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A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia

(Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,094 ratings  ·  187 reviews
It's 1929, and Ticky Maltravers is the toast of London high society, adored by everyone—or so it seems, until somebody poisons him over dinner. Now it turns out that numerous people with secrets to hide had every reason to wish him dead. But which of them murdered him? For Freddy Pilkington-Soames, newspaper reporter and man-about-town, the question hits a little too close ...more
Kindle Edition, 263 pages
Published September 4th 2016 by Mount Street Press
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  2,094 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Pauline Ross
For anyone who read all ten of the Angela Marchmont series of murder mysteries set in the 1920s, this spin-off series is an absolute must. Featuring the gloriously insouciant Freddy Pilkington-Soames, this first book in the new series has all the author’s trademark elegant phrasing and delightful humour, combined with twenties glamour and a gentle murder mystery to be solved. I was a little concerned that Freddy, a comedic bit part in the Angela series, might be too lightweight to carry an entir ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
It's not necessarily a bad book, but the characters are all the miserable rich. So, yeah.
It is an interesting look into what some people will do for money and reputation.

I've actually only read it once.
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia (2016) is the first of a series of five books (so far) featuring Freddie Pilkington-Soames and set in 1920s–1930s London. Freddie was first introduced in another series by the author, the Angela Marchmont mysteries some of which I’ve read and enjoyed very much. In that series he and his set came across as something almost from Wodehouse—I even thought of him as a version of Freddie Threepwood but with brains, for this Freddie can solve mysteries and is not left a ...more
Feb 04, 2017 added it
Rather short, and my enjoyment was a little dimmed because I spotted the most likely killer very early, but Freddy is a fun read. A modern series that manages to almost give a feel of classic golden-age fiction.
SA Krishnan
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the 1920s or 30s, the book was completely enjoyable from the start to the finish. Freddy Pilkington has to solve the mystery of the murder of a man who had blackmailed a lot of people around him.
The story had me chuckling and the writing was thoroughly enjoyable. The writing brought on the flavour of the era so beautifully well, adding to the charm of the stories.
Laila Kanon
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
I need a break from the scholarly reading marathon that I somehow found myself been doing of late; this murder mystery story was a pleasant surprise and I thoroughly enjoyed it--overall a neat reading and cleverly done. The culprit wasn't easily suspected but like any murder(s) committed in the "haves" society--alas, one always suspect the butler and in this case, close to that position! Huh.
I find it hard to finished a book when I'm travelling, I guess I'm one of those who only thrive in "contr
Lady Wesley
Quite fun. I'll probably listen to more in this series. ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Multiple murders and blackmail among the posh set in London, written with a wry sense of humor. The year wasn't mentioned, but judging by the forms of technology and transportation, I'm thinking the 1920's or 30's? Freddy Pilkington-Soames is himself a member of this monied elite, but he's also a newspaper reporter and inadvertently gets himself involved in the whole mess. His mother is a riot. She's the initial suspect, and says, "But I refuse to take it too seriously, either. After all, nobody ...more
Justin Kneissler
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it

I'll be honest, this book will not win a Pulitzer, but is is an entertaining read.

As a fan of the Angela Marchmont series, I was sad to finish the last book. I was very happy to hear that a new series starring Freddy, one on my favorites from the AM series, was being written. I was not let down.

This book ticks the boxes that I enjoyed about the AM series. It is great light reading. If you liked Angela Marchmont, and enjoyed Freddy's character, then this book will be right up your a
Maine Colonial
A lead character who is like one of Bertie Wooster's pals from the Drones Club, and a plot with a Golden Age flavor, made this appeal to me. I enjoyed it while reading but within a day could barely remember it.

