The new Miss Seeton mystery – the first in almost 20 years!
It’s practically a Royal Marriage. The highly eligible son of Miss Seeton’s old friends Sir George and Lady Colveden has wed the daughter of a French count.
Miss Seeton lends her talents to the village scheme to create a quilted ‘Bayeux Tapestry’ of local history, inspired by the wedding. But her intuitive sketches reveal a startlingly different perspective—involving buried Nazi secrets, and links to the mysterious death of a diplomat and to a South American dictator . . .
Serene amidst every kind of skulduggery, this eccentric English spinster steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles, armed with nothing more than her sketchpad and umbrella!
In a sentence? As modern Russian slang would say ‘too many letters’. It is way too many letters, words, sentences, dialogues, subjects, topics, people and events jumbled up into one small village in Kent.
I only finished this book because I promised NetGalley to write a review. I like to keep my word. But this book made me work hard on my will power, way too hard. Some times I felt this book would never end. It was a very slow going, very slow (War and Peace and Cime and Punishment kept coming to mind. However, those novels had plots…)
I understand Miss Seeton is an icon in a way. There are 22 books out already and this latest one being 23rd. Miss Seeton’s creator Heron Carvic gave his charachter life back in the 60s. All nice and good. May be than Miss Seeton was ‘gentle parody of Miss Marple’.
However, I found Miss Seeton completely lacking. She is lacking in everything: presence, talents, interests, suspense and credibility. She is practically a secondary character in this book.
To think of it, I am lost to tell you who is primary character in this book and what is the plot… what is the point of the whole novel. There are a lot of plots and sub-plots. This book is very noisy. People constantly talking, gossipping, making assumptions, building theories and lines of enquiry.
The book is supposed to be a cozy mystery. I found it to be very frustrating attempt at creating mystery out of thin air. There are Nazis and Latin American dictators, lost African gold and witches, Henry VIII and devil, bike gangs and magic paintings (special superpower of the main character – Miss Seeton). There is everything and anything. But there is no structure or simple, cozy plot and narrative.
At the end of it all, I am utterly exhausted. I did not find any single aspect of this book to like, be it characters or dialogues.
I have not read any other books in the series. And I am not going to. (The writer, who took over from Heron Carvic – Hamilton Crane, simply assumes that reader knows everything and everyone in the ‘miss seeton universe’. There is no introduction or flow over to help readers along).
The book is just like all these village people in Plummergen (the main location of events) – too nousy, to noisy, gossipy, loud and lacking in sense, continuity, interest and readers’ immersion.