Read Murder At Madingley Grange by Caroline Graham Online

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Simon Hannford is in need of some fast money, and murder seems the obvious solution. Specifically, a 1930s Murder Mystery Weekend, to be held at Madingly Grange, his aunt's superbly hideous gothic mansion. Simon and his sister are meant to be house-sitting, but surely Aunt Maude would not begrudge them the chance to earn a few nearly honest shekels. Ah, the confidence of ySimon Hannford is in need of some fast money, and murder seems the obvious solution. Specifically, a 1930s Murder Mystery Weekend, to be held at Madingly Grange, his aunt's superbly hideous gothic mansion. Simon and his sister are meant to be house-sitting, but surely Aunt Maude would not begrudge them the chance to earn a few nearly honest shekels. Ah, the confidence of youth! Simon's grand plans quickly go awry, beginning with the guests - each one dottier than the last - and moving on to the staff, hired on the cheap and with larcenous plans of their own. And when an actual body turns up, deprived of actual life, Simon's charade of detection is suddenly forced to begin in earnest. An ingenious plot and excellent characters . . . well written, witty, and elegantly plotted - The Guardian (UK) Splendid . . . a book not to be missed! - Denver Post Extracts maximum fun from the genre - Sunday Times (London)...

Title : Murder At Madingley Grange
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781933397528
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 292 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Murder At Madingley Grange Reviews

  • Marita
    2018-09-23 14:29

    2.5 starsIt was one of those days, where surrounded by books, I had 'nothing to read'. Having read a chapter here, a chapter there, I realised that light entertainment was what I was after, and light entertainment is what I had. This novel is your typical cosy, chock full of cliches exactly as it should be (and which might excuse my own). A light, fizzy sorbet to clear jaded palates.Oh dear, oh dear... young Simon and his sister, Laurie, are meant to be looking after the grange for their aunt, but he persuades her that they ought to make some money and have a bit of fun. The ads are placed and responded to, the money banked, the 1930's costumes unpacked, rooms are aired, the food prepared and, oh my, the aunt's cellar of expensive vintage wines is raided to complement the delicious meals. A butler and a maid are hired for the occasion (no reference checks!), but who are they really? Complete with house guests, a "butler as drunk as a newt and a maid as blind as a bat", weapons, ghosts, secret passages and a hideous face peering in at windows, all the elements are there for a marvellously murderous romp in the English countryside. And so we find the pretentious and the downright plebeian cheek to jowl at a murder weekend from hell. With a houseful of strangers what can go wrong? What! Is that a real corpse???...

  • Alannah Davis
    2018-09-14 17:20

    Simon Hannaford, a good-looking young schemer who despises real work, decides to put his Aunt Maude’s gloomy estate – Madingly Grange – to work for him after he and his sister Laurie agree to manor-sit while Aunt Maude is on vacation. Laurie, who is happy just working in Aunt Maude’s extensive gardens and greenhouse, reluctantly agrees to Simon’s scheme: hosting a 1930s-style murder mystery weekend at the manor. Simon begins assembling a motley cast of characters by hiring a butler and maid. He doesn’t bother to check references, and ends up with a boozing butler and cross-dressing maid who are actually a pair of brothers planning to rip off the rich clientele. Then the eccentric assortment of wealthy guests arrive, and the game is interrupted when murder occurs for real. Or does it? Did the butler really do it? Will the obnoxious victim have the good sense to remain dead?This is the best murder mystery I’ve read in a long, long time. Simon is such a quirky, fun character that I wish he were part of a series so I could read more novels centered around him. He’s a perfect foil for Laurie, who is a good girl and trying to stay that way. The assortment of eccentrics are a blast. Especially tacky, noveau riche Fred, his wife Violet and her “foolish face,” and his card shark mother with the huge girth. I definitely recommend this book. The mystery itself isn’t the most original, but the reading is such fun that I didn’t mind. I was sorry when the story came to an end. Every fan of “cozy” mysteries should read this book!

  • Toni
    2018-09-08 16:38

    I found it hard to get into and rather unbelievable. I thought one of the main characters, Simon, was such an unlikable jerk that I was really hoping he might be the one murdered.

