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Group Reads > The Clock Strikes Twelve—Spoilerville

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message 1: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (last edited Jan 24, 2020 07:28PM) (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
So did Patricia Wentworth fool you? What did you think of the characters and the mystery?

Remember to uncheck “Add to my Update Feed” if you’re discussing spoilers and not tagging them.


message 2: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments I think the light hitting Albert's face in the bathroom window is one of the most descriptive passages; I can just see his moony, bun-faced head with his eyes popping out...

Brenda, by the way, deserves her own mystery with herself cast as the victim. What a snot!


Barb in Maryland | 465 comments IMO, the character who hasn't 'aged' well is Elliot. I think his angry, rough treatment of Phyllida is supposed to show that he still cares for her. (Phyllida certainly believes this to be true). Not my style of 'hero' at all.


message 4: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
By the same token, I think Phyllida's passive character was far more acceptable 80 years ago. I got rather impatient with her. Lydia's more my style!


message 5: by Rosina (new)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) I did feel that Phyllida's passive doormat character, and Elliot's boasting of his bad temper, and threats, were off-putting, and I wouldn't give tuppence for their chance of a happy marriage. On the other hand, the deliberate misunderstanding about Lydia's affections was also a weak thread, there to add suspicion and angst. And I was concerned that someone had drugged the girl-child, to drive Irene to seek out the doctor, having first sabotaged the phone line. All in all, there were loose plot lines that were never satisfactorily tied off.

I did enjoy Miss Silver, and may read more.


Barb in Maryland | 465 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "By the same token, I think Phyllida's passive character was far more acceptable 80 years ago. I got rather impatient with her. Lydia's more my style!"

Oh yes, Phyl is a bit limp. Lydia is definitely more modern. I really liked her and wished she had more time on the page.


message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 334 comments I agree with all the comments here: Phyl is too limp, Elliot's anger doesn't say "love" to me, and Brenda is so unlikable she should star in her own murder mystery, although I hadn't thought of that until I read Karlyne's post. I just kind of wanted more of her character.

so the whole Germany/WWII was a giant red herring, that's funny.

yes, it's fair to say Wentworth fooled me: I thought Albert had done it and was wishing it was Miss Paradine.


message 8: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
She had me fooled--or at least she kept me chasing after red herrings! Of course I fell for the Germany/WWII herring. I didn't mind weak little Phyllida or the 'manfully' imperious Elliot--they were very much of their time. What I didn't like were some of those loose plot threads and the fact that the resolution depended on two eyewitnesses. I much prefer it when Hercule Poirot solves everything 'with his little grey cells'. Still, I enjoyed it and will read more Wentworth for sure.


Barb in Maryland | 465 comments I felt sure that Albert's partner in the diamond switcheroo would be a family member. I was rather annoyed to have a never-before mentioned outsider dragged in at the very last minute.
I was also annoyed by the 'was she or wasn't she drugged' plot point with Irene and Frank's daughter: the answer to which was never provided.
However, I wasn't the least surprised by the ending. Good riddance, Aunt Grace.
I came to regret the death of patriarch James and really wished that Auntie had been the murder victim.


message 10: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
I pretty much agree with everything said here. Not the best mystery in the world - I never really questioned that the imperious Auntie Grace had gone over the edge. Now if Agatha Christie had been writing it ... And yes, the loose threads were irksome.

But it was an enjoyable and quick read, with interesting characters, and I'm definitely up for another Miss Silver book one of these times.


message 11: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 32 comments Felt the relationship between Elliott and his wife, the cause/time of their estrangement the weakest part of the novel.

Didn't feel as if they were well suited or that the marriage was lasting.


message 12: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "By the same token, I think Phyllida's passive character was far more acceptable 80 years ago. I got rather impatient with her. Lydia's more my style!"

Me, too! I just finished and posted my review, and just now letting myself read all your comments. Agree with Phyllida being too passive, and Elliot’s “I love you, so I’ll manhandle you and call you a damn fool” getting old!


message 13: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "By the same token, I think Phyllida's passive character was far more acceptable 80 years ago. I got rather impatient with her. Lydia's more my style!"

