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The Skeleton in the Closet
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The Skeleton in the Closet

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,082 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
Fellworth Dolphin, 38, finds out his miserly dominating late parents hid a fortune in the bank, and in cash. Fell teams up with plain waitress Maggie to investigate an unsolved 1977 train robbery his father may have committed, and the aristocratic home he is named after. Someone tries to murder them. Will they find love or death?
Paperback, Minotaur, 218 pages
Published March 2002 by St Martin's (first published March 2001)
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Charlotte Smith
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started of slow, got to so many chapters and it picked up, I so wanted to get it read to see what happens.
The chapters were a bit on the long side though.
Amina
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 stars
Once again, I was fooled by the title.

Fell was a waiter at the Palace Hotel, his parents prevented him from going to university because he had to get a job and earn them a living. When they passed away, the loyer tells him about his huge inheritance. Fell was furious and really mad at his parents. While searching in his mother's wardrobe, he found a photoalbum but no pictures of him when young, only one, with a couple standing in front of a manor with the name "Fellworth", his name. The e
...more
Gerry
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fellworth Dolphin had had a miserable childhood and after the death of his father his miserly mother had him working as a waiter to support her. But when she died suddenly, Fell found himself in possession of a small fortune.

He wonders how such an mount of money had been amassed and befriends a somewhat plain work colleague, Maggie Partlett, who attempts to assist him to find out where the money had originally come from. There follows plenty of intrigue with Fell worrying particularly that his f
...more
The Flooze
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
An engaging, brisk, stand-alone that embodies most of what I enjoy about Beaton's writing.

Fell and Maggie are an odd pair. Both have been trampled by life, finding solace in reading and chatting over fictional adventures. Little did they ever think they'd be involved in their own mystery investigation.

Maggie is the more likable of the two, blessed with far more common sense than the naive Fell. His imagination fuels the story, while her calm observations keep things grounded and fill in the blan
...more
Redreedreads
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Light humorous mystery you can read in a day.
Mary
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Different and a stand alone book from the author. I enjoyed it very much. It's really about appreciating, then finding or rather seeing what was in front of you all along. The sleuthing was fun as well. Nice ending, if predictable, and nice change of pace.
Patrick
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Back in June I decided to read 100 books by Labor Day, a modest goal I have shattered to bits.

A large percentage of these titles have been by M.C. Beaton, who has two series detectives (Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin) and a few stand-alones.

I really enjoy the Macbeths, though they are formulaic. Agatha Raisin is a little harder to get into; she's kind of a jerk.

This one involves a youngish man — a waiter, an virgin and a man who has never left his small London exurb — and whose life goes topsy
...more
Louise
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I've read a few M>C>Beaon books before, and whilst not exactly a challenge, they have always been amusing.
not so sure about this one... I began to wonder half way through as to the simplicity of the style if it was in fact a kids book...
there was no depth to the characters, they seemed to just go about having crazy/awful/scary things happen, and just drift through it all, stopping for tea and food at appropriate intervals.
there was no mystery at all re train robbery.....


dull book
Robyn Porter
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was hoping this would be a fun new series like the Hamish series, but it was more like the Agatha Raisin series: whiny, shallow characters who have more on-again/off-again crushes than middle school girls.
Riana
Sep 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Fellworth Dolphin has led a tragic, bland life. Although in his late thirties, he has never even taken a girl out for a date. When his conservative old mother passes away, he finds himself on the brink of a new, free life – and also an unexpected adventure filled with secrets, danger and romance.

The Skeleton in the Closet has a nice balance of mystery, romance, irony and humour. Although Fell is frustratingly blind at first and Maggie somewhat clichéd, I enjoyed their characters and the unhurri
...more
Linda C
Fellworth Dolphin, 38 year old virgin, under the thumb of his mother, working as a waiter to pay the bills, finds his life suddenly changed when she dies. He finds himself very well off with a lot of questions about where all this money came from. He then discovers that there are no photos of him as a child and only pictures of unknown people in the one album he finds. When an aunt, whose personality matches his mother's offers to move in to care for him, he pretends an engagement to his one fri ...more
FebruaryStars
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-stuff
Having not read any of this kind of "cozy mystery" type books before I wasn't sure what to expect. The result was an easy to read, unchallenging, straightforward mystery story. You won't find anything earth shattering in this book but at the same time it is perfectly readable on a rainy afternoon with a cuppa.

