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The Murder at Sissingham Hall

(Angela Marchmont Mystery #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  3,945 ratings  ·  400 reviews
On his return from South Africa, Charles Knox is invited to spend the weekend at the country home of Sir Neville Strickland, whose beautiful wife Rosamund was once Knox's fiancee. But in the dead of night Sir Neville is murdered. Who did it? As suspicion falls on each of the house guests in turn, Knox finds himself faced with deception and betrayal on all sides, and only t ...more
Kindle Edition, 260 pages
Published March 16th 2013 by Clara Benson
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Colleen For more about the author, who is alive, see 'About Clara Benson' in the right-hand column of this page. She is writing in 1920s style, not in the…moreFor more about the author, who is alive, see 'About Clara Benson' in the right-hand column of this page. She is writing in 1920s style, not in the 1920s. (less)

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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,945 ratings  ·  400 reviews

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

This was a competently written mystery - the dialogue gave a great feel for the 1920's. Not too large a caste of characters, so it was easy to remember all the identities.

The main weaknesses for me were (view spoiler)
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
When we meet the narrator of this book, Charles Knox, he is returning to England from South Africa after several years abroad. Charles is an idealistic young man who, after having his offer of marriage rejected by the beautiful Rosamund, and realising she did not want him after his father lost most of their money, decides to make his fortune elsewhere. Indeed, he succeeds in establishing a successful gold mine and returns with his finances much improved. Met by his oldest friend, Bobs, and his n ...more
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
A free kindle book, this one is more or less a locked room mystery, set in the 1920s in a country-house. Our narrator is Charles Knox who has returned to England after eight years in Africa, during which period he has made his fortune prospecting gold. On his return he finds his old friends welcoming him back, though all is not the same. His former fiancé Rosamund is now married to the wealthy but much older Sir Neville Strickland. He also finds himself beginning to admire Slyvia, sister of his ...more
Pauline Ross
I love a good country house murder mystery, something that Agatha Christie specialised in but which is hard to find nowadays. This is a very good substitute, which captures the social nuances and language perfectly, and if the identity of the murderer isn't the hardest thing in the world to work out, well, at least I can bask in my own cleverness. I'm usually a sucker for the red herrings, so it's nice to guess right for once.

The story starts with Charles Knox returning from several years in Sou
Lady Wesley
This country-house party mystery reads as though it was written in the 1920s, which is a good thing. I spotted the guilty party at about the 30% mark, but it was nevertheless entertaining to see how the case was solved. Although it was rather slow at first, there were some developments that took me completely by surprise. I liked this author’s writing well enough that I plan to read the next book in the series.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Golden age detective fiction is my very favourite thing. This checks all the boxes: country house, limited set of suspects, body in a locked room, a bit of romance on the side BUT I'm afraid it is a very shallow effort. There just weren't enough clues, red herrings and alibis. With a classic whodunnit, you want to guess the murderer in the last chapter, about 2 pages before the detective, with this I got it as soon as the murder had happened.

Now here's the thing, I don't believe this was really
A gentle, easy-to-read murder mystery. Pretty predictable, but still enjoyable.
The narrator was a fascinating character, and I would have loved to learn more about him but apparently this is an 'Angela Marchmont' mystery - which was rather confusing as Angela comes across as little more than a secondary character in this story. I preferred Charles Knox - far more interesting.;)

But, a fun read, nicely written and with enough suspense to keep me interested.
Lynda Wilcox
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it
An old-fashioned whodunit told in the first person POV of Charles Knox who returns to England a rich man after 8 years gold mining in South Africa.

Invited to Sissingham Hall by his ex-fiancée Rosamund, (the break-up of their engagement being the reason he left England, he is soon embroiled when the owner of the hall, and husband to Rosamund, is found dead in his study.

