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Watson's Choice
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
15 posts | 7 read | 1 reading | 1 to read
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kwmg40
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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It's been a while since I've done a #192025 update. These are the years I covered in the past couple of months. I've completed 65 of the 106 prompts so far.
@Librarybelle

Librarybelle Such great progress!! 3mo
35 likes1 comment
review
batsy
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Pickpick

This was my first Mrs. Bradley mystery, & I wasn't really expecting anything in particular so I liked it. Light, witty, & nothing to be taken seriously. It's best to simply surrender to the Sherlockian theme & try not to think too much about continuity or realism. I can imagine that these were written for holidays or train rides; nothing too taxing. Props to the "Hound of the Baskervilles" in this; can't go wrong with that! Lol #GoldenAgeCrimeClub

Bookwomble Sounds interesting, and chimes with my own reading today 😊 6mo
sarahbarnes This sounds lovely actually. 6mo
batsy @Bookwomble Nice! I had to read a Sherlock Holmes story today too after this book 😁 6mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Perfect for a vacation read, I think! Or when your mind is on vacation mode 😆 6mo
sarahbarnes Which is me a lot of the time. 😂 6mo
80 likes5 comments
review
kwmg40
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Pickpick

The plot was so-so and the pace was quite slow, but overall, I enjoyed this mystery, the first I've read from this author. I liked the main characters and would be happy to read more in this series. I also enjoyed all the Sherlock Holmes references.

#goldenagecrimeclub @Mitch
#BookSpinBingo #DoubleSpin @TheAromaofBooks
#RushAthon @DieAReader @Andrew65 @GHABI4ROSES
#192025 #1955 @Librarybelle

Librarybelle I‘m really behind on this group. I have my copy ready to read - hope to get to it soon! 6mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳👋🏻 6mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
kwmg40 @Librarybelle I really love the #goldenagecrimeclub and it's helped me fill in a number of slots in the #192025 challenge! 6mo
kwmg40 @DieAReader @TheAromaofBooks Thanks for stopping by! 6mo
35 likes1 stack add5 comments
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quietjenn
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Didn't read this #goldenagecrimeclub pick until today, so will be peeking late into the discussion. It was ... fine? I always want to like Mitchell's books/Mrs. Bradley more than I do, but I've read worse. Faint praise, perhaps, but there you go.

53 likes1 stack add
review
jlhammar
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Pickpick

Light and mostly amusing mystery. I enjoyed our sleuth, Mrs Bradley, and the Sherlock Holmes references. I did not appreciate the disparaging comments about redheads! Okay, now heading over to our #GoldenAgeCrimeClub discussion.

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Mitch
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Anything we‘ve not touched on you want to add….. are you off to seek out more Mrs Bradley or to watch the adaptations????

#goldenagecrimeclub

AmyG Not a fan. Ijust found this book to be a struggle to get through. 6mo
lauraisntwilder I'd try another one, but I'm not in a hurry. 6mo
Ruthiella Like @AmyG I‘m not going back for more , though I would definitely try the television adaptations. They might be more palatable. I‘m also not a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes either. 6mo
See All 9 Comments
jlhammar I'd be interested in trying another sometime, see how it compares, but not in any rush to do so. My library has dvds of the complete series (BBC starring Diana Rigg) so might have to give those a watch at some point. 6mo
kwmg40 I definitely want to read more in this series, as I liked the main characters, but with so many to choose from, I'll probably go with the ones rated/ranked higher at LibraryThing and other sites. 6mo
quietjenn I just checked my Goodreads, and this is the 4th Mitchell I've read, all of which I've found pretty middling (or worse). I know she has enthusiastic fans, so have picked up a few others on Kindle when they've been on sale for like a dollar, so I may someday make it to some more, if only because I want to like them. 6mo
quietjenn Also, I highly recommend the tv adaptations, all of which I've seen and loved! My understanding is that they are *very lose* adaptations and Diana Rigg's Mrs. Bradley is terrific - very proto-Phryne Fisher. In fact, I always think that the people behind Miss Fisher must have watched and loved them too. Maybe some of my dissatisfaction from the Mrs. Bradley books come from the fact that they aren't at all like the tv version. 6mo
Ruthiella @quietjenn Ooh! Good to know the TV series is good! 6mo
batsy I don't mind giving a few other Mrs. Bradley mysteries a try, but like others said, I'm in no rush! Glad to hear that the TV series is fun @quietjenn sadly I seem to have no way of accessing it here. 6mo
39 likes9 comments
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Mitch
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Gladys Mitchell created a vast array of side characters in this one- any stand out favourites that you‘d love to go on more adventures with??
#goldenagecrimeclub

