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A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs (Felse, #4)
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A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs

(The Felse Investigations #4)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  552 ratings  ·  48 reviews
"Shed here no tears. No Saint could die More Blessed and Comforted than I."

So read the epitaph composed by Morwenna Treverra centuries ago as she followed her beloved husband, Jan, into death. The couple have been together ever since, models of pious content, in the little seaside Saxon church near the villa of Maymouth. When curious scholars arrange to open Jan Treverra's
Paperback, 196 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1965)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  552 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
I do so love Ellis Peters. I know she sold a gazillion Brother Cadfael books and so one really can't pity her, but I still think she is under appreciated. Her contemporary mysteries are so good. The writing is clean and lovely and sad. Every book is a meditation on mortality. They're about the awareness of moments, either miniature celebrations of life or tiny one act tragedies that maybe just play out on a person's face. And maybe give away a murderer.

And then there's this fullness and contente
Peters sends her sleuthing family the Felses into Cornwall on vacation and right into the thick of an interesting group of characters and their problems. You may recall that after Felse #2, I was concerned about the Felse Family Investigations becoming formulaic. Felse #3 broke that mold and #4 has smashed it to smitherines.

Not only is the setting new, but the characters, new friends all, and also this tale is structured tightly to a long weekend timeline of Wednesday through Monday. Peters abi
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Read this the night I had to stay up all night in the San Francisco airport. She's a good writer with a good storyline and good characters. It's a comfortable mystery.
Jul 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
One of the best book titles ever...
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
My first of this mystery series and I call it "OK." Not as good as the "Peter Wimsey"or the touchstones of the genre, but has its moments. The best element is the puzzle, with twists. The weaker spots were the atmosphere, clear relationships between characters, and a blandness of Felse (in this novel at least). The character Simon is the most interesting and varied in personality, from sweet to angry, tempermental. Simon also provides much of the solution to the puzzle.
I give it 3 stars based
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
This was a surprise to me, a book sale find that is much different from the Brother Cadfael series, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. D.I. George Felse is the focus of the series, although here, on holiday at the seashore with his wife and 18-year-old son, he plays a peripheral role. A tomb is about to opened to solve a centuries-old family mystery, and George is invited to be present, and thus is witness to the fact that the body inside is quite recent, and covers another, unidentified body. Duncan, ...more
Matthew Mitchell
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book.

I just re-read it for at least the fourth time--I’ve lost count. And yet I felt tears of joy well up at the triumphant end.

Edith Pargeter, the real name of Ellis Peters, was a mystery-writing genius of the first order. Very few are the authors who can create a whodunit that a reader might want to re-visit so often and with such pleasure. Come for another adventure of the Felse family, stay for the boldly drawn character development of the coast of Cornwall cast, and hang on for
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I think I like each Felse mystery more than the last. We see Dom grow, but his involvement with the mysteries ebbs and flows. The stories themselves are really engaging and I always want to know who dunnit. Motives tend to be fairly straightforward, but this isn't a bad thing. The next book was smapled at the end of this one, and once I get through my current pile, I will probably go on to this one!
Sandra Holladay
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Few authors can tell a story or turn a phrase as well as Ms. Peters. Even the descriptive phrases, which might seem trite or overdone with other authors are a joy to read. The characters are strong, the plot well done.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-myst
Also published as A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs, Inspector Felse #4. Vacation trip to Cornwall; the Felses are roped into the investigation of several murders. A cave enlarged by smugglers blocked off by the tide, grave robbing, hiding murdered bodies in tombs.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Wat lezend de boeken van Ellis Peters toch altijd heerlijk. Ik kan enorm genieten van haar verfijnde manier van omschrijven.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Felses, on holiday in Cornwall, encounter a suspicious death. Classic mystery story.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: put-aside
I’ve put this book aside for the time being to catch up on other reading.
Venita Faler
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very complete complex wonderful book!

I love Ellis Peters word smithing a clever story . I think I have read every thing she has written and the Felse investigations are b
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
The best thing about this book is the loving, human relationships.
Adam Ben Ali
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, regrets
"You can be demonstrative with mothers, but showing fathers how you feel about them is not quite so simple. You use what offers, and hope they'll get the idea."

Not the worst fate that could've befallen a reader, but no doubt a regretful one.
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I came across some of Ellis Peters' non-Brother Cadfael murder mysteries at an op shop in 2013, none of which I'd read or seen before. Decided to start with A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs. It's an Inspector Felse mystery, though since he's on holiday with his family in this one his detective work is minimal. The plot is neat enough, with a few surprises, though I thought I'd figured out the villain early on, and for once was right. Except that things weren't quite as they seemed, and Peters had ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I have been enjoying the Inspector Felse series by Ellis Peters. I was not able to find Book 3 in audiobook, so I've moved on to this Book 4. The writing just gets better with descriptions that really let you visualize the place and activities. In this case Inspector Felse and his family are at a seaside town, and there are cliffs and rip tides and smugglers caves to envelop the big mystery of unexpected bodies in burial vaults. There are side mysteries, too, without a one of them being a red he ...more
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Lettura collettiva di Marzo, consigliato da Blackcat.