The story is set in the 1920s and the language and mores of the time come across well. No true whodunit fan will miss the clues t
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

The ubiquitous house party murder, with a locked room to boot, and all the tropes that have made the genre great. An OK sort of read, it did hold my attention straight through, though it is all tell and no show, until the very end. Talk, talk, talk! The reader isn't allowed to see events unfold--no, no, it must all be retailed secondhand by someone who walks into the library/dining room/drawing room or where ever and tells those already there what has just happened. The members of the house part
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this “cosy” mystery. I call it that because I was able to figure out the murderer right from the beginning clue. However that being said, it was well done, fast paced and kept my interest. I loved all the characters, will I read the next one, not likely, as this is about the 3rd easy reading book I have read on my ereader and I am now ready to hold a book again and chose one with a bit more bite to it. If you are new to the mystery genre, you may like this one.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, kindle-only
A fluffy little cozy murder mystery emulating the Christie genre. Set in the 1920s in an English country estate, with lots of suspects, an amateur sleuth, and and victim who had been planning to change his will. Formulaic, but a quick and easy read.
2.5 stars
Jan C
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2017
I wasn't too sure about this book at first. But I warmed up to it. Main problem was she took a long time (seemingly) to get to the murder.

Charles Knox returns from South Africa. He had been engaged to the lovely Rosamunde who spurned him when his father was sent to jail. He comes back to England and his friend Bobs and his sister Sylvia ask him down to Rosamunde's place, Sissingham Hall, for a weekend party. Rosamunde married the older Sir Neville. Other people are at the party, too. Probably 6
I found this imitation of a 1920s mystery a bit tedious. Angela Marchmont, the detective, does not really emerge as a fully developed character, simply as an interested observer. But neither are the other characters. What Sayers and Wodehouse did to perfection--describe both sides of British society in ways that further the plot and poke fun at its pretensions and blind spots--Benson utterly ignores except for occasional mentions. I figured out the murder as soon as the first clue was planted an ...more
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I have a fondness for vintage mysteries, and this one did not disappoint, even though the clues to the mystery pretty much stared you in the face. I enjoyed the period writing, and the typical stock English country house murder characters, but I thoroughly enjoyed the intrepid lady detective, Angela Marchmont. I'll be reading Benson's other Marchmont stories as well. Good fun!
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked up this book last week after reading a Goodreads blog post interviewing Gillian Flynn. In it, Flynn detailed some recommended reads, including The Murder at Sissingham Hall.

I began reading this story thinking it would be very similar to an Agatha Christie read, which it was in many respects. The murder took place at an English country house with a small party in attendance. Similar to All Quiet on the Orient Express, the murder is found from a limited pool of suspects. It is up to the
Ruth Miranda
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Entertaining, but oh-so-obvious and frankly, easy. With lots more to choose from, the author went for the glaringly uncomplicated culprit, and I for once would have liked to see something a bit more though of, a bit more worked, a bit more... sleuthy? The book left a bit of a bitter taste to my mouth, the characters were so blatantly pinched from several Christie novels, even some of the conversations between the characters were resonant of something I'd read in Agatha Christie's books, which ma ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A nice little whodunit, as Agatha Christie might have written – I discovered the culprit very soon because there is an obvious clue at the start –
although I knew who did it, I went on with the reading, and I did well because there are some twists I did not foresee.

I must say, apart from Angela Marchmont, I was not taken by all the characters – they were a bunch of quite superficial people, some of them I thoroughly disliked –
Am I the only one who thought of the characters of « the Great Gatsby »
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Who doesn’t love a little country manor house murder in July?
Sep 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
A pale, cliched imitation of Agatha Christie. I guessed correctly who the killer was before the murder was even committed, and so did my mum.
 Gigi Ann
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
On his return from South Africa, Charles Knox is invited to spend the weekend at the country home of Sir Neville Strickland, whose beautiful wife Rosamund was once Knox's fiancee. But in the dead of night Sir Neville is murdered. Who did it?

