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Murder at Mallowan Hall (A Phyllida Bright…
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Murder at Mallowan Hall (A Phyllida Bright Mystery) (2021. Auflage)

von Colleen Cambridge (Autor)

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This is a murder mystery set at Agatha Christie's house, and while I thought Christie would be more of a character in the story, the fact she wasn't really didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. The heroine, Phyllida, is the housekeeper of Mallowan Hall and friends with "Mrs. Agatha." When an unexpected guest turns up murdered in the library, the house teeters on uproar, but Phyllida not only keeps things under control but also begins to try to solve the mystery. Phyllida is no-nonsense but also caring, and I warmed to her almost immediately. I enjoyed following her as she gathered clues (especially ones the detectives on the case thought were immaterial), ran the household, and tried to keep the various servants under her out of trouble. There is also the hint of a romance bubbling for her, and I loved watching that just start to warm up. I caught a number of references to Christie works (that was fun), and I expect there were many that passed me by as well. Recommended. ( )
  lycomayflower | Dec 27, 2021 |
Upon entering the library at Mallowan Hall, housekeeper Mrs. Bright never expected for find a dead body on the floor! However, she uses her logic and observation skills to get to the heart of the matter. The murder takes place in the library at the home of Agatha Christie and Max Mallowan, hence "The Body in the Library." The very proper Mrs. Bright, housekeeper to Agatha and Max, plays the role of the primary sleuth. Mrs. Bright not only has a houseful of guests to attend to and a bevy of servants to supervise, but now involves herself in solving the crime that has bloodied the library carpet and books.

Mrs. Bright uses skills that would please Hercule Poirot and Mrs. Marple, as she gathers information and clues that seem to be missed by the local constabulary. The final scene that wraps up the events will remind readers of the final revealing events in the best of Mrs. Christie's novels. This novel is unique in its frequent "tongue in cheek" references. The characters bear names that bring to mind the game of "Clue," such as Eugene Mustard and Phyllida Bright. The irony of finding a "body in the library" adds interest to the story as well. This book is recommended for those readers who enjoy Agatha Christie and other authors of the Golden Age of Mystery, with a bite of humor added.

I received this book from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. ( )
  LadyoftheLodge | Dec 27, 2021 |
A strong introduction to what should be a cracking series, with a diverting take on the fashion nowadays for 'cozy' historical crime novels.

Housekeeper to the famous Agatha Christie, Phyllida Bright has enough on her plate running Mallowan Hall without having to deal with a dead body in the library. Of course, the police write it off as natural causes, but Phyllida and her downstairs staff set out to prove them wrong...

The author does well to keep the 'real' figures in the background, and the upstairs/downstairs of the English country house is a fun back story that will develop over future books, I'm sure. Above all, the central character of Phyllida herself is a strong and engaging driving force. I very much look forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  Alan.M | Nov 23, 2021 |
Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall, the home of Agatha Christie, and she proves to be very able detective when a dead man is discovered in the library. And yes, one of the suspects is a man with the last name of Mustard, but the murder was done with a fountain pen not a candlestick holder. The home is filled with guests and their servant for a weekend so there are plenty of suspects to consider. The characters are quite well developed. There are a number of layers to the storyline and the reader will enjoy solving the mystery along with Phyllida. ( )
  brangwinn | Nov 19, 2021 |
Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge is the debut of A Phyllida Bright Mystery series. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall which is the home of Agatha Christie and her husband, Max. When a reporter ends up dead in the library, Mrs. Bright doubts the abilities of the detective assigned the case. She decides to some sleuthing on her own to solve the crime so the houseguests can be on their way. Murder at Mallowan Hall opens with the murder of a reporter found by Mrs. Bright in the library at Mallowan Hall. I like the character of Mrs. Bright. There is more to her than meets the eye. I like that she is an efficient housekeeper with attention to detail. Her bright hair is the one thing out of place which bothers the butler. Mrs. Bright has some quirky characteristics. We are introduced to a large cast of characters that include the household servants, Agatha Christie and her husband, Max as well as their houseguests. It can be difficult to keep track of all the characters. The whodunit is a closed room mystery. Someone in the house is the guilty party. Mrs. Bright actively investigates by asking questions and searching for clues. There are multiple suspects and a couple of red herrings. There are good clues to help readers solve the crime. Mrs. Bright’s reveal reminds me of an episode of Murder, She Wrote. I appreciated that the case was completely wrapped up. Murder at Mallowan was easy to get into in the beginning, but it can be slow going at times. The author is extremely detail oriented. A room or individual can be described down the minutest detail. This can be a bit much after a while. There was such a large cast of characters, that we really do not get much detail on the main ones. I am sure we will get to know the household staff better in future books. I think that die-hard fans of Agatha Christie will either love this story or hate it. I did feel the author captured the time when manor houses were still thriving. There is a definite Upstairs/Downstairs feel to the story. I am curious to learn more about Mrs. Bright. She is someone who is definitely keeping some secrets. Murder at Mallowan Hall has curious crime will have you confused unless you pay close attention to the clues. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Nov 9, 2021 |
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What I feel is that if one has got to have a murder actually happening in one's house, one might as well enjoy it, if you know what I mean.

-- Agatha Christie, The Body in the Library
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Phyllida Bright had seen her share of bodies during the Great War, so when she discovered the dead man sprawled on the floor, it didn't even occur to her to scream.
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