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The Convivial Codfish (Kelling & Bittersohn, #5)
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The Convivial Codfish

(Kelling & Bittersohn #5)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  731 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Sarah Kelling and new husband Max Bittersohn are called in by Jeremy Kelling when his Great Chain of the Convivial Cod vanishes. The emblem represents his great achievement, the office of Exalted Chowderhead over the Annual Scrooge Day revels of the Comrades of the Convivial Codfish. When Jeremy falls victim to a seemingly vicious prank, the couple suspect murder.
Paperback, 204 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by iBooks (first published 1984)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  731 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Convivial Codfish start with Sarah's Uncle Jem leading a meeting of crusty male elders who meet for a traditional meeting at Christmas that brings in Scrooge, Christmas Past and Present. There is a lot of bah humbugs uttered. Somehow the Convivial Codfish chain disappears from Uncle Jem's neck. He asks his niece's husband Max who is a private art investigator to look into it. Then an accident happens to Uncle Jem.

There is murder and mass poisoning following the above event. There were many
Denise Spicer
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarah Kelling and her zany relatives star in this rollicking romp of a murder mystery. Mass poisoning on a private train excursion party gives Sarah and her husband, Max, a challenging puzzle to solve.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Again this is more of a 3.5 star title. This is a take off on the classic closed room type of mystery that Christie made popular. Uncle Jem is the current leader of the Convivial Codfish and gets to wear the garish token that goes with the position. It is huge and bulky and likely noisy and somehow goes missing while Uncle Jem is carrying out his duties in a ceremony. Uncle Jem also has an accident later that leaves him unable to go on the annual train ride that turns into a huge disaster. Uncle ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
I liked this one much better than the last couple of books! It has a much better pace with more "doing" and a lot less "thinking". It also doesn't have a big long explanation at the end. Maybe more books with Max as the central character are better! I hope this marks the author as getting better!
Susan in NC
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
5/2018 - still a 3.5-4 Star reread for me, perfect for convalescing at home. Fun and funny!

2016 - A wonderful reread of an old favorite - I don't know which I enjoy more about Charlotte MacLeod's delightfully witty Kelling and Bittersohn mysteries, the wacky characters or the hilarious dialogue! They really remind me of the screwball comedies of the '30s and '40s - I can imagine Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn delivering the clever zingers! I think I'll have to dig out my other MacLeod
Susan Willis
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
So much fun. I love this series.
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-mystery
Does not disappoint. Another charming and witty mystery, with rich people behaving badly and our heroes being quite charming and exsaperated. Nice. DPL e book via total boox.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uncle Jem is a hoot!
Jenn Estepp
As fun as expected, although I could've done with a little more Sarah.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This is probably my least favorite book in the series, although that may be partly because I had just read the short story from which it came (in Grab Bag) and also because I've read it before and remembered a lot of it. The narration drags in several places, and I pretty much skimmed through it. Jeremy Kelling is now the Exalted Chowderhead of the Comrades of the Convivial Codfish, and on his first reign as Scrooge in their Christmas Bah Humbug revel, he loses the Great Chain. A search fails to ...more
Kamas Kirian
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great entry in the series. We got lots and lots of Max, but very little Sarah. It had me guessing who the culprit was up until the end. The story flowed well and there was plenty of action to keep my attention. But there wasn't a whole lot of meat to go with the potatoes as it were. I do like Max as a character.

I do have two complaints about the story. 1) Not enough Sarah. She was barely mentioned throughout the book, it was very much centered on Max. 2) The cast of characters, while
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mystery
Early Bird Book Deal | More farcical than the previous installment, which is a relief. | Again I was pretty sure of the culprit fairly early on, though in this case it wasn't due to carefully uncovered clues or narrative detecting, just the simplistic approach of "who would the author probably feel like making the murderer?" I did find it paced strangely, it seemed like Max was only just starting to investigate when I noticed the book was almost complete. My biggest enjoyment here is the ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, christmas
I am tempted also to file this on my Cookery Shelf. But no.

It's an ingenious mystery. I didn't guess whodunit, and though I have read a lot of mysteries this was the first time for this particular kind of character for a perpetrator. Lots of interesting suspects, and enough time spent with each to really consider whether they had means, motive, and opportunity. It felt like one way or another, they all did!

And I would still love to grow autumn crocus in my garden.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Whoa. In addition to all the interrelated people that the Kellings know, this particular edition was missing punctuation regularly. Suffice it to say, it was a challenge worthy of Max Bittersohn to figure out the paragraphs, much less the mystery.

