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The Incident at Fives Castle

(Angela Marchmont Mystery #5)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  749 ratings  ·  39 reviews
It is Hogmanay, and Angela Marchmont is at Fives Castle, the Scottish seat of the Earl of Strathmerrick, to see in the start of 1928. But when she finds out that the Foreign Secretary, the American Ambassador and the Head of British Intelligence are also among the guests, Angela begins to suspect that something momentous is afoot. Before long, they are all snowed in and a ...more
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published June 14th 2014
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Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth in the Angela Marchmont series and is set in a snowbound castle, over New Years, where Angela is a guest of the Earl and Countess of Strathmerrick. Also invited are the American Ambassador, and his wife and secretary, our old friend, Freddie Pilkington-Soames, the Foreign Secretary, various family members and a famous scientist. The house party is meant to act as cover for the scientist to reveal his secret weapon, but he never turns up.

If you like an old-fashioned mystery,
Pauline Ross
The fifth twenties murder mystery in the Angela Marchmont series, this time set in a Scottish castle at Hogmanay, where a murder takes place while the occupants are cut off by snow. And wouldn’t you know it, but Angela is the one to discover the body (again).

This one was great fun. Spies, a missing scientist, hidden documents, secret meetings and lots of rushing about in the snow. And a whole ocean full of red herrings. I didn’t guess this one at all, but it didn’t matter, it was great fun
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
The Incident at Five’s Castle is the fifth in the Angela Marchmont series of books by Clara Benson. This one picks up somewhat from the previous book where we met the young (also somewhat Wodehousian) reporter Freddy Pilkington-Soames, and one of his set Gertie, the daughter of the Earl of Strathmerrick. Gertie has taken a liking to Angela and invites her to the Hogmanay celebrations at Fives Castle, her family home, where many of the guests are political and diplomatic bigwigs. The party is to ...more
Susan in NC
3.5 stars. Fun, interesting mystery - Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve), 1928, at Fives Castle - the distinguished guests are snowed in, a missing scientist shows up dead, and Angela Marchmont is up to her neck in it!

I was not a huge fan of the previous Angela Marchmont book I read with the Reading the Detectives group, but wanted to give her another try further along in the series- sometimes it takes a while for an author to hit their stride.

This book was more enjoyable if still somewhat
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth in the Angela Marchmont series and is set in a snowbound castle, over New Years, where Angela is a guest of the Earl and Countess of Strathmerrick. Also invited are the American Ambassador, and his wife and secretary, our old friend, Freddie Pilkington-Soames, the Foreign Secretary, various family members and a famous scientist. The house party is meant to act as cover for the scientist to reveal his secret weapon, but he never turns up.

If you like an old-fashioned mystery,
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a light and easy read full of the cosy staples of the whodunnit. The setting is grand and suitably isolated, the suspects are suitably coated with a veneer of respectability and Angela Marchmont is a likeable protagonist. For me though it tried a bit too hard to immerse the reader in the 1920s - a little overuse of the plummy upper class English clichés. Out of curiosity, I checked the nationality of the author after I’d finished the novel; the characters felt the way English characters ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
as usual a good plot and a series of interesting characters, among which of course the clever mrs marchmont - again I discovered the culprit rather soon, but i still enjoyed the reading
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you like nineteen twenties mysteries then you will probably enjoy this one. It was actually written during that era but is only now seeing the light of day. Modern readers may find it difficult to understand the worry about spies but at the time this was a huge concern. Angela Marchmont - that enigmatic and well off widow - is invited to Fives Castle to celebrate New Year 1928. Thanks to a chapter of incidents which seems to follow her around she manages to make an unfortunate impression on ...more
In which we spent time in a snow-bound castle, learn a little bit more about Angela's past, discover the game 'sardines', and admire the number of self-determined women Benson puts into her stories - and their flexible range of morals.

I must admit to wondering if these really are the trunk novels of someone born in 1890 and written when she was a young woman, or if that's merely an author identity constructed for the books.
PeterK B
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who do not expect the murder to happen anytime soon
Barely a 3 star rating. This is a murder mystery .... why does the author spend so many pages introducing characters, showing interaction (building a snowman?? This is a murder mystery!)

There are too many characters, all confined to the castle due to a snowstorm, a very old and tired concept. Still, why not have the murder occur much earlier? I have read the previous books and like the primary character Angela, but someone new to the series may not read very far into the book. Nothing much
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: clara-benson
This was a great festive -time read. It is actually set at snowbound Scotland, where the guests are both friends and politicians, celebrating Hogmanay. Angela Marchmont being among them, soon finds herself caught up in a mystery involving a missing scientist, his papers, blackmailing and espionage. I think these books are getting better as they go along. We do find out more of Angela's past, which is interesting, and we can also enjoy the humour surrounding her and Freddie Pilkington-Soames, and ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Angela Marchmont has been invited by the daughter Gertie, of the Earl of Strathmerrick, to Fives Castle to see in 1928. On arriving she becomes suspicious when she realises the Foreign Secretary, Alexander Buchanan and wife Eleanor, the American Ambassador, Audrey Nash and wife Selma with the Head of British Intelligence, Henry Jameson are among the guests. She is proved right when a body is discovered.
An enjoyable and well-written cozy mystery
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Too much diversion

