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The Mystery at Underwood House (Angela Marchmont Mystery #2)
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Buddy reads > The Mystery at Underwood House - Clara Benson - SPOILER Thread

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Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Published in 2013, this is the second book in the Angela Marchmont series. Following "The Murder at Sissingham Hall," we see Angela's friend, Louisa Haynes, ask for her help to uncover what lies behind a series of strange, family deaths.

Old Philip Haynes was never happier than when his family were at each other's throats. Even after his death the terms of his will ensured they would keep on feuding. But now three people are dead and the accusations are flying. Can there really be a murderer in the family? Torn between friendship and duty, Angela Marchmont must find out the truth before the killer can strike again.

Please feel free to post spoilers in this thread.


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 612 comments Well...I was wrong about the murderer. & near the end where Angela confronts Guy - that was exciting. But still just competent for me.


Sandy | 3008 comments Mod
Did anyone, or everyone, guess the secret relationship behind the murders? I think I guessed that fairly early (they were running out of family members by the start of the book) and then it was just a matter of deciding between the two orphans. The secret trust was interesting: a device just begging for abuse.


Jughead (jugheadjones13) | 22 comments Me too. I guessed very early in the book that Guy was the guy. when Angela tells that the killer should have been a swimmer, I went back a few pages, where the author mentions that guy was a swimmer in college, I knew it was most probably him. And the sister part was easy-in the prologue Edward looks at the photo and says '...my ' and stops so that has to be his sister. so the motive was fairly obvious when the photo was found. Only thing left was to find her son among the family which could only be guy or Don. All the other mysteries were intriguing like the old man's letters, his strange will, I even expected John to die at the last meeting


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I was surprised, to be honest, that so many people were killed before the reader entered the story. I felt it limited possible suspects. I was also surprised that the police did not take it more seriously, or felt there was no justification to investigate.


Sandy | 3008 comments Mod
Balaji wrote: "Me too. I guessed very early in the book that Guy was the guy. when Angela tells that the killer should have been a swimmer, I went back a few pages, where the author mentions that guy was a swimme..."

I missed that swimming connection; it seems so obvious in hindsight. And having the story start with 3 of the 4 siblings murdered was odd. Philip should have had a larger family, even though he hated them.


Jughead (jugheadjones13) | 22 comments Sandy wrote:I missed that swimming connection; it seems so obvious in hindsight. And having the story ...
There could have been some scenes with old Philip, like how he felt about his daughter leaving him, how he actually treated his children, even about her (Guy's mom, I forgot her name) life and her character, but I guess that would have made the book into a psycho thriller than a whodunit. And I am also a little curious about Angela, she seems like an interesting character with an interesting past.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Some background would have been good, I agree. There could, easily, have been some flashback scenes.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I read the latest edition on Scribd, and I think John only says “Why, that’s...” when he sees the photo, not “my” - maybe there has been a change to the text to make it less obvious? I don’t remember if I guessed the killer first time around.

I do agree it’s very unusual that 3 deaths have already happened before the book even starts!


Jughead (jugheadjones13) | 22 comments Judy wrote: "I read the latest edition on Scribd, and I think John only says “Why, that’s...” when he sees the photo, not “my” - maybe there has been a change to the text to make it less obvious? I don’t rememb..."
No, John does say "Why, that's ..." when he sees the photo but, Edward says "Why, yes, of course. That's my- but what does it mean" in the prologue when the killer hands over the photo to him. And I agree to the unusual number of deaths, that definitely narrows down the suspects. Actually this seems true in her other books too-the third and the fourth one had limited characters and were fairly predictable.


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Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
Balaji wrote: "No, John does say "Why, that's ..." when he sees the photo but, Edward says "Why, yes, of course. That's my- but what does it mean" ..."

Ah, thanks for the explanation, Balaji! I must confess I forgot all about the prologue as soon as I got into the book, both times around I think.

I love the third book because of Angela's 12-year-old niece Barbara, who is a really amusing character.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I will definitely read on, Judy. Even if the books are a little obvious, in terms of plots, I like the characters.


Jughead (jugheadjones13) | 22 comments Judy wrote: "I love the third book because of Angela's 12-year-old niece Barbara, who is a really amusing character."
Me too and I hope she comes back again in the series later. You should try the others too. In the fourth book Freddy is introduced who has his own series (4 books till now I think) and a fun character too!


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Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I've read the fourth one and I also love Freddy - that's as far as I've got so far, but I will definitely read on too.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
We can do the third as a future buddy read, if anyone is interested? We are quite 'booked up,' for buddy reads, though, so it might be next year until we get to it!


Sandy | 3008 comments Mod
I own the third, and the first in the Freddy series, so am game for those at least. I look forward to meeting Barbara.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Me too, Sandy. We'll have to look at the list and see where we can fit it in.


Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1172 comments Balaji wrote: "Sandy wrote:I missed that swimming connection; it seems so obvious in hindsight. And having the story ...
There could have been some scenes with old Philip, like how he felt about his daughter lea..."


I agree- I don't think Philip's character was well developed-we don't have much more than being told how he liked to play with his family. No reminiscences, letters (except the last) giving us enough of an insight into his character.


Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1172 comments Susan wrote: "I will definitely read on, Judy. Even if the books are a little obvious, in terms of plots, I like the characters."

I have the third as well and want to read on. Are we planning a buddy read for that as well?


Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1172 comments Carol ꧁꧂ wrote: "Well...I was wrong about the murderer. & near the end where Angela confronts Guy - that was exciting. But still just competent for me."

I wasn't sure between Guy and Don--but felt it would be one of those two. The photo I'd realised was of the sister and even wondered at one point whether she'd turn up as a disguised housekeeper or something. I only realised it was Guy when Ursula started kicking up a fuss.


Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1172 comments Judy wrote: "I've read the fourth one and I also love Freddy - that's as far as I've got so far, but I will definitely read on too."

I must start the Freddy ones sometime.


Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1172 comments I enjoyed Angela's character and the background we got in this one compared to book but though the bit about her role in the war a bit much.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
The next one is The Treasure At Poldarrow Point - shall I pencil that in for January? I can't believe we are already thinking about next year!

From the dates, the Freddy books were published after the Angela series, but, presumably, stand alone?


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Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I think the Freddy books follow on from the Angela ones. He is her sidekick in book 4 and I think in some of the others.

Looks as if we only have one buddy read for November if you wanted to slip in the next one then? I’m hoping to read ahead with the series but am happy to reread them. :)


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
We have:

October/November: Malice in Wonderland by Nicholas Blake
Death Among the Sunbathers: E R Punshon

In Nov/Dec we have a Christmas/winter one - November/December: The Case of the Abominable Snowman by Nicholas Blake
So, we could fit it in there: The Treasure At Poldarrow Point

For Dec/Jan, it would be nice, perhaps, to have a Christmas theme? Any suggestions?

I would like to read An English Murder An English Murder by Cyril Hare

I have long meant to try Cyril Hare.


message 26: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
Just realised the next Angela book is very summery, with her on the beach in Cornwall - I suppose an alternative could be to slip it in in August, as a lighter alternative to the Innes? Just a thought - November would be fine too. :)


message 27: by Judy (last edited Jul 25, 2018 11:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
PS, I've looked at the Innes and I like the start so I'm looking forward to it, but it is a lot of dialect!


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I don't think that I can fit another book into August, as I am away. Perhaps we can hold off on the next Angela novel until a more opportune moment?

I am REALLY struggling with the Innes... If I ever clamber out of the first part, I might get somewhere.


message 29: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
Thanks, Susan, it was just a thought... shall we put it in for November, then? It might be nice to have some sunshine at that time of year :)


message 30: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
Sorry to hear that about the Innes - I will try to get on to it soon and see how I get on.


message 31: by Susan (last edited Jul 25, 2018 11:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Golden Age authors and regional dialect seems to be a recurring issue....

If everyone else wants the Benson in August, that's fine. I can always catch up later. Post comments and let us know if you want to read on and, if so, whether August, or November, suits you best.


Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1172 comments Susan wrote: "We have:

October/November: Malice in Wonderland by Nicholas Blake
Death Among the Sunbathers: E R Punshon

In Nov/Dec we have a Christmas/winter one - November/December: The Case of the Abominabl..."

There the Mystery in White which has a Christmas theme- not sure if it's been read here though


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I know I have read Mystery in White, but I can't recall if we did so as a group.


message 34: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
We did Mystery in White as a group read at Christmas 2016, so a couple of years ago now.


message 35: by Susan (last edited Jul 25, 2018 11:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Tenant for Death the first in Cyril Hare's Inspector Mallett series is not on kindle. Tragedy at Law, first, oddly, in his later Inspector Mallett and Francis Pettigrew series is on kindle.

Sorry, I know I am veering off the point of the thread here! Has anyone read Hare though - is he has good as I have heard?


message 36: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I haven't read any Hare, but would like to ... might be worth posting this question in the White Swan or "what are you reading now" thread too?


Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore | 1172 comments Judy wrote: "We did Mystery in White as a group read at Christmas 2016, so a couple of years ago now."

Oh Ok.


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 612 comments Susan wrote: "Tenant for Death the first in Cyril Hare's Inspector Mallett series is not on kindle. Tragedy at Law, first, oddly, in his later Inspector Mallett and Francis Pettigre..."

I read An English Murder in early 2015. I was still writing quite brief reviews then, but I do remember it explored some very interesting themes. I think it would generate some very good discussion.

I borrowed it from my local library, but it & a couple of other Hare books they had have now been deleted. I do have Untimely Death but it is the 5th in a series.


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