  • Caroline
    2018-09-19 14:45

    Murder at Maddingley Grange is a comic riff on the Agatha Christie “country house” style murder mystery.Simon Hannaford is a ne’er-do-well who “borrows” his aunt’s empty mansion to hold a “murder mystery game” weekend for paying guests. A variety of people show up to play. Most of the characters are inspired by the stock players of a Christie murder. There is a dragonish mother and her insipid daughter, the aimless young woman and her young man, the not quite happily married couple, the servants, the charming scoundrel. There is not much plot. The characters meet, drink, eat, talk, drink, eat, talk, drink, eat, talk. They have their own schemes and hidden agendas. There are number of comic set-pieces including an inept lover sneaking about and a pair of bumbling burglars. There is no detective, although there is a detective fiction enthusiast who thinks he’s a good sleuth, and runs around spouting clichés. I liked aspects of this novel. Laurie was a good character, sweet, obedient, but yearning for more. Gilly, the 1930s-enthusiast, was charming too. The set-up is a fun idea. The very end, when Simon reveals what he was really up to, was clever.The problem is that nothing much really happens in between. They don’t even attempt to play their game (the rules of which are never explained). This is more bouncing different characters off each other, while eating and sometimes talking about detective fiction, while indulging in a few mild mishaps and misadventures.It’s not quite a farce. It’s not quite a satire. It’s not quite a screwball.

  • Justine Olawsky
    2018-09-24 15:17

    Well, in my unending quest to postpone the necessary reading in Don Quixote before next Monday's class, I curled up with this 'cozy' from British mystery writer Caroline Graham. I had, heretofore, only read one other title by Ms. Graham. That book, The Killings At Badgers Drift, was a riveting read, but far grittier and more debased than the usual 'Bristeries' in which I revel. I am happy to report that this book, Murder at Madingley Grange, is far lighter, frothier, and owes at least as much to P.G. Wodehouse as it does to Dame Agatha. An enjoyable read and delightful distraction from the verbosity of the great Spaniard. Laurie and Simon are step-siblings who are house-sitting a gaudy and glorious Victorian estate for their great aunt. Simon, one of those lovable ne'er-do-wells that abound in British fiction, is in dire financial straits, and convinces his wholesome, shy sister to host a '1930's murder weekend' at the house to raise a few honest shekels. Enter the dishonest, temporary help and a cast of kooky misfits, and hilarity is sure to ensue. But, when there is a real murder on Saturday, the Wodehouse vibe turns Christie-ish and the would-be detectives might just be in for the hunt of their lives. Or are they? A couple of plot twists later, and you will be shaking your head while laughing at yourself and the whole absurd romp. Well done, Ms. Graham!

  • Suzanne
    2018-09-24 18:18

    I was slightly disappointed when I first realized that this was not an Inspector Barnaby mystery, but my disappointment turned to absolute pleasures within a few pages. This is a wonderfully wry farce in the style of the English country house genre. The characters are broad, outrageous English stereotypes and the dialogue and action are from Wodehouse via Noel Coward. One reviewer complains that it is not very believable. It is not, in fact, at all believable, which is what makes it so wildly funny.As I read it, I could not shake the feeling that I had seen it dramatized on television.

  • Candace
    2018-09-02 17:18

    It wasn't really badly written, but I just couldn't engage with the characters. Would have given it 2.5 stars if I could have. I was bored. In order to finish it I skimmed a bit. I know there are others who will find it a good fit...just not me.

  • Gail
    2018-09-03 20:18

    I'm a fan of Caroline Graham. If this book had been 100 pages shorter, it would have been hilarious. The length made the thin material see-through.

