Every full moon a Ripper runs amok on the streets of Brentford.
Masters Simon and Keith Innes set out to catch the killer under the disturbing guidance of the repellently delightful and now immortal sleuth, Mrs Bradley.
Full of the very British eccentric goings-on that mark the popular tales of Gladys Mitchell, this shows her at her mordant and morbid best.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 14/11/1996
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9781860490743
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by christiguc
Fun mystery! Gladys Mitchell was a contemporary of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. The detective in the books is an outspoken psychoanalyst, Mrs. Bradley (the same one on whom the PBS Mystery! series with Diana Rigg was based).In this story, a young tightrope walker from the circus is killed by a slasher on the first night the circus is in town. The attentions of the police are focused on the members of the circus until that end proves unlikely due to several subsequent similar murders of young women after the circus leaves town. Mrs. Bradley doesn't appear until around the second half of the book, and instead, the story is narrated by a young boy who, along with his younger brother, is captivated by the exciting events. Armed with their horse pistol and sword, they are eager to investigate any suspicious movement. Because of their curiosity and their propensity for sneaking around at night, they end up gathering a lot of useful information, and when Mrs. Bradley arrives, they find an ally with whom they can pool that information.I thought the book was excellent. Because the story is narrated from the perspective of a young boy, the narrator is not always reliable in attaching importance to events and doesn't have the same open avenues of investigation. Nevertheless, the writer is fair and gives the reader enough information to figure out the mystery, as long as the reader can translate the boy's interpretation and doesn't let the contagious enthusiasm distract from the facts. If you already know Gladys Mitchell, you will like this book. If you haven't read anything by her but like Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, give this one a shot--you will probably enjoy it!
Review by startingover
This is another book in the Virago Modern Classics crime series, and is a treat. Thirteen-year-old Simon and his eleven-year-old brother live with their older brother, his wife and their infant son, and a female lodger with whom all the brothers are a little in love. The boys are excited by the arrival of a circus to their small, quiet village, but get more excitement than they bargained for when one of the circus performers is found murdered and horribly mutilated. Two more murders occur, when the moon is bright.Mitchell's sleuthing heroine, Mrs Bradley, doesn't arrive until halfway through the novel. Meanwhile the two boys do some amateur detective work of their own, which they undertake partly because they fear their older brother might be implicated in one of the murders.Mrs Bradley is charmingly eccentric, but it is the two very likeable brothers who make this book a delight. Mitchell beautifully evokes life in a postwar English village and the contrast between childhood innocence and the brutality of murder. [September 2007]