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The Clock Strikes Twelve (Miss Silver, #7)
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Group Reads > The Clock Strikes Twelve—Chapters 1-24

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1190 comments Mod
Miss Silver mystery read, starting now, Jan. 24, 2020! The ebook is free on the FadedPage website. This discussion thread is for the first half of the book. Reminder: Please tag any spoilers!


message 2: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 342 comments I just started it tonight and it looks to be exactly the kind of murder mystery I enjoy.
from the blurbs on the back cover, The New Yorker says

"Miss Silver's detective work will please readers who like their mysteries to be leisurely and very genteel"

what more could I ask on a winter's evening?


message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Kaso | 97 comments Started this last night, so right on the starting line. Almost 50 pages, suiting me just fine during all the craziness around the politics here. I just finished Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey), have been re-reading them all to contribute to my positive mental health, lol.


message 4: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 342 comments During our introduction to all the characters (suspects!) I wondered about two of them: the late Mrs. Paradine, in her portrait, is described as "a fair, spacious lady".

Spacious? never heard a person called that - she's a big woman, is she?

and what about Albert Pearson: "a bun faced young man" - now that one has me scratching my head. It doesn't sound complimentary.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1233 comments Kim wrote: "Started this last night, so right on the starting line. Almost 50 pages, suiting me just fine during all the craziness around the politics here. I just finished Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Say..."

You know, I’m feeling exactly the same; currently reading a couple other books for another challenge and because it’s a library book from a series I enjoy, but then planning to dive in to Miss Silver! I need to stay away from the news and Twitter for my mental health!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1233 comments Jackie wrote: "During our introduction to all the characters (suspects!) I wondered about two of them: the late Mrs. Paradine, in her portrait, is described as "a fair, spacious lady".

Spacious? never heard a p..."


Spacious, okay, that can’t be a compliment- and bun faced makes me think, maybe doughy-faced? Like kind of soft, mushy, indecisive? You’re right, neither of those descriptions are complimentary- but I look forward to reading them!


message 7: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (last edited Jan 25, 2020 09:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1190 comments Mod
Jackie wrote: "During our introduction to all the characters (suspects!) I wondered about two of them: the late Mrs. Paradine, in her portrait, is described as "a fair, spacious lady".

Spacious? never heard a p..."


Hah--I also noticed both of those adjectives and was scratching my head over them.

Lots of relatives to keep track of here! But Wentworth draws their characters pretty well.


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 350 comments Picked it up on my kindle (3USD on amazon.us today) and it is my first Wentworth.

Bun-faced to me says flabby and pale, so in a young person that might mean does not go outside or get much exercise? Spacious could mean large physically or perhaps a large, imposing presence, hard to ignore? I will have to start reading to learn more about these characters!


message 9: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments Yes, Albert has a squishy white bun (roll, in the U.S.) kind of face, rather Parker House-ish, I think!

I love the spacious adjective, because it's rather complimentary, as in not rigid and tightly corsetted - someone comfortable, in fact.

And when we meet Miss Silver, she's choosing wool, and, once again, I'm wishing I could knit better and in the Continental manner.


Barb in Maryland | 473 comments I started last night and got the first three chapters under my belt. I think I have most of the characters straight in my mind.
The description of the decor was almost overwhelming--all those bold colors piled one on top of another. Headache inducing, no doubt.


message 11: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 342 comments I only know I have the characters straight because I wrote them down; I really have to do that in any book where you get a bunch of people introduced all at once.

But Tadiana is right, she does draw a vivid portrait of each one.

I think spacious might actually be a compliment in this case: lots of space = comfortable, however bun faced I think is pale and doughy.

Susan in NC, reading this book is the perfect antidote to watching the news!


Rosina (rosinarowantree) I have just realised that I have this book on my Kindle, so will start to read it (instead of the book I had lined up, which can wait for a few days).


Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 78 comments I'm rereading it now. I remember being confused about who was who the first time I read it - this time around, it's a bit easier!