  • Roberta
    2018-09-16 15:26

    This book reminded me of the movie Clue but not as good. About 3/4 of the way through the book I was no longer sure why I was still reading it. Three seemingly endless pages describing a search of the wainscotting for signs of a secret panel gave me snores. While his aunt is away, Simon talks his sister into helping him use Aunt Maude's empty mansion to hold a murder mystery weekend for paying guests. The house is soon filled with miscellaneous characters; the fire-breathing mother and her limp-rag of a daughter, the burglar butler, an eccentric unhappily married couple, a card-reading granny, a Sherlock Holmes wannabe and a cross dressing "maid." Simon is apparently incapable of doing the math so guests are seriously undercharged as they eat three meals per diem plus tea and biscuits while chug-a-lugging from the mansion's priceless wine cellar. There is no plot (view spoiler)[, no murder, and no detective (hide spoiler)] to speak of and the murder mystery game falls apart almost before it starts. On page 209 we are told that Laurie was quite unfamiliar with post-murder protocol. So it's 1990 in England and she has never watched TV? Was she raised by the Amish, or what? Everyone knows from TV that, once you have determined that the person is dead, you 1) Don't mess with the crime scene and 2) Notify the authorities. But they did none of the above. That wasn't anything like the first silly thing in the book, it just happened to annoy me. James Anderson did it better with The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy, The Affair of the Mutilated Mink, and The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks.

  • Tammy
    2018-09-05 14:43

    II’m a BIG fan of mystery genre and enjoy a fun romp as much as anyone else. I’ve read other books by this author and enjoyed them immensely. This read wasn’t one of them. The characters were wonderfully depicted. But when you are over 70% into the book and no real action (let alone murder) has occurred, you’re already in trouble. The plot was convoluted and nearly laughable. While I so enjoy a happy ending, I do not appreciate a read that takes forever to amount to something and then to have that ‘something’ be far less than satisfying. If you want a lovely read with interesting characters sitting around enjoying the good life at an English manor, ending as it began, this is for you. As for me, not so much.

  • Margaret Osburn
    2018-09-19 14:40

    👍 I liked this book. It was so funny. The characters were well developed and it was a suspendful, descriptive narriative. It was well written in the classic style of a Agatha Christie mystery. It was a 290 Pages of pure pleasure. I didn't want to put it down until I finished it. Even though it contained a few descriptive bad words, it didn't really need to express the story line, it wasn't to distracting from the pleasure of reading it. Yes, I would recommend it for an lazy day afternoon read. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  • Lori
    2018-09-10 17:41

    Even though I think I only understood about half of the jokes in British slang, this was an incredibly fun read. And not only was it amusing, I didn't see either of the two twists coming at the very end of the book. Well done!

  • Martha
    2018-09-08 13:36

    I got this when looking for the Inspector Barnaby books - which I have since started to read. This is very different and is hysterically funny! If you like wit and wordplay you will enjoy this wonderful foray into "mystery".

  • Bryn (Plus Others)
    2018-09-02 19:41

    A cute satire on cosy country house murder mysteries; it was a very quick light read but not memorable and I doubt I'll ever reread it.

  • Anne Purwitsky
    2018-09-11 19:40

    I love the mid summer murders tv series which are based on her books. But did not enjoy this or her style of writing.

  • Barbra
    2018-08-27 20:45

    Good read - quite enjoyed it.Back Cover Blurb:When Simon Hannaford is left temporarily in charge of his aunt's 20-bedroomed Gothic pile he knows he must be able to make a profit from it somehow. Murder, he decides, is the only way to do it. For Madingley Grange is the perfect venue for a 1930s mystery weekend and, before long, he and his long-suffering sister have set the stage for money-spinning mayhem.From the conservatory to the contents of the claret cellar the clues are sprinkled like pot-pourri and the hired retainers Gaunt and Bennet provide the finishing touch. But, when the guests arrive, it is obvious that the business of murder is bound to run off course. For neither Derek, who refuses to relinquish his deerstalker, nor Mrs Gibbs, a card-sharping grandmother, nor Gillette, the 30s fiend complete with ukelele, nor any of the other ill-assorted bunch is happy to play the victim. And when a body does appear, it hardly takes a Hercule Poirot to guess it is not a volunteer. The game of detection must begin in earnest....

