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Hardcover When Last I Died Book

ISBN: 0701210036

ISBN13: 9780701210038

When Last I Died

(Book #13 in the Mrs. Bradley Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good


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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. When Mrs Bradley's grandson finds an old diary in her rented cottage it attracts the interest of this most unconventional of detectives, for the book's now deceased owner was once suspected of the...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Very entertaining

This is a very well constructed whodunit, especially pleasing to readers who enjoy stories in which the sleuth puts together clues about a past crime by interviewing surviving participants, reading diaries, and cross-checking facts. The supernatural subtext of the story isn't the main focus, but an important part of the reason behind the crimes, as a supposedly haunted house is the scene of the crimes.

Gladys Mitchell is known as one of the "Big Three" English women mystery writers

Gladys Mitchell is known as one of the "Big Three" English women mystery writers, along with Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Her output was prestigious, with 67 books featuring Mrs. Bradley, some of which have been converted to television with Diana Riggs starring as Mrs. Bradley. WHEN LAST I DIED was inspired by the Borley Rectory, which was rumored to be one of the most haunted houses in England. Considered one of the most educated women in England, Mrs. Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley boasts a medical degree; is a psychiatrist; works with the Home Office; and is a private sleuth with a chauffeur named George. Her looks are somewhat alarming, even repulsive, but she has a sweet voice and is so persuasive as to exact the answers from the mouths of murderers. When a diary is found in a house of a woman tried for the murder of a professional ghost hunter, Mrs. Bradley decides to investigate. Did Bella Foxley murder her aunt to receive an inheritance, followed by the murder of her cousin and finally herself? She is found innocent of her cousin's murder and there is not enough evidence to warrant an arrest for her aunt's death. But is there more than meets the eye? And is the house she rented really haunted? "Mrs. Bradley was silent for about a minute. Then she said: 'It seems to me that Bella Foxley was arrested on insufficient evidence.' 'Not if you read what the wife said at the inquest. She practically accused Bella Foxley of the murder, and the coroner's jury brought in a verdict accordingly. She let out--only, of course, it had to be suppressed--that she believed the real motive was that Tom knew Bella had murdered the ancient aunt. He was murdered to shut his mouth and to put an end to the blackmail.'" Gladys Mitchell, as part of England's Detection Club, vowed to play fair with clues; never to use a sinister Chinaman; not to 'borrow' other writer's plots; and to keep their feet off the table during dinner. WHEN LAST I DIED is considered her best book. Shelley Glodowski Senior Reviewer

Great Gladys

This is one of Mitchell's best, I think, combining what appear to be two of her favourite themes, children and weirdness. I'm only sorry she didn't throw in a few nuns, too, which would have enhanced the weirdness factor almost to the point it reached in _St. Peter's Finger_. This novel never ceased to intrigue and fascinate me, and it has one of her ghastlier and more surprising denouments, as well. Well worth an evening's read.

A Mitchell Classic

Both Philip Larkin and Patricia Craig considered this to be one of the best Gladys Mitchells, dealing as it does with old newspaper reports and a haunted house.The supernatural elements come in from the beginning, when the reptilian psychologist (and witch?) Mrs. Bradley finds the diary of an acquitted murderess who later committed suicide in a pond - accused of pushing her cousin from the window of a haunted house.The plot is one of Mitchell's best, involving one of the best uses of a haunted house in detective fiction (Mitchell uses the M. R. James approach), missing juvenile delinquents, an old woman choked to death on grated carrot. Mrs. Bradley untangles a convoluted maze of impersonation and insanity in her own inimicable fashion - "Mrs. Bradley is a far better detective than some who have achieved world-wide fame," said the Times Literary Supplement.In short, one of Mitchell's best books, with a first-class setting, one of her best plots, and probably the nastiest murderer in the canon.
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