AmyG The “Hound of the Baskervilles”. 🤣 6mo
Mitch @AmyG 🤣🤣🤣Yep the hound won the prize for me too! 6mo
Ruthiella Yes, the dog was the most sympathetic character! 🤣 6mo
See All 8 Comments
jlhammar Yes to the hound! Not the most likable bunch, but I found Laura somewhat endearing. 6mo
kwmg40 Yes, I liked Laura and Gavin, and the hound, of course! 6mo
quietjenn Agree about the Hound and I'm good with Laura and Gavin as well. And I liked the old friend on the farm and the boys when they were living there. That said, there were way too many characters for me, many of whom seemed unnecessary. 6mo
batsy @AmyG Definitely! This book needed more "Hound" ?? 6mo
Mitch @batsy That‘s the best one liner book review I‘ve ever read! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 6mo
32 likes8 comments
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Mitch
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Our sleuth - Mrs Bradley - is no Miss Marple! From what I‘ve read she‘s a divisive character! How did you find our sleuth?
#goldenagecrimeclub

AmyG Of everyone, I liked her the most but that‘s not saying much. 6mo
Mitch @AmyG That‘s a shame Amy - as there are literally 65 more Mrs Bradley books. Thought maybe we should read them for our 2024 Reading Goal 🤣🤣🤣 (edited) 6mo
AmyG Ha…NO THANKS. 🤣 6mo
See All 13 Comments
lauraisntwilder I thought she wasn't in it enough. She's figured it out, but then we go through the police investigation anyway. 6mo
Mitch @lauraisntwilder This is the 28th of 65 books for Mrs Bradley. If I‘d of read the other 27 - I think I‘d of felt a bit peeved she didn‘t appear more! 6mo
lauraisntwilder @Mitch Right?? lol 6mo
Ruthiella I didn‘t really like her, though we‘re not really given much background on her. I thought it was weird how she was described as “grimacing” or “leering” instead of smiling. And at one point her hand was described as a claw. The author was certainly setting her apart, but why so grotesquely? 6mo
jlhammar I quite liked Mrs Bradley - can't believe there are 66 in this series! I was looking at this Gladys Mitchell tribute site that ranks and reviews them all. Looks like Watson's Choice falls in the middle of the pack for most:
https://www.gladysmitchell.com/the-best-and-the-worst
6mo
kwmg40 I liked Mrs. Bradley, but I I especially liked Laura and Gavin and hope they show up in other books in the series. 6mo
quietjenn She wasn't much of a presence and she didn't seem very distinctive and interesting in this one. I also am super irked by characters (and books) where the sleuth knows the answer but refuses to reveal it because it can't yet be proven. I know that lots of others - including Christie! - do it as well, but in those cases, I like the detective enough to let it go. Not so with Mrs. Bradley. 6mo
batsy I liked her, but she wasn't very much involved! This should have been called a Laura Menzies mystery. But yeah I enjoyed Laura and Gavin too (there should have been more of them interacting I think!) I'm still keen to read the early Mrs Bradley mysteries... I'm guessing somewhere around it being the 28th book Gladys Mitchell lost some steam 😆 I'm not sure how the later ones fare! Thanks for the link @jlhammar that will be useful. 6mo
Mitch @jlhammar great resource - thanks for sharing. I might re evaluate my earlier opinion and try one near the top of that list 👍🏼 6mo
Mitch My vote also goes to a Laura and Gavin series! 👏🏼👏🏼 6mo
34 likes13 comments
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Mitch
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Did the mystery in this one satisfy you #goldenagecrimeclub readers??

