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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

A Grave Mistake - Ngaio Marsh Workaday mp3. Unabridged, and read by Jane Asher.Blurb - Although the solution to the crime becomes increasingly apparent as the novel progresses, Grave Mistake--along with Black as he's Painted and Dead Water--remains one of my three favorite Marsh novels. Why? Because it is a showcase for Marsh's skill in creating and presenting memorable characters, and this tale of lost treasure and multiple murder not only abounds with them, it is told with unusual wit even for the always witty Marsh. The story concerns the extremely rich Sybil Foster--who is also very much the hypocondriac. But on this occasion she has good reason to feel particularly under the weather: she is about to run afoul of her extremely unattractive step-son by her late first husband, who is determined to find an extremely valuable stamp his father concealed somewhere on the estate shortly before his death. Rather than cope with "Charmless Claude," she takes herself off to Greengages, a private rest home popular with the wealthy seeking a week's relaxion. But instead of relaxation, Sybil finds one crisis after another--and ultimately mysterious death. This is one of Marsh's most brilliantly written novels, dripping with atmosphere, and of the many memorable portraits it offers the character Verity Preston--Sybil's sometime friend--is Marsh writing at the top of her skill. As noted above, savvy readers will spot the killer before Inspector Alleyn does, but Grave Mistake is so beautifully done that even those who do figure it out shouldn't mind in the least.