  • Moira Fogarty
    2018-09-19 20:23

    Very campy, theatrical, overwrought plot and prose. Fun at times but a little too long to be a light diversion. Should not be called 'Murder at Madingley Grange', as the title sets up expectations which are not fulfilled. Lots of menu and cellar porn for those who like to imagine luxe foodstuffs without suffering the gout that attends their consumption. Both gentry and blue collar workers are drawn as reprehensible characters. The Thirties Buff and the Detective Fanatic are ludicrous caricatures. Even the lovers who ride off into the sunset together are foolish doormats; not very likable. I would not re-read this.

  • Patricia
    2018-09-23 13:29

    I borrowed this book from a new acquaintance who had just finished it moments before while vacationing on an island in Maine.My thoughts: British stereotype characters in a slap stick comedy, many literary insider jokes and satire of the murder mystery genre. I enjoyed the silliness of the word play, the costume descriptions, and references to gardening. It is a good book to read after you finished all your other books you carried onto the island and you still have a day to go before being rescued

  • Lynn
    2018-09-07 14:16

    This was a disappointment. I've liked Graham's Barnaby novels so much for her strong characters, tight plots, and sharp wit. This novel displays the last, but it seems mean-spirited on the whole. Some of the snark is well placed, but some is too easy. In addition, the characters are not well fleshed out. The leads are rather two-dimensional, as are the guests.All in all, I'll stick with Barnaby.

  • H. P. Reed
    2018-09-12 17:34

    Not as funny as her first novel,The Killings at Badger's Drift, this still has the stereotypical veddy British characters that remind me so much of PG Wodehouse's pantheon of idiots and savants. Ms. Graham's twists and turns are advertised well in advance. Rather than boring the reader though, it is very much like she's nudging us in the ribs and winking at us. I get a kick out of her writing.

  • Kelly-Louise
    2018-09-23 19:22

    Silly, fun, and wacky. It reads like a British comedy, which I guess it is. Siblings Laurel and Simon are housesitting at their aunt Maude's mansion. They decide to earn some cash by opening up the place to paying customers for a murder mystery weekend. Wackiness ensues. A little confusing at times, but that may just be me not getting the British humor and references. A nice twist at the end. It was a fun read!

  • Katy
    2018-09-20 17:45

    This was a really good book. A group of people meet for the first time in a country manor. They have all gathered there for a murder mystery weekend. Now with that set up it could be very good... or it could be a horrible cliche. Thankfuly Grahem figures out a way to take this classic English mystery storyline and turn it into a really great farse.

  • Caroline
    2018-08-29 19:43

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A murder weekend, held to raise necessary funds, attracts some strange people and gradually becomes a farce. There are some laugh out loud moments which more than make up for the absense of Chief Inspector Barnaby.

  • Carol
    2018-09-12 17:33

    Some descriptions I have seen of this book indicate it is #5 of the Inspector Barnaby series. It is not. Tom and the Causton police are far, far away. Otherwise entertaining and I can't help but wonder if this was intended to be some sort of farce on mysteries and those of us who read them.

  • Aileen Frost
    2018-08-25 13:35

    Written in the style of a classic whodunit, it's a murder mystery weekend that goes all wrong. Not much of a mystery, but a great cast of characters. Parts had me actually laughing out loud! A must-read for anyone who is a fan of the classic mystery novel.

  • Chris
    2018-09-17 20:21

    Quite humorous - a fun classic English weekend in the country murder - lots of tea, salmon, fabulous wines, a secret passage, and references to other mystery writers and books. Altogether, a fun summer read!

  • MaryMendoza
    2018-09-08 16:30

    Hilarious novel featuring witty dialogue and crackling good, albeit implausible characters. Loved it.

  • Joan
    2018-09-06 13:45

    This book was very poorly written -- hard to follow, very little point to the plot, ridiculous characters --- a total disappointment!

  • Lorraine
    2018-09-24 15:17

    I was a little disappointed that this was not an Inspector Barnaby mystery, but enjoyed this silly story of a murder mystery weekend gone wrong.

  • Claudia
    2018-09-22 16:32

    I loved this book. It was full of high jinks and hilarity and I was still engaged after the book ended. So many possibilities as to what happened next.