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Death of a Busybody

Death of a Busybody A British Library Crime Classic by George Bellairs Poisoned Pen Press Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 05 Sep 2017


Death of a Busybody is deliciously fun to read. It is a mystery that delights readers with an assortment of colorful village residents. Bellairs’ characters leap from the page, making it impossible for even the most serious of readers to hide their grins and chortles. It's clear that Bellairs has an eye for both the nuances of human behavior and their at times seemingly absurd motivations. The ways people relate to one another lies at the heart of Death of a Busybody.

Miss Tither is the archetypal nosy parker/ bully who knows everything about everyone and is prepared to tell each and every person exactly what it is they are doing wrong. Responses range from grim tolerance to outright annoyance, but no one expects her to be murdered. As the village constable is unprepared for such a serious case, Scotland Yard sends in one of their most perspicacious and easygoing detectives, Inspector Littlejohn. Faced a wide range of memorable villagers each with a potential motive and lacking witnesses, Littlejohn has quite a challenge on his hands.

The characters are what make this eminently readable mystery extraordinary. If you like the Hamish Macbeth series then you will definitely like this quirky, heartwarming mystery. I was left with a smile on my face and a desire to read more books by this classic, under appreciated author.

5 / 5

I received a copy of Death of a Busybody from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



Miss Tither, the village busybody, is not the best-loved resident of Hilary Magna. She has made many enemies: bombarding the villagers with religious tracts, berating drunkards, and informing the spouses of cheating partners. Her murder, however, is still a huge shock to the Reverend Ethelred Claplady and his parish. Inspector Littlejohn’s understanding of country ways makes him Scotland Yard’s first choice for the job. Basing himself at the village inn, Littlejohn works with the local - police to investigate what lay behind the murder. A second death does little to settle the collective nerves of the village, and as events escalate, a strange tale of hidden identities, repressed resentment, religious fervour and financial scams is uncovered. Life in the picturesque village of Hilary Magna proves to be very far from idyllic.

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