The Saltmarsh Murders

The Saltmarsh MurdersBurns, I believe, considered her a queer old party and wondered whether she would bite at an investment if it were put to her in sufficiently attractive terms. He could not believe that she had ever been married.
“You don’t tell me any man not under the influence of dope ever married her , ”he said to me one day when I was there alone with him.
I understood, I replied, that Mrs. Bradley had been married and widowed twice.
“Gosh!” said Mr. Burns, impressed. “Got that amount of money has she?”
It was a pity, perhaps, that I could not bring myself to repeat this observation to Mrs. Bradley, for I am convinced, from what I know of her, that she would have appreciated it to the full. I often caught the financier’s decidedly fishlike eye fixed ruminatingly upon her. He was trying, I fancy, to estimate exactly how much she was worth, and the problem was difficult. Her clothes, although odd, and, in some cases, positively hideous, were manifestly good. On the other hand, she had a gift for repartee and a fund of bonhomie which he could not associate with a woman who possessed a large fortune, unless, of course, as he said, she was a music hall star or a duchess who had floated the ancestral hall as a limited liability company. She was a far better bridge player than either Burns or Sir William, and was an adept at pool and snooker. She was also the most brilliant darts player and knife thrower that I have ever seen. She was also a dead shot with an airgun, and annoyed Burns considerably by winning five pounds from him one miserably wet afternoon by knocking the necks off ten empty wine bottles with ten successive shots. I know she did that, because I saw her do it.

I think that this is the first of the Mrs. Bradley mysteries that I have read although I did see a few episodes of the TV series starring Diana Rigg. Gladys Mitchell wrote over 60 of the between the late 1920s and the early 1980s, and The Saltmarsh Murders is the fourth in the series.

The housemaid from the vicarage giving birth is the catalyst for murder, and the young curate narrates events as Mrs Bradley uses her psychiactric knowledge to identify the murderer. At one point I thought it might turn out to be an Ackroydal murder, but it wasn’t and I didn’t manage to work out who had done it.

3.5 stars Mrs. Bradley is an interesting, odd and slightly dark character. This was my first of these books (I LOVE the tv series with Diana Riggthough I have to say, other than the name, not a lot is the same). I found it very amusing and enjoyed trying to follow her logic along the way.

The story itself was interesting but not overwhelmingly so. A couple murders, a missing baby and a bunch of secrets. There was one piece of the puzzle I truly didn't get though despite explanations and it didn't make sense to me so all in all I am going with an okay but pretty funny book and I will read another.

On a final note, I did like Noel, the narrator and bit of sidekick Another strange Mitchell mystery. I like it but I don't like it. Her books are odd and unsettling but in a sort of fascinating way.

This book was both dated and ahead of it's time. The straight faced Freudian talk is a hoot. Yet in other ways the book prefigures the amoral lurid aspect of many modern thrillers. The wildly broad stereotype of the one black character is cringe worthy. Yikes! However it's depiction of women's sexuality is so different from the usual 1930's mores.

A creepy book that I kind of like except when I don't. The Saltmarsh Murders by Gladys Mitchell, is a series and an authorincrediblyI did not know before. Mitchell began her mystery writing career in 1929 and is pretty much a contemporary of Agatha Christie. Her heroine ... through 66 novels! ... is Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley, or "Mrs Bradley" as she is referred to in this early outing, first published in 1932.

Random House Vintage has reissued a half dozen of the (mostly) early titles. This one bears the tagline: "A quickwitted, clever mystery from the Golden Age of crime writing" and that sums it up nicely. It is quaint in some ways, but also unexpectedly funny in other places. There are vicars, and pubs, and secret passages ... and murder. Like a number of Christie novels, this one has a fairly long lead in of facts and characters before the story really starts to take off. So prepare yourself for a leisurely entrée into the world of Saltmarsh, as narrated by the young deacon, Noel Wells, and the surprising characters that inhabit this town.
My first Mrs Bradley. Imagine Miss Marple with a degree and an attitude. All the classic ingredients of the English village cozy mysterywith a touch of MacBeth's wierd witches. I'm not saying there's anything paranormal in the book, there isn't. But Mrs Bradley is decidedly odd. Having come in at Number 4, I may have missed something in the character buildup, but she is not endearing. Few of the characters are, really, from the bumbling Watson standin to the principal suspects; even the "nice" village folk are a bit hard on each other.

