minute. Good grief - how were they to know that in a pitch dark house at night!
Oh and be prepared for a VERY long and detailed explanation of how everything happened at the end!
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
The title is misleading. I thought this would be a fluff romp - sort of a Christie spoof. But it's not as light as I assumed. Not bad though - full of the usual English country house characters but with a more political bent.
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1970s
A Country-House murder mystery that combines elements of two of my favourite authors: Christie and Wodehouse. I was so charmed that I immediately ordered an omnibus edition. One to treasure.


First Line: "How well do you know Adolf Hitler?"

First published: 1975

Source: Open Library
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dead in the Water (Daisy Dalrymple, #6)
  • An English Murder
  • After the Armistice Ball (Dandy Gilver, #1)
  • The Act of Roger Murgatroyd: An Entertainment
  • Goodnight Sweet Prince (Lord Francis Powerscourt, #1)
  • Fear in the Sunlight (Josephine Tey, #4)
  • A Bicycle Built for Murder (Manor House Mystery #1)
  • The Religious Body (Inspector Sloan #1)
  • A Fete Worse Than Death (Jack Haldean Murder Mystery #1)
  • The Glimpses of the Moon (Gervase Fen, #10)
  • Dying In the Wool (Kate Shackleton, #1)
  • The Silver Locomotive Mystery (The Railway Detective #6)
  • Million Dollar Baby (A Marjorie McClelland Mystery, #1)
James Anderson was educated at Reading University where he gained a History degree and although born in Swindon, Wiltshire, he lived for most of his life near Cardiff.

He worked as a salesman before becoming a copywriter and then a freelance journalist, contributing to many newspapers, house journals and specialist magazines. He later turned to writing novels, the first of which was 'Assassin' (196
More about James Anderson...

Other Books in the Series

Burford Family (3 books)
  • The Affair of the Mutilated Mink (Burford Family Mysteries, #2)
  • The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks (Burford Family Mysteries, #3)

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • Fractured
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Never Smile at Strangers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Furious (Faith McMann Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • Where Eagles Dare
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Alone
    $17.99 $2.99
  • Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes, #2)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Period 8
    $6.74 $0.99
  • The Guns of Navarone
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Idaho
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Dead Letters
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Phantom (Alexander Hawke, #7)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Working Fire
    $3.99 $2.00
  • The Barkeep
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00
  • Moving Day
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unrivaled (Beautiful Idols #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Secrets of Southern Girls: A Novel
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Blindsighted
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Reamde
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Dorchester Terrace (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #27)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flower Net (Red Princess, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Grave Tender
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Before I Go to Sleep
    $8.24 $2.99
  • When You Reach Me
    $7.99 $1.99