A good choice when you need a bit of fluff or a palate cleanser type of read.
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-history
Freddy didn't expect an evening on cocktails to take the turn it does, after he ends up at the wrong end of town to get back to his flat he decides to sleep the night at his parents ... only to find his mother with a corpse! From there on in it is a comedy and tragedy combined with Freddy trying to figure out what is going on, no one wanting to talk to anyone (least of all the Police!)  and then another body, Freddy's hangover seems to be the least of his problems (holding on to his job is anoth ...more
Lady Delacour
Delightfully funny, lighthearted farce.
Takes place in 1929, among the elite in Belgravia.
One of the wealthiest districts in the world.
Narrator Gethyn Edwards captured the humor
and helped bring the story to life.
He gave each whimsical character a different voice.
Men as well as female.
A nice Clean Story!!!
Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fluff
A pleasant read for what it was - a mild, cozy sort of mystery. The protagonist brought to mind Bertie Wooster, though the wit was not Wodehouse level. Still, it was entertaining and light, just what one needs now and then.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this writing style. 4’5 stars
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably a quarantine 3.5 or 4. It has plenty of dry wit and twists, even to the very end. Super enjoyable.
A cute, old fashioned murder mystery with sassy British characters.
Lawrence FitzGerald
Good prose,mostly good characterization, mostly good puzzle. Right off the bat Freddy reminded me of Bertie Wooster and it took a while to shake that feeling (I'm fond of Bertie). Freddy is not Bertie. A silver flask figures prominently and almost immediately. A later scene mentions the flask and it raises significant suspicions about a person and this person is continually ignored as a suspect deep into the novel. So, it was kind of easy to figure out early on who the culprit was. This is the s ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A rather funny easygoing detective story, perfect bedtime reading, hardly any suspense but it's quite humoristic. ...more
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Meh. Perhaps I’ve read too many Agatha Christie novels, and experienced the brilliance of her mind, to appreciate other mysteries as much. This story focuses on Freddie, a local newspaper journalist for the Clarion newspaper, and his London socialite mother and her group of elitist “friends.” One of their group is murdered...poisoned at dinner...and both the police and Freddie are engaged in a quest to uncover the murderer. Unfortunately for Freddie, his mother has put him right at the center of ...more
Amusing old-school cosy mystery where the protagonist, Freddy, is unwillingly dragged into solving the murder mystery (a poisoning at a dinner party) because his mother is a suspect. I found the first third a bit confusing as there were lots of POV-shifts into different characters' (the various suspects) heads / omniscient perspective and then back again into Freddy's POV.

Freddy grew on me over the course of the book. Initially I found him hard to warm up to since in his first scene he is drunk
Charlene Roberson
Ticky Maltravers is the center of attention at every party, and he is always invited, although no on really likes him, so why? After he is murdered, the truth begins to emerge- Ticky was blackmailing virtually all his "friends" and they were afraid not to include him. Most of the "crimes" were petty, but a few were more serious - so who decided they had had enough and got rid of this pest?

Freddy Pilkington-Soames' mother is one of the "set" taken over by Ticky, and also is being blackmailed. Sh
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not as good as the Angela Marchmont series, but an encouraging start for the adventures of this character. I figured out whodunit pretty early on, but I enjoy the ambience and chatter so much that I didn't mind. I can't wait for the next installment. ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite interesting. I especially liked the way Freddy closed out each chapter of blackmail in his acquaintances' lives and particularly of the Captain. while the mystery was interesting, I liked the book more for its humor and Freddy's personality. ...more
Verity W
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. It's a bit like Bertie Wooster solves crimes, if Bertie wasn't quite so stupid. But it has that nonchalent air about it of someone slightly bumbling through but actually finding useful information. I really enjoyed it and would happily read more. ...more
Linda Frances
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a light, pleasant read. There wasn't much mystery to it, but there was just enough silliness to make it enjoyable. My only real complaint is that too many characters were introduced in the beginning, making it hard to keep them straight. ...more
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice, light, entertaining read. I loved Freddy in the Angela Marchmont stories, so I was looking forward to this series and I wasn't disappointed. ...more
Chris Montez
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
The women are vague and superficial, the men are invisible, and the plot never thickens. If it wasn't such a quick read I couldn't have gotten through it. ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly pleasant read, with a great cast of characters and a vibe that made me imagine the whole thing as if it were a black-and-white murder mystery film with a lighthearted, somewhat comedic tone. I'm especially a big fan of the dialogue - the way it was written really feels spot-on, and the characters have that old-fashioned wit about them.

The main character, Freddy, is a likeable and charming young man who finds himself roped into this messy murder and ends up doing the right thing for
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1929 in London, and someone has poisoned Ticky Maltravers, who seemed to have the run of high society. Freddy Pilkington-Soames, a rather feckless young reporter, gets involved because his mother was at the birthday dinner when Ticky received the silver flask that probably contained the poison. Rather unfortunately for Freddy, he was befuddlingly drunk when his mother called for his aid, and now he's got no choice but to try to solve the murder so the police don't pin it on his mother--or f ...more
Colin Rochford
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia by Clara Bensen
This is a deliciously English story. The characters are woefully funny. The plot ridiculous. But that’s what makes it so much fun. A ridiculous romp in London during "the season.” There are a number of mainish characters all well-developed and an intriguing plot.

Some quotes: “the result was that by the time he left the night-club, his brain and his finer motor abilities had mutually agreed to part company for a few hours.”
“.... but she insists on m
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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

Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures (5 books)
  • A Case of Murder in Mayfair (Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures #2)
  • A Case of Conspiracy in Clerkenwell (Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures #3)
  • A Case of Duplicity in Dorset (Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures #4)
  • A Case of Suicide in St. James's (Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures #5)

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