The writer's time and personal mentality are very much in evidence in her use of language to pigeonhole people and personalities, even when Mrs Bradley is not speakingand of course the British class system is alive and well. So you have the vicar and curate referring to their parishioners as "the rustics" (hardly a compliment), and everyone of the upper village echelon referring to "women of her type", "men of that type" do this or that, or think this or that. I did rather object to being informed repeatedly, in the mouths of different characters, that "women of that type" (ie showgirls and other workingclass lasses) apparently don't mind being knocked about by their men, in fact they expect it. After all, as Bradley blithely asserts, she could leave him if she really minded. For all her "psychology", la Bradley doesn't seem to know much about the dynamics of abusive relationships. Oh, and BTWthe author's idea of "black English" was just musichall stupid. Ugh.

All right as a bedtime read, but a little convoluted and involved. A few too many subthreads, and the end was rather silly; I'm used to "library scene" reveals, with someone telling how it all happened, but this was...um, yeah. I'm also used to Holmes and Poirot setting themselves up as judge and jury, but...yeah. The fact that the author had to have an "appendix" with Bradley's personal diary, explaining her ideas and elucubrations along the way,tells me that I'm not the only person who found it confusing. Apparently the author did, too.
I have read many books from the "Golden age of crime" before, not to mention many other novels written in the years between the wars, and certainly there are many times when attitudes of the time jar terribly with what is acceptable today. However generally speakingit is at least explainable, and the reader can set things in the context in which they were written and move on. However in this bookwhich is the first Gladys Mitchell I have readthere was language and attitudes particularly to racewhich I actually found offensive. There is a black servant character in the book, and so I would hope that other Gladys Mitchell novelsnot featuring black characters wouldn't be so overtly racist. The story itself was really quite readablebut it was spoiled for me by the stereotyping of this minor character. Alongside that issuewas the fact that some years ago I saw the TV adaptations of The Mrs Bradley Mysterieswhich I thoroughly enjoyedand now know bore no relation whatsoever to the books, why Dame Diana Rigg was ever cast, as the wizened, shrieking, yellow skinned elderly sleuth beggars belief. The offbeat and weirdly funny mysteries of Gladys Mitchell may be an acquired taste, but nonetheless can prove quite addictive. Fortunately for those addicted readers, Mitchell was an incredibly prolific writer. The Saltmarsh Murders, published in 1932, was her fourth mystery, and features as sleuth, her nowfamous character Mrs. Bradley.

Mrs. Bradley is a wealthy widow, one with a thorough background in Freudian psychology. She is a weird character, a bit frightening, yet not without unexpected kindness and sympathy. She speaks her mind and seems to take quiet delight in ruffling feathers and hitting nerves. Her unconventional opinions frequently shock Noel Wells, the earnest young curate narrator The Saltmarsh Murders. Wells is an intelligent and sympathetic character, but his lack of selfawareness is irresistibly funny to Mrs. Bradley, and to the reader.

The troubles at Saltmarsh begin shortly before the village fete, when the minister’s unpleasant and neurotic wife discovers her housemaid is pregnant. Cast out by her employers, the girl is taken in by a local couple, whose interest and involvement in the her troubles seems a bit sinister. A series of nasty pranks and public outbursts follow, their increasing violence ultimately leading to murder. In the mean time, wellkept secrets are revealed, and every villager’s “dirty laundry” is hung out for their neighbor’s perusal.