Tuesdayschild | 19 comments I really enjoy the audio book narrated by Diana Bishop, she portrays Miss Silver so well, and so gobbled this repeat listen down over an NZ Friday and Saturday .... forgot that's a day ahead, timewise, for many here when I posted on the other thread..
I flat out appreciate Wentworth's red headed Lydia - love her spunk and deft handling of Dickie - and her explanation for why she darkens her 'white lashes', and, why her sister Irene doesn't and won"t.
Isn't Aunt Grace a piece of work; so reasonable "darling" , so manipulative.


message 15: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Jackie wrote: "I only know I have the characters straight because I wrote them down; I really have to do that in any book where you get a bunch of people introduced all at once. " I should give that a try! All those relatives have my head spinning. Plus I hate reading books on line but that's the only alternative since my usually wonderful library system failed to come up with a copy.


message 16: by Hana (last edited Jan 26, 2020 09:22AM) (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
This is a very fun read so far. I'm already into chapter 5 and my list of characters is full of seething tension and dark undercurrents.

I agree with Chelle that Grace is manipulative, but I will grant her the rare talent for giving presents that are individual and will be appreciated by each recipient. At least that's true of the presents for the women.


message 17: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments I think this is one of the best renditions of the "everybody has something to hide" mystery. We get those shocked faces at the dinner party, but Wentworth makes it very clear that the reasons for the surprised reactions are going to be very diverse.


message 18: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Yes, I'm getting exactly that sense as well.

One thing I had not expected is the delightful humor--I was chuckling all the way through this description of one midnight meeting: "Albert having annexed the only armchair, he seated himself upon the bed and prepared to endure. He would at least not be called upon for very much in the way of conversation. No one in England could better sustain a monologue than Albert. A competent analysis of Japanese foreign policy for the last twenty years led on by a natural transition to a résumé of the personal history and career of Marshal Chiang Kai-shek."

When Albert got to the lives of eels I was laughing out loud!


message 19: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I'm thinking Chief Superintendent, Colonel Bostock's gossipy observations in Chapter 19 are going to provide a few of the clues to those secrets everyone has. And speaking of humor: "Vyner had just used the word murder. Colonel Bostock was regarding him with the cocked head and bright attention of a terrier to whom someone has just said ‘Rats!’"


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1233 comments Jackie wrote: "I only know I have the characters straight because I wrote them down; I really have to do that in any book where you get a bunch of people introduced all at once.

But Tadiana is right, she does d..."


Yes, it is! And I’m with Barb - all of those colors sound definitely not cozy to me!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1233 comments Chelle wrote: "I really enjoy the audio book narrated by Diana Bishop, she portrays Miss Silver so well, and so gobbled this repeat listen down over an NZ Friday and Saturday .... forgot that's a day ahead, timew..."

Yes, I’ve only read the first three chapters or so, but already like Lydia and find Grace manipulative - the scene introducing her coming out of her room, waiting, listening, then plastering on that fake smile- I don’t trust her!


message 22: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Miss Silver likes all the brocades--but then she's an Edwardian relic!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1233 comments Karlyne wrote: "I think this is one of the best renditions of the "everybody has something to hide" mystery. We get those shocked faces at the dinner party, but Wentworth makes it very clear that the reasons for t..."

Ooh, you and Hana’s comments make me want to dash ahead, I could feel the tension rising in the first three chapters...

And yes, I too was a bit stressed at the character dump in the beginning, but I think I’ve got a handle on them, I almost sense some will “matter” to the story more than others. If not, I’m definitely going back to the first couple chapters and using Jackie’s system of making a list!


Barb in Maryland | 473 comments Ah--the end of Chapter 12 and we have our dead body. The ID of the deceased is no surprise. Judging by the contents of Chapter 13, we are about to be treated to the first round of reactions, as well as each one's decision on how much to tell the police.


Barb in Maryland | 473 comments Hana wrote: "Yes, I'm getting exactly that sense as well.

