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The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop (Mrs. Bradley, #2)
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The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop (Mrs. Bradley #2)

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  284 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
When Rupert Sethleigh's body is found one morning, minus its head, laid out in the village butcher shop, the inhabitants of Wandles Parva aren't particularly upset.

Sethleigh was a blackmailing money lender and when the unconventional detective Mrs Bradley begins her investigation she finds no shortage of suspects.

It soon transpires that most of the village seem to have b
Paperback, 190 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Rue Morgue Press (first published 1929)
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Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"Stop, James!" came in deep rich tones from the depths of the chair. "You are wearing grey flannel trousers!"
"Yes," agreed Jim, glancing down at them.
"If I had my way," said Mrs Bradley firmly, "grey flannel trousers should be taxed, together with dogs, automobiles, wireless receiving-sets, income, and the colour curiously termed beige."

I like Mitchell's character studies and her humour but her plotting and convoluted storytelling left me, yet again, puzzled beyond what I can put up with. I was
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, uk
A terrible, terrible book!

If there is one thing I like about Gladys Mitchell, it's her setting. She goes for the old-world country setting with characters who knew each other for years, or thought they did, until a murder occurs. She can do characters well, but it's a hit or miss with her, and it was a miss with this book. Her plots are however, atrociously formed and make absolutely no sense.

I was annoyed quite early in the book when a twenty one year old woman was called 'child' by all and sun
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
An Offal Discovery
When Rupert Sethleigh vanishes, Gladys Mitchell's amateur sleuth Mrs Bradley probes alarming village events. Stars Mary Wimbush.

The Bones of the Matter
With Rupert Sethleigh still missing, can amateur sleuth Mrs Bradley solve the mystery of a headless corpse? Stars Mary Wimbush.
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

Gladys Mitchell was an astonishingly prolific British mystery writer. She published well over sixty books under her own name, and more under pseudonyms. Perhaps the reason she is less well-known is that her lighthearted and humorous novels seem almost to parody the genre. There is also something somewhat offbeat and peculiar about Mitchell's mysteries.

Take for example her sleuth Mrs. Beatrice Lestrange Bradley. It is interesting to note that the two most famous old lady sleuths made their fictio
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K.J. Charles
I usually like the Mrs Bradleys but this was bog awful. The plot and characters are sketched in in a way so impressionistic as to make you feel like you're reading a poorly constructed synopsis, the resolution depends on profoundly unconvincing psychoanalysis, and the whole thing is just flimsy tosh. Very poor stuff.
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gladys Mitchell's psychologist-detective Mrs. Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley has fallen into undeserved obscurity. I'm hoping that all of books penned by the woman once known as "the great Gladys" come back into print and are picked up by

Unlike the innocent-appearing Miss Marple or the erudite Roderick Alleyn, Mrs. Bradley is frequently described in saurian terms. She's yellow with age, curmudgeonly in disposition, and decidedly not a sweet old lady. However, her observations -- i
Gillian Kevern
After my last less than successful Mrs Bradley read, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this. This is another reread, and I remembered that the first time I read this, I was really annoyed with it. It started out irritatingly -- two separate people see the obvious suspect hiding a spade and then heading into the woods at night to dig a grave right after telling a really obvious lie about his cousin with who he quarrelled going to America, and they both decide, with no consultation, that hey, he's a nic ...more
Les Wilson
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
An excellent read. For me, how a crime book should be written. Very little gore or intimate personal relationship. They get on with telling you the story. Tempted to give it 5*
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Gav Reads
Shelves: 2014-books
Second in this Mrs. Bradley series and the victim is the disliked owner if Manor House. There is no shortage of suspects and scandal and Mrs. Bradley is able to sort it out in due time.
My edition has the Independent quoted as calling the book 'Superbly odd' on its front cover. While I can agree wholeheartedly with the 'odd', I'm not so convinced of the 'superbly' ... but it is an enjoyable read if you suspend belief and are ready for some of the 'jolly hockey sticks' dialogue (well it was written in 1930).

I'd add a warning for those who come to the book having loved the wonderful Mrs Bradley character created by Diana Rigg (and the screenwriters) for TV ... while some of the c
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm torn about this book. It was published in 1930, and I really enjoyed most of the characters and the village setting. Unfortunately, I found Mrs. Bradley, the seemingly omniscient amateur detective, a but unpleasant. This novel read like a modern parody of a Golden Age mystery, with way too many extraneous plot devices and red herrings. Overall, I'm glad I read it, but I didn't love it.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was reminded of Dorothy Sayers' intricate, even convoluted plotting and PG Wodehouse's eye for human folly. A quietly sardonic novel with a memorable, startlingly amoral sleuth. Do not expect a typical cozy mystery as much as a fond send-up of the genre, couched in an elegantly devious mystery.
Helen Smith
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is extraordinary.
Robert Richmond
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
classic crime
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, fiction, mystery
Decent book, but a rather confusing solution.
Christine Cody
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
With all its red herrings, misplaced clues, scattered body parts (including a missing skull!), characters wearing costume while some appear in others' clothing, and the general mayhem, this lively mystery was perfect for the Halloween season. This 1930 novel was Gladys Mitchell's second Mrs. Bradley mystery (of 66!). Although renowned during her lifetime, Mitchell was more or less forgotten for two decades following her 1983 death. In a reflection of her renaissance, our local library has adding ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Ardent mystery fans who have exhausted all other options
Recommended to Cynthia by: BBC America
Shelves: kindle, mystery
I was prompted to read Gladys Mitchell's Mrs. Bradley mysteries after I saw the one episode available on Netflix, an adapation of the first novel, "A Speedy Death." Honestly, I wasn't particularly impressed by it, but various reviews online convinced me to try reading at least one of the series, so there I was.