Fans of both “cozies” (mysteries set in quaint little towns) and mysteries of the “Golden Age” of crime fiction, will likely find The Saltmarsh Murders to be very entertaining. Mrs. Bradley is no doubt a peculiar character, but not without much humor and some sweetness. The Saltmarsh Murders is sweetly macabre little gem of a very English murder mystery.
If you love classic British mysteries, you MUST read the Mrs. Bradley series.

Few people today know the name Gladys Mitchell, although those who watch PBS are familiar with her most famous detectiveMrs. Bradley. For decades, however, Mitchell ranked with Christie, Sayers, Marsh, and others as a popular mystery writer. From 1929 until her death in 1983, she cranked out at least one book a year and frequently more. Most of them featured the "reptilian" psychiatrist and detective, Beatrice Lestrange Bradley.

There seem to be no biographies of Miss Mitchell, which is a shame. I'd like to know how a girl whose father was a "market gardener" was able to go to university in 1919, a time when the English working class had almost no access to anything but primary education and also a time when the higher education of women was still violently controversial. But go she did and became a teacher of English, history, and games (P.E.) She started writing in the midtwenties and published her first Mrs. Bradley mystery in 1929.

For years she continued to teach from necessity, since her books earned her only about fifty pounds each. In the 1950's writing became a bit more lucrative and she stopped teaching. Within three years, she was so bored she went back to teaching and kept at it until she finally retired for good in 1961. Maybe she agreed with Edmund Crispin that working with young people is the best possible occupation for learning about criminal tendencies.

THE SALTMARSH MURDERS (published in 1932) was the fourth Mrs. Bradley mystery and is generally considered to be one of the best. A number of Mitchell fans have compiled lists of her books from best to worst, although there are so many that by the time you read them all you've forgotten the first ones you read (if you haven't died of old age.) I think it's interesting that most of Mitchell's books are written in third person, but SALTMARSH and THE RISING OF THE MOON (another general favorite) have narrators. Perhaps that's a technique the author should have used more frequently.

It is, like all "cozy" mysteries, a faithful retelling of daytoday life in its setting and its time. If you want to know how life really was, read a mystery written by a woman. What's notable here is the strict observance of class lines, the friction between the generations (the "Roaring Twenties" having reached even this isolated village,) and the shocking (to us) acceptance of racism, economic inequalities, and domestic violence Mrs. Bradley's stateoftheart (for the time) psychiatric pronouncements don't stand the test of time, but she's an endlessly fascinating old dame all the same.

As to the plot, it's full of twists and turns and red herrings. I wasn't really sure whodunit until the end, and several other characters were just as plausible as the guilty party. The real charm is the eccentric characters and the likable (if pompous) narrator who says of his beloved's younger brother's antics, "But of course fourteen year old boys just don't think along the same lines as other human beings...." The experienced school teacher speaks!
I love the classic detectives of the Golden Age of British cozies: Miss Jane Marple, Miss Maud Silver, and Lord Roderick Alleyn. But I have a new favorite: Mrs. Beatrice Bradley. She's considerably less likable than any of the aforementioned, what with her yellowed, shriveled looks, her cackling laugh, her domineering personality, and her malicious wit. Yet, she's so sly, and the satire of early 20th century refined society is so delicious, that I think she may well dethrone Miss Marple in my heart. (Forgive me, Dame Agatha!)

In this novel, Mrs. Bradley sleuths out the murderer of a "ruined" housemaid who had been keeping the father of her illegitimate baby a secret. Needless to say, police officials leap at the obvious, only to be shown up by "the Bradley," as curate Noël Wells calls her. The curate narrates the tale, and his timidity and conformity to the conventional thinking of his day only add to the fun. So does his lack of selfawareness, which lead Reverend Wells to make some unintentionally funny remarks.