It's a fast paced (it takes place over a couple days) mystery, beginning with trying to figure out who stole Uncle Jem's Codfish Chain, and ending with a track crash, a murder (and several more), and a lot of wordplay.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
A Christmas party held by the Convivial Codfish drinking and jokester group is broken up by a train accident and a mass poisoning. Evidently clearing the decks for this, Sarah's Uncle Jem has been laid up in the hospital, and he sent his new nephew-in-law Max to the party in his place. Max's sharp eyes see things only Uncle Jem could have expected to see. Now he has to find out which of the Codfish members thinks murder is a great joke.

Read 2 times
Robert Stanton
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great writing as usual

Quite a few typos in this ebook version, as well as others in the series. Please hire a good proofreader.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
My favorite of this series thus far, I enjoy the peek into earlier time. They are an easy entertaining read.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great-Uncle Jeremy (Jem) Kelling has finally reached the enviable position of The Exalted Chowderhead of the Comrades of the Convivial Codfish, a social group of only the highest crust of Beacon Hill society in The Convivial Codfish, the fifth book in Charlotte MacLeod's Sarah Kelling/ Max Bittersohn series. At the annual Christmas celebration, which consists of everyone's eating chowder and drinking copious quantities of liquor while yelling "BAH! Humbug!" to everything, Jem suddenly discovers ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
#5 in the Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn mystery series.

The angry old men of the Comrades of the Convivial Codfish club celebrate yuletide doing what they do best: eating, drinking, and greeting the season of giving with a spirited "bah, humbug!" Though well past sixty, Jem Kelling is a relative infant compared to some of the club's elder statesmen, and he has waited decades to host their annual Christmas scowl. And during his first evening as Exalted Chowderhead, he is thrilled to find the
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I think I'm done w the Kelling/Bittersohn series for now. Too much cozy & not enough Boston. Sarah and Max are finally married in this 5th book, and the book is from Max's point of view. I missed Sarah and once again the mystery just wasn't that intriguing. The only Bostonianish thing about the book was uncle Jem Kelling's silly group of Codfish. Of course they are all suspects once the murderer strikes. Of course it didn't matter whom the killer turned out to be. For now I think Max & ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, romance
Sarah doesn't get much of a look-in in this one as Max takes center stage in a truly horrific murder plot. It's hard to believe anyone could be so careless of life. Needless to say, I didn't have a clue as to who-done-it until he was unmasked at the end, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Uncle Jem and Egbert a little more.
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013, mystery
This fifth book in the series focuses on Max rather than Sarah. One of Uncle Jem's cronies is bumped off and Max jumps in to solve the mystery. This was entertaining although not as good as some of the others.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This series keeps getting better! I did miss Sarah, but having Max as the main character this time around meant much more sly snark. New words discovered like 'persiflage' (used twice by the same character!), and facetiae. Gotta love a mystery that keeps you on your toes.
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another favourite read. Mostly Max solving a murder while Sarah minds the fort. A good train mystery with a bit of gardening thrown in.
Linda Cole
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great fun

True agatha Christie type mystery but a little sillier. Max comes through again and I am totally hooked on this series
Michele bookloverforever
another member of sarah's extended and eccentric famdily is killed. and sarah's family is decidedly eccentric if not downright crazy. Re-read with joy in May, 2019.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Fun quick read. Not her best. Focused on Max and not Sara.
rated it really liked it
Mar 10, 2014
a twist of ideas in the New England town
Nancy Blacksmith
rated it really liked it
Jun 19, 2016
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Naturalized US Citizen

Also wrote as Alisa Craig

Charlotte MacLeod, born in New Brunswick, Canada, and a naturalized U.S. citizen, was the multi-award-winning author of over thirty acclaimed novels. Her series featuring detective Professor Peter Shandy, America's homegrown Hercule Poirot, delivers "generous dollops of...warmth, wit, and whimsy" (San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle). But

Other books in the series

Kelling & Bittersohn (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Family Vault (Kelling & Bittersohn, #1)
  • The Withdrawing Room (Kelling & Bittersohn, #2)
  • The Palace Guard (Kelling & Bittersohn, #3)
  • The Bilbao Looking Glass (Kelling & Bittersohn, #4)
  • The Plain Old Man (Kelling & Bittersohn, #6)
  • The Recycled Citizen (Kelling & Bittersohn, #7)
  • The Silver Ghost (Kelling & Bittersohn, #8)
  • The Gladstone Bag (Kelling & Bittersohn, #9)
  • The Resurrection Man (Kelling & Bittersohn, #10)
  • The Odd Job (Kelling & Bittersohn, #11)