Oh yes, Phyl is a..."


Lol, “a bit limp, I like that!


message 14: by Susan in NC (last edited Jan 31, 2020 03:26PM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Jackie wrote: "I agree with all the comments here: Phyl is too limp, Elliot's anger doesn't say "love" to me, and Brenda is so unlikable she should star in her own murder mystery, although I hadn't thought of tha..."

Me, too! Actually, I was wishing it was Grace, and since she seemed genuinely unstable, I figured it was her, I just didn’t know why she did it. I thought Albert, and his carefully crafted alibi, was immediately suspicious, but I didn’t see him as a murderer, more of a sneaky twerp - and he was! Grace just had so much anger, and from the moment she’s introduced, waiting on the stair with her fake smile for Phyllida, I felt she was one to watch and be wary of! And the description of her last meeting with the tearful former fiancé - yikes! - that is one manipulative, unforgiving woman.


message 15: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Hana wrote: "She had me fooled--or at least she kept me chasing after red herrings! Of course I fell for the Germany/WWII herring. I didn't mind weak little Phyllida or the 'manfully' imperious Elliot--they wer..."

Very good points, I wondered about the German connection as well, but I would like to read more of Miss Silver, loose plot threads and all! I love her similarities to Miss Marple, and how even though they’ve had lives lived somewhat on the periphery - spinsters, so not wives or mothers, yet intimately aware of household routines and astute observers of human nature - they see and hear so much, and have the intelligence and clarity of thought to assimilate it and see it’s import. I knit, I’d love to be such a sharp old lady, building a case...but I’d be dropping stitches left and right! ;)


message 16: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Cphe wrote: "Felt the relationship between Elliott and his wife, the cause/time of their estrangement the weakest part of the novel.

Didn't feel as if they were well suited or that the marriage was lasting."


As stated above, though, I think they’re very true to their time, even if cringeworthy to us modern readers!


message 17: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (last edited Jan 31, 2020 04:21PM) (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
I'm sure we're all supposed to believe that now that the meddlesome Grace is out of the picture, the two of them will be just fine and get their Happily Ever After. It seems a little unlikely match, but no worse than a lot of romance novels I've read. Even Georgette Heyer has made me raise my eyebrows with a few of her couples!


message 18: by Cphe (new)

Cphe | 32 comments I still think that the heroine in The Black Moth ended up with the wrong one!


message 19: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
The Corinthian. I rest my case.


message 20: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) | 96 comments I enjoyed my reread of this Miss Silver mystery. Her plots may be a bit loose, but I always enjoy her characters and this lot was quite a collection.


message 21: by Hana (new)

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I'm glad to hear that the Miss Silver mysteries generally have interesting characters. This is my first time reading one and I really enjoyed 'the collection'. Thanks for encouraging me to read more!


message 22: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) | 96 comments I prefer Patricia Wentworth to Agatha Christie. The plots are similar, but the characters are a lot more interesting.


message 23: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Carolien wrote: "I prefer Patricia Wentworth to Agatha Christie. The plots are similar, but the characters are a lot more interesting."

I think I do, too, Carolien. I tend to enjoy reading them again more than I do Christie's.


message 24: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
I agree. Christie write better mysteries but I think Wentworth's characterization is better.


message 25: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 334 comments I am surprised by your comments because I have felt "Christie is the best" for years now, but not having read Wentworth. But I have re-read many of Christie's multiple times that hold up so well! like And Then There Were None.
I'm going to have to read more Wentworth before I feel like I can compare.
I hope we read more Miss Silver books in this group!


message 26: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
I'm up for another Miss Silver sometime! And I love And Then There Were None -- it's an extraordinary mystery ... and yes, some very good characters in that one. 😊 Christie outdid herself there.


message 27: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Christie was a genius with the mystery part of her books (at least most of the time); The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None were stunning! But there's just something about Wentworth's characters that I really love.


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