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Paperback SPEEDY DEATH Book

ISBN: 0099582260

ISBN13: 9780099582267


(Book #1 in the Mrs. Bradley Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good


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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Guests have gathered to dine at Alastair Bing's elegant country manor, but only one guest--a murderer--is aware of the dead body in an upstairs bathtub. With renowned explorer Mr. Everard Mountjoy...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Not as good as the movie but well worth a read

I loved the movie by the same title but the book was a little different. Still, well worth a read. It's good.

Mrs. Bradley = Diana Rigg? Not a chance.

The first in the Mrs. Bradley mysteries was probably more of a joy to readers in 1929. Mystery readers now know that Mrs. Bradley is the heroine, more often than not the sleuth who solves the case. But reading this book without that knowledge adds Mrs. Bradley to the list of suspects for the initial crime; knowing her future importance in the books written by Mitchell, we are sure she is not going to be hanged for the murder. (Note: the casting of Dame Diana Rigg -- the quintessential English high society woman -- as Mrs. Bradley in the television shows might have been a smart move, but she couldn't be further from the description of the novel's Mrs. Bradley, who is described as being "dry without being shrivelled, and birdlike without being pretty." She reminded one of the house party of "a pterodactyl he had once seen in a German museum.") The book is very well written, and a classic example of the English manor house murder where all the suspects are under one roof for the duration. Some of the happenings are a bit outlandish, but that's part of the fun. I must have missed a few details since I didn't find all my questions answered at the end, but it was still a satisfying read.

Mitchell's First Book a Classic

SPEEDY DEATH is Gladys Mitchell's first novel, and begins with the death of the famous explorer Everard Mountjoy - drowned in his bath. There is, however, one particularly odd thing about the corpse: the man was not a man - but was instead a woman - which complicates both detection and personal matters, especially when the victim was engaged to the spinsterish and pathologically jealous Eleanor Bing, who is later found drowned in the bath - before coming back to life...As with the best of Gladys Mitchell's work, the book is surreal and pokes fun at several cliches of detective fiction: in this case, the detective. Mrs. Beatrice Bradley is Gladys Mitchell's series detective, and the most original detective ever to have appeared. She is a combination of a wicked witch, a psychologist, and a pterodactyl with the smile of the Cheshire Cat. She investigates, cackling to herself, and is promptly arrested for the second murder in the book. All manner of complications ensue, with broken clocks, fob-watches in water jugs and bathroom stools all taking on sinister qualities. The plot is memorable and lively, the characterisation is excellent (the two best being Eleanor Bing and Mrs. Bradley), and the detection and courtroom dramas are also first-class. All in all, an excellent mixture of wit, satire and originality.
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