As suspicion falls on each of the house guests in turn, Knox finds himself faced with deception and betrayal on all sides, and only the enigmatic Angela Marchmont seems to offer a solution to the mystery.

This 1920s whodunit in the vein of Agatha Christie wi
Michael Ritchie
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
First in a series of British mysteries written in the 20s or 30s featuring Angela Marchmont as the sleuth. Set at a country-house weekend party, this one is told first-person by a partygoer and possible suspect, and of course an unreliable narrator, or more a naive narrator who has too much invested to see everything the way that Angela does. I figured whodunit before the murder was even disclosed, because of a plot trick that stood out to me, but that didn't interfere with the pleasure of watch ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
Strange choice to sideline the (female) sleuth whom the series is named after in favor of a male narrator who obsesses over a completely different woman and barely seems to notice Angela. A bit by-the-numbers, with the murderer's identity telegraphed a mile away. Still, it was free on Amazon and it was a quick read.
Laurie Way
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good first read from this author. I enjoyed the characters and the murder mystery was satisfying.
Amy Samin
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful, well-written book, but could only give it four stars because the solution was obvious from the beginning.
Ruth Chatlien
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This was enjoyable enough but hardly first-rate detective fiction. I knew who the murderer was before the crime had even been discovered. The culprit tried to plant a red herring to establish an alibi, and I saw through it immediately. However, I notice that Benson’s ratings improve as the series progresses, so I’ll probably give #2 a try since I bought 1-3 as a set.
Mennatullah Mohamed
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
One of the most amazing Mystery books I have ever read ! ❤
Disappointing murder mystery written in the Golden Age style. Charles Knox returns a wealthy man from South Africa and is invited by friends to stay at Sissingham Hall. The owner of the Hall, Sir Neville, has married Charles' ex-fiancée Rosamund. Charles finds that his feelings for Rosamund are not completely buried in the past, but he throws himself into the social life at the Hall with the other guests. Then Sir Neville is found dead in an apparent accident...

This book starts out well, with th
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent writing and pace. The story wasn't anything new.. more for the purpose of introducing Angela Marchmont than anything else. Despite that it was an enjoyable read.
Following a weekend house party, the host is found to have been murdered in his locked study. First one guest, then another is suspected of having been the murderer, but the police have their own theory and are not letting on to anyone.

The plot was interesting enough to keep me reading to the end but the only person I really suspected turned out to have been the culprit. The clues were all there and I found it difficult to believe that the narrator was actually as naive as would have been necess
Lenora E.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of alright I'd say old chums!

I chose my rating of 4 stars because although the book was engaging, at times it bogged down with too many discussions amongst the characters involving the pieces of clues and theories. I knew Rosamund was the killer after her first conversation with Charles when he arrived at Sissingham. But it was still a good read nonetheless.
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Clara Benson is the author of the Angela Marchmont Mysteries and Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures - traditional English mysteries in authentic style set in the 1920s and 30s. One day she would like to drink cocktails and solve mysteries in a sequinned dress and evening gloves. In the meantime she lives in the north of England with her family and doesn't do any of those things.

If you want to be

Other books in the series

Angela Marchmont Mystery (10 books)
  • The Mystery at Underwood House (Angela Marchmont Mystery #2)
  • The Treasure at Poldarrow Point  (Angela Marchmont Mystery #3)
  • The Riddle at Gipsy's Mile (Angela Marchmont Mystery #4)
  • The Incident at Fives Castle (Angela Marchmont Mystery #5)
  • The Imbroglio at the Villa Pozzi (Angela Marchmont Mystery #6)
  • The Problem at Two Tithes (An Angela Marchmont Mystery #7)
  • The Trouble at Wakeley Court (An Angela Marchmont Mystery #8)
  • The Scandal at 23 Mount Street (An Angela Marchmont Mystery #9)
  • The Shadow at Greystone Chase (An Angela Marchmont Mystery Book 10)
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