AmyG Oh my, I don‘t have many good things to say. From the beginning zi kept thinking it would be Manoel…as I disliked him. I kept thinking he was out to get his Dad‘s money. The only character I liked was Mrs. Bradley. (edited) 6mo
Mitch @AmyG im so sorry to have chosen this one! I was just very thankful it was short. I just didn‘t care what happened I was that not invested! 6mo
AmyG Ha, I feel validated. I just said to my daughter how I didn‘t like this one and feel horrible as I have nothing nice to say. 🤣 6mo
See All 9 Comments
lauraisntwilder I didn't care who did it, partly because the crime happens so far into the book. There were so many extraneous storylines! They didn't feel like red herrings though, just extra plot? 6mo
kwmg40 @Mitch Don't apologize. I too found the plot somewhat tedious but I did like the book overall and am very happy to have discovered Gladys Mitchell. 6mo
Ruthiella Not really. It was all too clever and the resolution and motivation came out of nowhere. None of the characters seemed like real people to me. They were too cartoonish. 6mo
jlhammar I found the mystery itself somewhat lackluster. I think it could have been more exciting or maybe I was wanting more of a twist/reveal? I did really enjoy the chapter titles though paired with the epigraphs. 6mo
quietjenn Not especially satisfying. I didn't particularly care and the resolution pretty ho-hum. 6mo
batsy I agree that it wasn't a particularly satisfying ending, especially since the multiple characters and the subplots didn't factor too much into it in a good way. It was a bit of a damp squib of an ending. 6mo
34 likes9 comments
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Mitch
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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As with lots of #goldenagecrimefiction we need to wrestle with how to deal with reading work with historically acceptable ( be some!) but contemporary repugnant language and views. There‘s lots of ways to deal with this - and some interesting current debates around it. Any thoughts…….

AmyG I think it was just the times that the book was written. I am always taken aback, though. 6mo
Mitch @AmyG it really jars on the page and floods me with disappointment an a level of guilt for ready and enjoying. I do appreciate the introductions to some of these reissued books that give context and opinion on these issues 6mo
AmyG Yes, I appreciate that, too. But i am still amazed at the blatant racism of the “upper class”. 6mo
See All 9 Comments
lauraisntwilder I got an old copy online, so no introduction. There was one line that literally made me say, "Whoah!" outloud. I think there's a truthfulness to the fact that the racist characters aren't seen as villains, as they would be in contemporary fiction. The fact that it was commonplace is part of what makes it so hard to read now. 6mo
kwmg40 These aspects make me very uncomfortable too, but I accept them as commonplace for the times in which the books were written. What I find even more horrifying is rereading some of my Golden Age favourites and realizing that I myself didn't notice anything problematic when I'd first read the books decades ago! 6mo
Ruthiella My book was a reprint from 1985 and had no introduction. I‘ve read a lot of Christie, however, and expect those attitudes when reading books like this. Still jarring-especially when the murder victim allegedly deserved their fate because their behavior was “immoral”. 🙄 6mo
jlhammar Yeah, there were some real doozies in here! Can't escape without usual racism, classism, sexism, etc. I know to expect it, but still can't help but find it a little shocking that readers (& writers) at the time wouldn't have thought a thing of it. I think how the women were spoken about was particularly appalling. I mean, Linda Campbell didn't seem like a great person or anything, but the whole minx-who-had-it-coming thing was rather off-putting. 6mo
quietjenn I pretty much go into these things kind of expecting that they'll be elements that I find jarring and objectionable, but were likely very realistic of their time. I think the most noteworthy things is just how common and casual it all was. 6mo
batsy Agreed, so much of golden age detective fiction and even modernist literature are rife with these issues. Sometimes it's overt and sometimes it's more subtle. 6mo
34 likes9 comments
blurb
Mitch
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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So my lovely #goldenagecrimeclub readers - let‘s jump straight in - did the plot live up to your expectations? How did you find the Sherlock Holmes elements of the story?

