Two Vintage Crime Books

I have been getting quite a bit of reading done, despite the DIY obviously taking up a lot of time. I read The Brading Collection by Patricia Wentworth, it was first published in 1952 and is a Miss Silver thriller.

Lewis Brading is a wealthy man who has amassed a large collection of famous jewellery. Famous in that the pieces have often played a part in history, such as the wearer having been murdered whilst wearing a brooch, or there is a supposed curse on something.

Brading has been quite happy to acquire the pieces nefariously over the years and perhaps that it why he is so worried about his collection being stolen. Brading has a secretary, James Moberley and he doesn’t trust him, but at the same time he seems to be stopping Moberley from leaving his job. Miss Silver declines to help Brading but circumstances soon change and Miss Silver ends up investigating. I enjoyed this one and am becoming more attached to Miss Silver with each book I read.

Tom Brown’s Body by Gladys Mitchell was first published in 1949. The setting is a boarding school called Spey College. The schoolboys play a large part in the book, they seem to be quite out of control and two of them leave their rooms and go jaunting about during the night on bikes, planning to go to watch a dog race. They get completely lost in the darkness and eventually find a cottage with lights on, but they see one of their masters through the window and are worried that he has recognised them.

Meanwhile Mrs Bradley has been looking into her family tree and has discovered that one of her ancestresses was a witch in the 17th century. An expert on such things has told Mrs Bradley that there is an old white witch who may be in possession of Mrs Bradley’s relative’s ancient spell book.

Of course the modern day witch is living near the boarding school and when one of the schoolmasters is murdered Miss Bradley gets involved. There’s no scarcity of suspects as Mr Conway – the victim, is such a nasty character, there are plenty of people who would have been glad to be rid of him.

I enjoyed this one but not as much as The Brading Collection. I’m not drawn to Miss Bradley as a character and as ever I’m left wondering why Mitchell made her so unappealing. She is described as being lizard-like or sometimes yellow skinned with claw-like nails. The actual mystery is quite good though.

I read these two for the Reading My Own Damn Books Challenge. Two down,, but who knows how many still to read – not me anyway!

Forthcoming Bookish Attractions

Ten days ago I got a message from WordPress congratulating me on 7 years of blogging. I knew that the anniversary was coming up, but I had been under the impression that it had been 6 years – ah well, numbers have never been my strong point and time flies when you’re having fun! When I started ‘Pining’ I was very loath to stick my head up above the parapet on the internet and I was determined to be more or less anonymous, hence at the beginning I didn’t even put my own name on any comments, just the blog name. The photograph of me wasn’t really recognisable – I hope. But I’ve sort of got over my shyness now (probably an age thing) and I’m out there and I just don’t care! I’ve ‘met’ some lovely friends from all over the place through the blog and I just never would have met them otherwise. It has been a life enriching experience. Anyway …

I haven’t been one for joining in many challenges, in fact I’m not a big joiner of anything like clubs, but this year I hope to join a few more, certainly the Reading My Own Damn Books Challenge hosted by Estella’s Revenge – because I really have to concentrate on my books rather than reading those from the library.

To encourage me and make my reading a bit less – hmm what shall I read next … decisions decisions -ish … I’ve decided to publish a list of books I intend to read soon. So starting with March, yes amazingly it’ll be March in just over a couple of weeks, I’m going for six must reads although I know I’ll be reading more than that within the month.

Books Again

1. The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett (I’ve had it over a year)
2. Introduction to Sally by Elizabeth von Arnim (over two years)
3. Crossriggs by Jane and Mary Findlater (around about eight years)
4. Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston (a recent purchase)
5. The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens (fairly recent)
6. Cork on the Water by Macdonald Hastings ( I have no idea how long)

Have any of you read any of them?

If anyone wants to share their ‘forthcoming bookish attractions’ then feel free to do so via the comments. Or you might want to read one of my March books so we can compare notes when the time comes.