The Tale of Holly How
Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Mysteries
by Susan Wittig Albert
Beatrix Potter is loved by millions as the creator of such immortal characters as Benjamin
Bunny and Jeremy Fisher, but suppose she dabbled in a spot of detective work as well?
This is the second in this series of novels detailing her life as a farmer in England's
beautiful Lake District (the first being The Tale of Hilltop Farm), a partly fictional
and partly factual look at this famous author. This time the old shepherd Ben Hornby
has been discovered dead following a tumble off the fells - but did he fall or was he
pushed? As Dr Butters thinks the latter the miscreant must be found, and order returned
to the village of Sawrey. Threaded through this is the story of young Caroline, sent from
New Zealand to live with her irascible grandmother Lady Longford and the search for a
new head teacher for the village school. The animals have their own troubles too - missing
badgers stolen away for baiting, and the adventures of ginger guinea pig, Tuppenny.
If you like cozies, curl up by your fireside with this most enjoyable and unusual series.
There is a detective story in here of course, but somehow that isn't the part that stays
in the mind after reading this novel. There is a convincing description of life a hundred
years ago in a Lake District village to enjoy too with all its gossip and minutiae, plus
the added dimension of the animals that talk amongst themselves and carry on just like
the characters in Beatrix Potter's books. Tabitha Twitchett, Rascal the dog, Bosworth
Badger in this set and more, all add their special magic to make this story...especially
magical. This probably sounds too twee for words but somehow it isn't (or I wouldn't be
reading it). All the ingredients above are there in just enough quantity to make this a
most palatable recipe, gentle but authentic and highly readable. There is a large cast
and it is easy to forget who's who so a list of characters appears at the front as well
as a glossary of dialect words at the back. Fewer people wouldn't have harmed the story
and made it less confusing (which it is at times) but overall this is a very entertaining
story and I will certainly be looking for the third installment.
Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Putnam)|
Historical Crime [1905, Lake District, England]|
Rachel A Hyde|