Of course, I love the television version of Mrs. Bradley; however, that production, featuring a more chic and less quirky Mrs. Bradley, is quite, quite different from the books. You can view the television programs without ruining in the least the enjoyment of the novels. The Saltmarsh Murders Mitchell, Gladys Livres NotRetrouvez The Saltmarsh Murders Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasion The Saltmarsh Murders Mrs Bradley,by Gladys An Early Member Of The Classic English Mystery Club, Gladys Mitchell Wrote Saltmarsh Murders In , Her Th Mrs Bradley Mystery The Tone Is Subtle, Hinting At The Humor That Can Be Found In The Sound Alike Early Mysteries Set In Small Villages, Complete With The Elderly Woman Who Acts As Detective However, This Detective Makes Fun, Quite Subtly, Of The Xenophobia And Anti Semitism Historically Prevalent In The Saltmarsh Murders EPub Gladys Mitchell AchatThe Saltmarsh Murders, Gladys Mitchell, Vintage Digital Des Milliers De Livres Avec La Livraison Chez Vous Enjour Ou En Magasin Avec % De Rduction The Saltmarsh Murders Mrs Bradley BookEnglishAchetez Et Tlchargez Ebook The Saltmarsh Murders Mrs Bradley BookEnglish Edition Boutique Kindle Genre FictionThe Saltmarsh MurdersMitchell, THE SALTMARSH MURDERS Published Inwas The Fourth Mrs Bradley Mystery And Is Generally Considered To Be One Of The Best I Think It S Interesting That Most Of Mitchell S Books Are Written In Third Person, But SALTMARSH And THE RISING OF THE MOON Another General Favorite Have Narrators Perhaps That S A Technique The Author Should Have Usedfrequently The Saltmarsh Murders Mrs Bradley Kindle The Saltmarsh Murdersis Gladys Mitchell At Her Idiosyncratic Best Her Sleuth, The Reptilian Psychoanalyst Mrs Bradley, Cackles Like An Old Witch As She Gets On The Trail Of The Village Murderer First There S The Strangling Of A Young Maid Servant Who Refuses To Reveal The Name Of The Father Of Her Child Then A Rather Loose Young Woman Is Ominously Missing Mrs Bradley Goes Into THE SALTMARSH MURDERSmysterymix Nicholas Blake, Author Of The Nigel Strangeways Mysteries, Called The Saltmarsh Murders A Classic Upon Its Debut InPatricia Craig And Mary Cadogan State In Their Introduction Of The Hogarth Reprint That This Book, Like Everything In The Earliest Group Of Detective Novels By Gladys Mitchell, Is An Exceptionally Stylish And High Spirited Piece Of Work, With Strong Comic Overtones Please Allow Me To The Saltmarsh Murders Hogarth Crime Mitchell, THE SALTMARSH MURDERS Published Inwas The Fourth Mrs Bradley Mystery And Is Generally Considered To Be One Of The Best I Think It S Interesting That Most Of Mitchell S Books Are Written In Third Person, But SALTMARSH And THE RISING OF THE MOON Another General Favorite Have Narrators Perhaps That S A Technique The Author Should Have Usedfrequently It Is, Like All CozyThe Saltmarsh Murders Mitchell, Gladys The Saltmarsh Murdersis Gladys Mitchell At Her Idiosyncratic Best Her Sleuth, The Reptilian Psychoanalyst Mrs Bradley, Cackles Like An Old Witch As She Gets On The Trail Of The Village Murderer First There S The Strangling Of A Young Maid Servant Who Refuses To Reveal The Name Of The Father Of Her Child Then A Rather Loose Young Woman Is Ominously Missing Mrs Bradley Goes Into The Saltmarsh Murders Gladys Mitchell The Saltmarsh Murders Death And The Opera The Devil At Saxon Wall Dead Men S Morris Come Away, Death St Peter S Finger Brazen Tongue Hangman S Curfew When Last I Died Laurels Are Poison Here Comes A Chopper Death And The Maiden Tom Brown S Body Groaning Spinney The Devil S Elbow The Echoing Strangers Watson S Choice The Twenty Third Man

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