This is the third book in the Angela Marchmont series which I have read. I enjoyed the first two much more. It seemed more like a novella stretched into a novel. One theme disappeared entirely--the discovery of atomic energy. Too many false leads were included, and I felt like the real villain was picked out of a hat. I haven't decided whether to read the next in the series. We will have to see.
Gabi Eagon
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm hooked

I'm hooked on Clara Bensons books. Her Angela Marchmont stories are full of wit and mystery Angela is a smart woman who uses her intellect to solve the puzzle within the story. This book has important government secrets and traitors within. Plus there's a castle in Scotland that is the icing on the cake.
Whistlers Mom
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
What! The missing plans aren't under the globe?

This one owes so much to Arthur Conan-Doyle I was expecting Holmes and Watson to show up any minute. The setting is an ancient castle in Scotland so sturdy that gunshots can't be heard in the next room. It's the home of an Earl who's a mover-and-shaker in the British government and the frequent host of high-level secret meetings. So where better for the Foreign Secretary (and his beautiful, nervous wife) and the American ambassador (and his
Patrica Sheldon
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this series of stories. This particular one is a little long but it wraps up pretty quickly. I did guess who did it early in the story but there were a few red herrings thrown in. All in all I do like the story lines as they are believable.
Di Worley
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Angels sorts of out

Never disapoints! Have read the previous in the series and looking forward to Angela's next adventure. Thoroughly recommend this series
ELzabeth Livingstone
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good read

I really enjoyed the latest adventure (out of sequence) l know but such 'polite society' l always find fascinating and a challenge as to who are the 'baddies'.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mrs Marchmont is invited to a Scottish castle during the holidays and gets caught up in political intrigue and spies. They get snowed in with a killer on the loose.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
It was good, but not one of the best of the series.
Maureen Hetzel
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delightful version of trapped by snow in a Scotland castle in 1930s England...a death! Who did it and why?? Intrigue, espionage, and a pluckly, elegant woman to help in the answer.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
Not my favorite. The actual plot was good but it was mired down by, a lot of wordiness in between happenings. Also, I'm never crazy about politics in general, that being a large part of this plot.
kay whitlock
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pleasant and lighthearted

Well written and slightly quirky series. I am always searching for English mysteries set in the early 1900's and these fit right in.
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have been *loving* this series of detective novels, written privately by Clara Benson in the 1920s and 30s, but not discovered until after her death, and only published now, nearly fifty years after her passing.

This fifth book in the series starts out very slowly--tediously, even, with a long exchange between politicians about a spy scandal that the reader is dropped into in medias res. It's worth soldiering through, though, because the plot picks up considerably when Benson's detective
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't quite as good as the last book, but still delivered! The inclusion once again of Freddy and Gertie guaranteed some laughs true to form.
Lots of international intrigue, and this one put me in mind, in part, of Agatha Christies' The Secret Adversary, with Angela once again reminding me of a young Tuppence Beresford, with a bit of a "country house" Poirot type murder thrown in.
Wonderful as usual!
Charlene Roberson
A good old English country house mystery

This is a good story, if somewhat wordy. The mystery is a good one, involving lost plans for the world's first atomic reactor. There are a LOT of characters and it took a while to get them straight, but it's worth the effort. I didn't figure out who was the murderer until it was revealed.
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The books are getting better. Freddy has is day and we learn more about Mrs. Marchmont's past. I figured this one out, but not the where and why, which is more important.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite of the series

This is the fifth mystery by this author that I have read, but I don't like this one as well as I did the others. I found that although some of the characters are interesting, the story seems to drag in parts. Nevertheless, I plan to read #6.
Yvonne Davies
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-read
Winter murder

Angela is a magnet for murder. Set over New Year Angela is snowed in with a family she barely knows. Freddy is the comic relief. Had my ideas about who done it but yet another story I was wrong
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another winning novel by Clara Benson. I wish I knew more about who she really was. Of course, we are told she is deceased now but she sure did know how to write an Agatha Christie type mystery. Maybe she was writing under a pen name.
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Clara Benson is the author of the Angela Marchmont Mysteries and Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures - traditional English whodunits 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 Murder at Sissingham Hall
  • The Mystery at Underwood House (Angela Marchmont Mystery #2)
  • The Treasure at Poldarrow Point  (Angela Marchmont Mystery #3)
  • The Riddle at Gipsy's Mile (An Angela Marchmont Mystery Book 4)
  • 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)
“I set fire to his bed one night while he was in it. I’d be obliged if you wouldn’t mention that, though, as they never found out who did it, but the police got involved and things were rather unpleasant at school for a while.” 4 likes
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