Ellis Peters è una giallista inglese, scomparsa nel 1995, famosa per i suoi "gialli" medievali di Fratello Cadfael.
In questo romanzo il protagonista è l'ispettore Felse alle prese con una tomba violata e un segreto vecchio di due secoli.
La struttura è da giallo classico alla Christie, l'ambientazione è la campagna inglese col suo micromondo, forse ormai scomparso, ma godibilissimo nella lettura.
Il caso di cui si occupa Felse non è forse tra i

Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a really good book. Inspector George Felse, his wife Bunty, and son Dominic are on vacation. Dominic rescues a 15 year old, Paddy, in a strong tidal area, finds the boy's uncle is Simon Towne, a famous writer and traveller. The Felse family joins Simon and his family in opening the vault of Simon's ancesters, Jan and Morwenna Treverra. The vault is gradually being taken over by the sea and the sand, and there are very interesting epitaphs. The vault turns out to have three bodies, two of ...more
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Another awesome Ellis Peters. In a resort town, a famous writer is spearheading the opening of a several-hundred-year-old tomb in a church that gets buried by sand every few years. Inspector George Felse and his wife and son get in on the act when son Dom braves a dangerous ocean to help out a boy he thinks is drowning.

There are smugglers' tunnels and a missing body. For these reasons alone, I would have read this book. However, Pargeter's plots just clip along and the characters and their compl
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was excited to try a new author, but though the story was interesting I do not know why the inspector-unlike say Agatha Christi's mystery solvers-was called the inspector since he did not really have much to do in the story. I did not even get why he was part of it at all. He seemed to be just there and all of a sudden because of his son meeting a family was buddy buddy.The story just started to get intriguing after pages of rambling and a few pages later, mystery solved. Not at all gripping i ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The fourth in the Felse series, as I work through what I thought would be a re-read. THIS one, I did read back in my teens, and it has held up well nearly 40 years later. In this book it seems Peters finally gets the balance nearer to right, more mystery and mystery-solving, less of the endless pretentious waffle about the nature of teenage boys. An abiding mystery remains though - her curious predilection for spouting brazenly misogynistic (or at the very least chauvinist) clichés about the nat ...more
Sep 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
The title's the best thing about this book.

There is a teenage character in Lake Wobegon whose favorite books are about the LaFlamme (I think) family, whose teenage son is treated just like an adult. Wobegon guy longs for that life. The beginning of this book was like the LaFlamme series. I kept thinking this might be a Young Adult novel, but the rest of the book (and title) don't fit a YA selection. I think it's just a cloyingly written book.

I have enjoyed Ellis Peters' Caedfal series, though.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, Detective-Inspector George and Dominic (son) Felse have mysteries to solve--even on holiday. Poor Bunty (wife and mother) is in the background. (This is mid-Sixties, but where's Carnaby Street and Twiggy??) Again, as always, there are many characters with their interesting personalities--meshing or not. And, dead bodies a plenty entombed in the "resting place" for 200 year old bodies. Dominic seems preternaturally wise for a 17 year old--even around a beautiful older woman. For reader ...more
Maureen E
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
One of the George Felse mysteries. It took me forever to read it–I finally sat down last night and whipped through it because it was due today and it was my last chance. So, not my favorite. It wasn’t set in Shropshire, which is always half the beauty of the Felse books, and somehow it never quite pulled me in.
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
This started off rocky, but got better as the story progressed. Character intrigues abounded and some were transparent while others provided a decent shock at the reveal. Unfortunately, the beginning ruined it and the climax to end did not provide enough recovery to truly make this book something I would recommend for others to read.
James Swenson
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was the first Inspector Felse mystery I read, and maybe it wasn't the right place to start; I had a hard time getting to know the main characters. There were a couple of memorable secondary characters in the Inspector's extended family, though, and the puzzle itself was fairly audacious.
Georgiann Mclellan
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
If I didn't know better, I would have thought Ellis Peters was a 15 year old boy at one point in her life. In her character Paddy, she captures vividly all the angst and indecision coupled with the egocentric nature of a hormonal, young man. Great read!
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A pseudonym used by Edith Pargeter.

Edith Mary Pargeter, OBE, BEM was a prolific author of works in many categories, especially history and historical fiction, and was also honoured for her translations of Czech classics; she is probably best known for her murder mysteries, both historical and modern. Born in the village of Horsehay (Shropshire, England), she had Welsh ancestry, and many of her sho

Other books in the series

The Felse Investigations (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Fallen Into the Pit (The Felse Investigations #1)
  • Death and the Joyful Woman (The Felse Investigations #2)
  • Flight of a Witch (Felse, #3)
  • The Piper on the Mountain (Felse, #5)
  • Black Is the Colour of My True Love's Heart (Felse, #6)
  • The Grass Widow's Tale (The Felse Investigations #7)
  • The House of Green Turf (Felse, #8)
  • Mourning Raga (Felse, #9)
  • The Knocker on Death's Door (Felse, #10)
  • Death to the Landlords (Felse, #11)
“Only people who're positive enough to have friends have enemies. When you're as glum and morose as he was, people just give up and go away.” 32 likes
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