AmyG I found this part drawn out. I am not familiar with Holmes characters so was bored by that. 6mo
Mitch @AmyG I only know a few really well and I always thought I was missing out on an injoke! 6mo
lauraisntwilder I don't know Sherlock Holmes very well, but I didn't mind. I thought the dialogue was well written, and I was okay just going along for the ride, even if I was missing out on some references. 6mo
See All 11 Comments
jlhammar I liked the Sherlock Holmes elements though I'm no expert so I'm sure I missed some! I was starting to find it all a bit tedious towards the end and was ready for things to wrap-up. 6mo
kwmg40 I've read most of the Sherlock stories over my lifetime and watched many adaptations, but I still feel I would have done terribly at the competition! I found the plot rather slow-paced. 6mo
Ruthiella I had no expectations, but the mystery itself was terribly convoluted. I also had to really hold myself back from reading ALL the Holmes stories first for context and background! 😂 (edited) 6mo
quietjenn I liked the Holmes elements - only a few of which I “knew.“ I've read all of the stories but I'm not Sherlockian. It mostly made me want to revisit those stories though. 😏Beyond that, the actual plot was okay, but nothing great. 6mo
batsy I liked the Sherlock elements but yes, I don't remember enough of the stories to get everything but was happy to just go along with it as @lauraisntwilder said. It was kind of silly and madcap and it suited my mood at the moment 😆 6mo
Mitch @kwmg40 That competition was funny! It really helped me picture the rambling, old, grand mansion though 6mo
Mitch @batsy getting the timing right for reading books, I‘m convinced, is the key to loving / hating books! 6mo
Mitch @kwmg40 I thought it was slow too. Considering how slim a book it is I took me a while to get through it. 6mo
32 likes11 comments
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Mitch
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Hey everyone - welcome to this months #goldenagecrimeclub buddy read. An potentially fun one this month that opens with guests receipt invitations to a country house party with a Sherlock Homes theme! Let‘s kick off with the usual - initial impressions, relationship with book / author, likes / dislikes!

AmyG I had a bit of trouble with this one. I was just basically bored. 6mo
Mitch It‘s probably the ones I‘ve least enjoyed of what we‘ve read this year. I was really taken by the premise and loved the idea of a Sherlock Holmes party. But it never fulfilled on its promise for me! 6mo
Mitch I was making my party costume in my head whilst reading chapter one ! 6mo
See All 12 Comments
jlhammar This was a light pick for me. Happy to be introduced to Gladys Mitchell though. I had no idea she was so prolific! 6mo
kwmg40 The mystery itself was just OK but I loved the characters and was very happy to be introduced to Gladys Mitchell's work. I'm planning to read more from this series. 6mo
Ruthiella I wish my edition came with a cast of characters. I kept having to go back to previous pages to figure out who was who. I‘m also not that familiar with the Sherlock Holmes stories, so the party sounded like something I would definitely not enjoy. 😅 6mo
quietjenn Definitely not the most compelling of mysteries. I agree that a) the premise is far better than the execution and b) a cast of characters would've been helpful! 6mo
kspenmoll I am sorry I have not finished the book yet! Will join in when I finish. 6mo
batsy I just finished! I agree with the rest about the execution and confusion of characters, but otherwise I quite liked it. It was also my intro to Mrs Bradley. Although this wasn't anything earth-shattering, it was light and pleasant and I enjoyed the "banter" lol. 6mo
Mitch @batsy she was interesting wasn‘t she. I‘ve heard she‘s everything Miss Marple isn‘t! 6mo
Mitch @Ruthiella a cast list would have been great - especially when people switch from real names to Nick names half way through! 6mo
Mitch @kwmg40 @jlhammar She‘s written Sooooooo much! I can‘t imagine keeping a character going for 67 books! She‘s definitely a ‘Queen of Crime‘. 6mo
31 likes12 comments
review
lauraisntwilder
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Pickpick

This was a quick read, with some really great dialogue. I read it for #GoldenAgeCrimeClub and I'm looking forward to everyone else's take on it. I really enjoyed it, but I actually didn't care who did it.

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kspenmoll
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Just started this yesterday for the #goldenagecrimeclub
#buddyread @Mitch I am so enjoying your picks for us! Thank you for the work involved hosting!

Mitch You‘re most welcome. 6mo
45 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Mitch
Watson's Choice | Gladys Mitchell
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Come join in the bookchat with the #goldenagecrimeclub. For August we‘re reading Watson‘s Choice which opens with a house party with everyone dressed as characters from Sherlock Holmes. Our detective - Mrs Bradley - is on the case when things go very wrong!
We‘ll be chatting on the last Sunday of August - 8/27

AmyG Thanks for leading this, Mitch! 7mo
kspenmoll Thanks!!! 7mo
59 likes2 comments