The story follows Fellworth Dolphin after the death of his mother. He comes into money he never knew his parents had and starts to discover that his family has "skeletons in the closet" and
...more
Evanston Public  Library
As a fan of M.C. Beaton's two detective series (British Agatha Raisin and Scottish Hamish MacBeth), I was pleased to discover this appealing stand-alone mystery. Beaton answers the question: "What would a 40 year-old man do if he started living an active, full life after the death of his domineering, miserly parents?" His new financial and emotional independence open Fellworth Dolphin up to life's possibilities, including romance and discovering his own family history. Beaton is a capable myster ...more
Belinda
I picked up The Skeleton in the Closet thinking it was one of the Agatha Raisin series of mysteries, but alas, it was not. I continued reading the book because of the unique nature of the story. There is not one single lovable character in the book. At first the reader feels sympathetic to the main characters, but as the story moves along and more of their character is revealed, all empathy is lost. Nonetheless, it is to the credit of the author that the story remains interesting enough on its o ...more
☺Trish
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A great stand-alone mystery/romance from M. C. Beaton (author of the most excellent Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin mysteries).
Good book . . . quick-paced, well-written, and very entertaining story with likeable characters and some interesting twists and turns to the plot!
(view spoiler)
...more
Dorie
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I enjoyed the book overall but it ran a little slow due to detailing too many normal daily activities. I liked Maggie quite a bit and was annoyed at the obnoxious way Fell treated and thought of her much of the time. The author should have worked a little harder to make Fell a more likeable character.
Julie Powell
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best things about this book is the effortless flow of words that grip you from beginning to end.

It's a good story with great characters and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I will not give any spoilers.

Highly recommended.
Kim
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked this much better than the Hamish MacBeth or Agatha Raisin books. The characters were much more pleasant and likeable - though I never did really warm up to the whiny Fell and wished that Maggie, who is a wonderful character, could find someone worthy of her.
Evelyn Bryant
Nov 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Typical light fare, such as what I read M.C Beaton for.
I liked this book, since the characters were engaging if a little dim at times. I like these people better than Agatha Rasin who I do not like and not as well as Hamish Macbeth.
Silvana
Dec 29, 2008 is currently reading it
Up to page 48 and will finish the book because it is a fast read, BUT...I think the writer has no vision and speeds through her writing in a way that makes me believe she is tell the story to a child who has a short attention span.

It may make a great play though.

stay tuned...
Selah Pike
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable stand alone cozy mystery. I got angry at Fell's parents SO many times!
Julie
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A cliched & predictable read. I much prefer her "Hamish Macbeth" series.
Kathy
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read. If you like the Agatha Raisin books, this is just as fun.
writer...
A fun leap year read of this new to me series by Scottish author, MC Beaton. Downloaded from hoopla for easy listening via library card.
Liz Fedor
Feb 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Fast read and enjoyable.
Deanne
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimethriller
Easy to read, though at times I thought our heroine should give Fellworth a kick.
AD Moreau
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A NEW DIRECTION...of sorts for M.C. Beaton.

Having read almost everything from the creator of Agatha Raisin (Detective) and Hamish Macbeth Mystery series, I was surprised to find this jewel.

M.C. Beaton on of my favorite writers is "pegged" as a romance/mystery writer, both of which she does with her unique style of storytelling I think comes from her experience/insights of Scottish heritage.

In general, Beaton books are interesting, innovative (Agatha Raisin is somewhat of a feminist, with prin
...more
Jenny
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very non demanding mystery read, slightly tainted by such an unpleasant male lead - are we really meant to be on his side when he's acted like a five year old throughout and emotionally terrorised poor Maggie, whose main crime is not being attractive at the start of the book? Shades of the somewhat infantile James Lacey, another of Beaton's less pleasant male leads, pervade the pages. Also it's never explained why they keep up the pretence of being engaged after the funeral. A rather flimsy bo ...more
Marilyn McKnight
Fell and Maggie.

What a lovely book. Smashing characters, rogues, villains, innocents, this has them all and, although slightly predictable, a book, which when you read the last page, makes you sigh with happiness for the main characters! A good old fashioned romance/ mystery where the good are rewarded and the bad get there comeuppance! M. C. Beaton is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.
Kathy
May 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I find it infuriating when so many author's dwell on a woman's appearance. Here we find Maggie, a "plain" young woman who helps Fell, a co-worker, deal with the dilemma of inheriting a fortune he knew nothing about. Then he falls for a beautiful (of course) older woman, who is only interested in hi money. But Maggie has to replace her thick glasses with contacts, lose a few pounds, and attract another man's attention to prove that she is worthy of interest. So predictable.
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