This is not your typical 1920s mystery novel; it's far more serious in content (if not tone) than any Christie or Hammett volume. The plot involves dismemberment and some sort of psycholog
Emma Rose Ribbons
Very funny novel, but I think it would have worked better without a mystery since that was the weakest part by far (the resolution and the end in general is extremely abrupt and a sad disappointment). The writing is excellent - the author reproduces speech patterns and idiosyncracies which is a tad disconcerting at first and may be tiring after a while but it adds so much humour. The eccentric characters wouldn't be out of place in a P.G. Wodehouse book and the main character's really endearing. ...more
Robin Brown
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
So, I came across these when they were on sale at Amazon. I got the impression this was the first in the series, so I read it first, but it is the second. Nevertheless, you don't need to have read Speedy Death first.

I thought these might be the books upon which the Diana Rigg series of mystery shows (Mrs. Bradley) were based, but no. Completely different.

Fun, funny, if you get dry, British humor. Interesting enough to continue with the series. (I'm going to go back and read Speedy Death.)

May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mitchell has a vivid and playful imagination that makes her unlike any other mystery writer. Despite never knowing what will happen next or being able to settle into comfort, the reader is still given a richly described stable of characters. Plus her prose style is masterful, quirky, clever and inventive. This mystery has layers of detail going on and the end provides multiple solutions before the resolution, almost like a slow strip tease. This was her first and she may have some issues with pa ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, library
I had a harder time with this one that I did with the first book. I just couldn't get into it. Add to that the confusion of characters at the start and the way it felt as if things zoomed along but then suddenly dragged...well, it took me longer to get through than I expected. There are a few great bits and Mrs. Bradley is as terrifyingly awesome as in the first book, so I will read the next one. But I think I'll wait a bit and read something else first.
The upside - not as bad as Come Away Death. Also, highly annoying though Beatrice Lestrange Bradley is, she does have a good solid diatribe about the politics of the C of E catechism as the reason why she only goes to churches to admire the architecture. Downsides - oh dear, the comedy Irish maid at the vicarage? - ugh; the usual assemblage of OTT characters; yet again, the victim is such a wart that the murderer was doing a social service...
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Good fun! A mystery in the regular spirit. A despicable victim, a plethora of suspects, an unappreciative police force. And just when I was feeling slightly deflated by the solution (with these books, shockingly, the obvious suspect often is the murderer) the story took a slight but worthy twist.

Too, we're spared Laura in this one, her normal duties being ably filled by a couple of young people from the district. A pleasant change.
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
My first Gladys Mitchell, though not my last. The plot chopped and changed so much it became a little too convoluted at times. The style has a decided echo of Wodehouse, witty and facile. Slightly odd in that the blackmail issue is largely glossed over, as is the motivation for dismembering the corpse ~ given that the highly entertaining sleuth is a psychoanalyst, I'd have expected more reflection on this part of the plot. Still, all in all quite amusing.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read the Kindle edition of this and it didn't hold my interest. I don't know if it was the editing or what. It got good reviews on Amazon.

I had trouble keeping the characters straight andfound myself going back several times to figure out who someone was. I was surprised since I generally enjoy her mysteries. The Rising of the Moon is my favorite.
Oct 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
A good murder mystery from the golden age of detective fiction, and a wonderfully amoral and pragmatic reaction from the detective, Mrs Bradley, once she has her murderer. I have to admit, though, that some of the characters behave with more than a fair amount of stupidity that, in spite of their innocence, would probably have got them in hot water in real life. But a good read.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A clever whodunnit, one of the Golden Age, but pretty gruesome at that. The discovery of a body, cut into parts and hung like so much meat in a butcher's shop is the catalyst for Mrs Bradley's investigation. There are red herrings aplenty: engaging and eccentric characters, with the divinely batty Mrs Bradley at their centre. It's well-written, with a neat (literally) last page twist.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, paperback
Different style of crime book from what I'm used to - guessing it's a product of its age.

I understood that the murdered guy wasn't very pleasant but no one seemed to care that he'd been brutally murdered!

Quite a big cast of characters so sometimes it was hard to keep everyone straight.

Interested to see what will happen in the future books.
Ova Incekaraoglu
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a very overlooked piece of crime fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed the witty, humorous character: Mrs Bradley. I must admit it was not a page turner and a bit slow-paced but will definitely read more of these series. Surprised that I've never stumbled upon a Gladys Mitchell book before :) she wrote loads!
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Aka Malcolm Torrie, Stephen Hockaby.

Born in Cowley, Oxford, in 1901, Gladys Maude Winifred Mitchell was the daughter of market gardener James Mitchell, and his wife, Annie.

She was educated at Rothschild School, Brentford and Green School, Isleworth, before attending Goldsmiths College and University College, London from 1919-1921.

She taught English, history and games at St Paul's School, Brentfo
More about Gladys Mitchell

Other books in the series

Mrs. Bradley (1 - 10 of 66 books)
  • A Speedy Death (Mrs. Bradley, #1)
  • The Longer Bodies (Mrs. Bradley, #3)
  • The Saltmarsh Murders (Mrs. Bradley, #4)
  • Death at the Opera (Mrs. Bradley, #5)
  • The Devil at Saxon Wall (Mrs. Bradley, #6)
  • Dead Men's Morris (Mrs. Bradley, #7)
  • Come Away, Death (Mrs. Bradley, #8)
  • St. Peter's Finger (Mrs. Bradley, #9)
  • Printer's Error (Mrs. Bradley, #10)
  • Brazen Tongue (Mrs. Bradley, #11)

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