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Tied Up with Strings (A Serebral Seniors Mystery Book 1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  16 reviews
An Imajin Qwickies® Mystery/Crime Novella

Big mysteries often come in small packages…

When curmudgeonly private detective Betty Grape visits a young friend, who is housesitting in a remote village in England for Christmas vacation, something seems out of place. Her friend, Catia, is visibly nervous. Is she worried about the young men in the decrepit caravan in next door’
Kindle Edition, 85 pages
Published December 11th 2017 by Imajin Qwickies, an imprint of Imajin Books
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  20 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Imajin Books has launched an imprint, Imajin Qwickies – “Qwickies” Are Novellas Ranging From 20,000-30,000 Words. In my opinion that while this story was very good it could have been great as a full-length novel.

The story opens with Betty Grape arriving in England to spend the holidays with the daughter of one of her friends. She had not seen the daughter in years. Apparently, Betty is a “part-time private investigator”. Here is one of the places a longer story would have help
Jane Meyers
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This charming and intriguing novella takes place during Christmastime in a picturesque village nestled in the English countryside. Betty Grape, a retiree from California, arrives to spend the holidays with the daughter of a dear friend. Her friend’s daughter, Catia, is house sitting for a college professor who is on holiday. Betty has not seen Catia, since the girl was quite young and Betty hardly recognizes the young woman who greets her. Betty immediately senses something is amiss, but at firs ...more
Lovell Grant

Good book. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Amazing description and plot. Will be reading more from this author

Betty Grape visits a young friend who is house sitting
in a remote English village. This girl is the daughter
of one of Betty’s friends named Catina.
Betty works part time for a detective agency. She
is a resident of the Serebral Senior Home located in
San Jose, California. This is a Christmas vacation trip.
The home she is visiting is owned by a professor and
his disabled wife. They are away and Catia is house
sitting. The house lacks basic comforts you would
expect to find. The village is very clo
Marilyn Watson
Oct 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Betty Grape has flown to England and ultimately Devon, to visit her old friend's Daughter, Catia. She has promised her mother to check up on her. She finds the cottage is seven miles from town and the nearest neighbor are two brothers living in a caravan in a field. Katia is babysitting the house for a Professor Braithwaite and his wife. On the first day that Betty arrives someone has left a package with a cat collar in a box. While visiting the outside loo she finds a lot of medicine that belon ...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
If you are looking for a mystery that is condensed into a novella that gives you all the wonder of a longer book, then look no further. While only 85 pages in length, the book wraps up a murder and introduces some intriguing characters that will leave you very satisfied at the end.

How fun it would be to visit England at Christmas time. That is what Betty Grape is doing - visiting the daughter of a friend and making sure she is not alone for the holiday. But something seems off about the house th
April Showers Bring Fungi From Yuggoth
Review: TIED UP WITH STRING by Madeline McEwen

A heartwarming British cosy by a British ex-pat in America, TIED UP WITH STRING recalls adorable Village Mysteries with amateur--usually female senior citizens--sleuths. I have to admire Betty, resident of the Serebral Senior Home in San Jose, California, partner in a part-time detective agency. Nothing part-time about her intuition and cleverness, though, and her patience with the autistic (gained from a younger partner in the agency) enables her to
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the characters in Tied up with strings. And the descriptions of the countryside were good. I felt the plot line was not developed enough. The story was over too quickly. Just when I felt I was getting to know the characters and started getting into the story, it was over. There wasn't enough backstory to let you know what was happening and what the prior relationships were. This story has a lot of potential and I would definitely read more of the series if they were longer.
I received
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This was the first I have ever read anything by Madeline McEwen. This was designed as a novella but that was actually problematic. I feel that this would have been better if it was longer in length. The part time private eye Betty came to the UK to visit the daughter Catia of her long time friend. There was no back story about Betty or Catia. There was little development of them or of two other main characters Paul and Peter. There was not enough information about the mysteries which left me con ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tied Up with Strings is a novella and as such is a quick read. What made this story different was that it involved a senior citizen and a person with autism. It was fun seeing how the American Senior handled a visit to England to see a friend's daughter. There were some interesting cultural differences. I am hoping that there will be a follow up to this book to help provide some closure to this story. Without giving away the ending, it would be interesting to know what happens to the professor u ...more
Lyndi Alexander
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually a reader of mysteries, but I came across this book and had to give it a try! (Especially since I'm a senior myself!) It was easy to read in one sitting on a beautiful spring day. I loved the fish-out-of-water status of Ms. Grape as she arrives in England for a Christmas holiday with a young family friend who's house-sitting. As she learned bits of history and Britticisms, so did I, and it was delightful. Even though Ms. Grape indicates that she's not the real detective in her pri ...more
Billy Buttons
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Author: Madeline McEwen

Star Rating: 3 Stars
Number of Readers:
Editing: 9/10
Writing Style: 9/10
Content: 5/10
Cover: 6/10
Of the 16 readers:
11 would read another book by this author.
10 thought the cover was good or excellent.
14 felt it was easy to follow.
11 would recommend this story to another reader to try.
4 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘plotting a story’.
4 felt the aut
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
The First Serebral Seniors Mystery

American Betty Grape has come to a remote English village to spend Christmas with her friend's daughter. Once in Abbeyvayle however, Betty discovers the young woman behaving oddly. Why is she so unpleasant to the neighbors? Why is she so forgetful? And what's the real story behind the professor and his wife, whose cottage Catia is house sitting. There seem to be more questions than answers this holiday season.

Laura Reading
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
No one should be alone during winter holidays. When Catia's parents are unable to visit her in the UK, her mother sends a long time family friend to check in on her.
This is a very subtle mystery with several unusual things going on.
Betty Grape is a part time private eye but usually resides in a residential home for seniors. The seemingly medieval house that Catia is staying in seems to lack some basic, essential comforts of home. From the very beginning, something feels "off" and Betty is not s
It was a short novella with a good main character. I liked Betty but I wish the mystery had been done differently. I felt like I was plopped into the middle of the series. We are not given much information on Betty. I will share my full review soon.
rated it liked it
Oct 31, 2018
Dick Yaeger
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elderly detective Betty Grape journeys from Silicon Valley to Devon, UK, to spend Christmas with her friend’s daughter Catia who is housesitting a home old enough to still have an outdoor toilet. Betty, intrigued with the English lifestyle and beguiled by the jargon, settles in to reminisce and play matchmaker for Catia. As Christmas approaches in their cold remoteness miles from the nearest village, Bette ponders multiple strange events: the cat collar left on the doorstep and their nearest nei ...more
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