One of the original five Miss Seeton books actually written by Heron Carvic - so charming that publishers made numerous attempts to find a ghost-writer to continue the series, always under a nom-de-plume with initials of H.C., and all abysmally failing to copy Carvic's delightful writing style. Here is Miss Seeton's review of the opera Carmen which opens this first book in the series: "So colorful. Not romantic -- no, one couldn't call it that; if anything perhaps a trifle sordid. Carmen, herself, for instance, no better than she should be. In fact, if one were frank, worse. And the other girl, the young one; it was difficult to feel sorry for her. Her fiance, quite obsessed with his mother -- obviously weak and easily influenced -- would have made a most unsatisfactory husband in any case. Still, for him to stab Carmen at the end like that -- so unnecessary. Almost contrived. Though, of course, one must not forget that foreigners felt differently about these matters. One read that people abroad did frequently get emotional and kill each other. Probably the heat." After which rumination, Miss Seeton observes a girl being struck - stabbed, as it turns out - by a young man, and her indignation causes her to prod the young man in the back with her umbrella to remonstrate with him: a gentleman does not strike a lady. But the girl is not a lady, and Cesar Lebel is not a gentleman, but a pimp and a murderer - and now he's after Miss Seeton.
Classic English village eccentrics, county gentry, and British police. Gentle humor, unique and wonderful writing. A true delight - but ONLY those actually written by Heron Carvic: Picture Miss Seeton, Miss Seeton Sings, Witch Miss Seeton, Miss Seeton Draws The Line, and Odds On Miss Seeton. The others are pale and unsatisfying counterfeits.
A quick cozy mystery full of humor and adventure. I really enjoyed Miss Seeton, she seemed to really get herself into a mess with her timing and of course, with her umbrella. I enjoyed the characters of this small country village. The mystery was well-developed, the story even paced and everything ended pretty clearly. My only big question was on the setting-when was this supposed to have taken place? In the 1960's? Today? It read as if it was a bit modernized-just enough to confuse me as to the time period. I would read another in this series.
Thank you Netgalley for this galley in exchange for an honest review.
When Miss Seeton walks out of a performance of Carmen and witnesses a real-life stabbing, who could guess that her drawing of the murderer would put her into a perilous position. She is the perfect eccentric English spinster.
Just love Miss Seeton! The originals by Heron Carvic are, I think, the best.