One thing I had not expected is the delightful humor--I was chuckling all the way through this description of one midnight meeting: "Albert having ann..."


Albert's monologue was a hoot, and very soporific! Though I do wonder how he got from Chiang Kai-shek to eels...


message 26: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Being almost as weirdly obsessive as Albert on acquiring off beat information I googled Chiang Kai shek and eels. Nada. On the other hand eels are a major favorite food in Japan and, as Albert suggests, the life cycle of eels is odd.

https://phys.org/news/2017-08-endange...

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/the-my...


message 27: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Barb in Maryland wrote: "Ah--the end of Chapter 12 and we have our dead body. The ID of the deceased is no surprise. Judging by the contents of Chapter 13, we are about to be treated to the first round of reactions, as wel..."

I was surprised to find myself sorry for the death--not the usual pattern with Golden Age mysteries.


message 28: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 342 comments what does everyone think of Inspector Vyner? I am enjoying both what he has to say and how he is described. "something of the air of a docile bull in the traditional china shop".

docile, but nobody's fool is what I'm thinking.


message 29: by Hana (last edited Jan 26, 2020 03:21PM) (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I'm impressed with all the police in this mystery. Not the usual dolts but rather wide awake.


Barb in Maryland | 473 comments I've just met Inspector Vyner. Let's see if he can hold his own against Aunt Grace.


message 31: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
The only thing I ever managed to knit was a long and lumpy scarf, so I couldn't even imagine knitting with four needles. For those similarly afflicted this is a good if daunting video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrfSQ...

I will never underestimate anyone who can figure this out--including Miss Silver!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1190 comments Mod
Karlyne, your comment in message 32 could be a spoiler for some readers. Could you hide it behind spoiler tags? Thanks!


message 33: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Only slightly off-topic....This is a fun article on how to avoid getting murdered in a quaint English Village--alert readers will recognize a few plot points from our current book ;)

https://crimereads.com/your-guide-to-...


message 34: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "Karlyne, your comment in message 32 could be a spoiler for some readers. Could you hide it behind spoiler tags? Thanks!"

I couldn't figure out what would be the spoiler, so I just deleted it!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1233 comments Hana wrote: "Only slightly off-topic....This is a fun article on how to avoid getting murdered in a quaint English Village--alert readers will recognize a few plot points from our current book ;)

https://crim..."

I loved that!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1190 comments Mod
@Karlyne: Just who the victim is, since it's not in the blurb. :)


message 37: by Susan in NC (last edited Jan 30, 2020 10:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1233 comments In the middle of chapter 19, I’m loving this narrator, and really appreciating that the police did a few interviews with us (readers) present, but are summing up the rest of the statements, with some interesting commentary! With a rather large cast of characters, I was afraid we’d get a chapter per interview, which Would become quite tedious! This is much more entertaining, plus you get to hear the police impressions of the suspects - must say, I thought it was brilliant the way they cut Irene out for her statement...I like inspector vyner, he’s clever!


message 38: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I agree, Susan, brilliant call on picking Irene out first!


Barb in Maryland | 473 comments Inspector Vyner is really sharp. I liked that the local police were not the usual incompetents that often feature in books like this. Their handling of Irene was a nice bit of savvy interrogation. One of my favorite scenes.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1233 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Inspector Vyner is really sharp. I liked that the local police were not the usual incompetents that often feature in books like this. Their handling of Irene was a nice bit of savvy interrogation. ..."

Nice for a change!


message 41: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I don't know when the 'professional detective is totally dumb' trope got started but it certainly reached its apogee in 'golden age' UK murder mysteries. I'm a fan of the British Inspector Lewis TV series and, as with this book, it's nice to see a bit more balance.


message 42: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Well on thinking about my last comment there is also the later literary era of the cop is totally a pig, corrupt, a grifter on the take, an addict, a loser of a human, etc. Fortunately, we at Retro Reads can dodge the worst of that genre and its cousins. Humans are complicated and humans living together are even more complicated. Embrace complexity!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1190 comments Mod
Hear hear!


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