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The Tale of Castle Cottage
The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, No 8
Susan Wittig Albert

Berkley Hardcover
September 6, 2011 / ISBN 0425243508
Historical Mystery / Cozy / 1913 / England

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

In Tale of Castle Cottage the author continues both a historical and fictional account of Beatrix Potter's life. Potter still lives at Hill Top Farm, but has purchased Castle Cottage. She is restoring it with the hope of moving in after her wedding to William Heelis. But personal issues and a murder steal Potter away from her future home.

A carpenter working on Castle Cottage is found dead after a fight. (The murder actually occurs half way through the book.) William shows signs of cold feet about getting married. Brother Betram Potter wants Beatrix with him when he reveals his secret married life to their society snobbish parents. And issues arise with her writing.

Potter's animals get involved after Crumpet, president of the village Cat council, hears someone may be stealing from Miss Potter. Crumpet feels it's her duty to investigate. Other village animals join in when they hear news of the carpenter's death.

It's a gentle, innocent type mystery with twists and turns to make you think. But the mysteries are only part of this series. What also makes this series successful is the writing, the narrator's polite voice, the picturesque descriptions of Potter's homes and village and mixing in Potter's childrens' stories by way of the talking animals. In the story line the Animals show a concern for humans, life and war. I have to say the sheep made me laugh. If you go with the flow, it's an enjoyable make-believe journey in life of a historical, literary figure. The mystery is the icing on the cake.

The Tale of Hill Top Farm, No 1 [review]
The Tale of Holly How,
No 2 [review]
The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood,
No 3 [review]
The Tale of Hawthorn House,
No 4 [amazon]
The Tale of Briar Bank,
No 5 [amazon]
The Tale of Applebeck Orchard,
No 6 [amazon]
The Tale of Oat Cake Crag,
No 7  [amazon]
The Tale of Castle Cottage,
No 8 [review]

Reviewer's Note: Warning: expect plenty of spoilers in this one.
Reviewed 2011
© 2011