Comments: 13
This is on my TBR as well -- I'm glad to hear you liked it better than "Grey Mask"!
Moonlight Madness 6 months ago
Have you read any of the other ones? I am pretty sure that Tigus has a few that he likes pretty well. I'm still trying to decide if they actually need to be read in order or not. Wentworth was prolific enough that the idea of taking on this series is pretty intimidating.
I've read two others -- "Miss Silver Comes to Stay" and "The Chinese Shawl". I rather liked "Miss Silver Comes to Stay"; as you said about "Poison in the Pen", it's not quite Agatha Christie material, but reasonably close. "The Chinese Shawl" less so, however; it's decidedly more in the league of "Grey Mask", even if Miss Silver herself does take a considerably more active role there than in "Grey Mask" and is more fleshed out as a character. In Wentworth's defense, "The Chinese Shawl" is another fairly early book, though -- "Mis Silver Comes to Stay" is about 10 or 11 books further into the series.
Murder by Death 6 months ago
I've just recently finished Miss Silver Comes to Stay too and liked it SO much more than Grey Mask. And I didn't feel like I missed anything by reading out of order.
Moonlight Madness 6 months ago
For a moment I read the title as "Miss Silver Comes to Slay," which is so much better of a title that I was super excited to read it! ;)
Murder by Death 6 months ago
lol... I'd read that!

(in a similar vein, MT and I went to the Melbourne Garden Show today and one of the vendor booths was called backdoorshoes, and MT almost busted a gut laughing because when he first saw it he thought it said backdoorhoes... )
Tigus 6 months ago
if I can drop a quick note...I liked Poison in the Pen, a lot; I went up to 4 stars on that one. I really love Latter End, The Traveler Returns (aka She Came Back), The Watersplash, and Miss Silver Intervenes. I don't think these books need to be read in order. there were quite a few I thought were very strong; since I never really embraced the Marple books (not yet anyway) except for one every now and then, and most of those over 30 years ago, reading a boatload of Miss Silver books over a space of a few years, roughly starting around 2012 or so, turned out to be, for me, a wonderful alternative.
Moonlight Madness 6 months ago
I'm definitely Team Poirot, as I've said before. I think that I could get to like Miss Silver better than Miss Marple. Latter End looks really good, though! I am going to finish The Hog's Back Mystery and then give it a go. I grabbed it for a whopping $3.00 on amazon.
Tigus 6 months ago
oh, Hog's Back, yah--it was okay, but there are Crofts books that are so much better, in my opinion. anyway--hey hey, you've got Latter End! we'll have to compare reactions, up in the future. it's my "gold standard" book in the series, so far; I don't expect you'd give it 1 star, but I know it may not get 5 stars from you, because heck, that's what makes horse races. if you don't like it, it's going to be interesting learning what went wrong. but forget this pessimism...I loved it!
Moonlight Madness 6 months ago
I'll bite - which Crofts books do you prefer!

Hog's Back has dragged a bit for me. But, I just got to a third disappearance, so things have suddenly picked up and I'm thoroughly engaged!
Tigus 6 months ago
I think if Hog's Back comes up short for you (as it did for me), but you wanted to give the author another chance somewhere down the line, you would proceed to:

Inspector French and the Sea Mystery
or
Mystery in the Channel (this one is a British Crime Classics Library entry, if that gives it an edge...but I thought Inspector French and the Sea Mystery was better)

if, for some reason, it's going for a better price, or is easier to get, I think Inspector French and the Starvel Hollow Tragedy is quite good; that was the first Crofts I ever read. the "inverted mystery"--and still an Inspector French book, but an example of Crofts deciding to experiment as the trad format was starting to fall out of favor and readers didn't want the same old thing from him--called Antidote to Venom, is one I liked, but I have this sense that reactions would vary around here.
Moonlight Madness 6 months ago
I just love Inspector French. There was one little scene where he and his wife take a day trip out to the shore that was just so charming.

"They enjoyed every minute of it and found the breath of sea air invigorating and wholly delightful. These excursions counted for a great deal in both their lives. Though married for more years than French cared to contemplate, he and his wife remained as good pals as ever they had been."

I always love it when I see glimpses of good marriages in crime fiction, because they are so rare, given the usual ways in which fictional detectives are dysfunctional.

I'll definitely check out Inspector French and the Sea Mystery.
Tigus 6 months ago
I love Inspector French, and yes, Crofts takes time to let him take a breath now and then, and relax, often with his wife. Hog's Back Mystery is not a bad book, but I figured out way too much, and I need to get to the end of a Freeman Wills Crofts novel and get totally ambushed by the cleverness of the solution, all the clues I missed, how horrid the villain or villains really are (though Crofts never milks that). for me, Hog's Back shows off many of Crofts strengths, in a book that rolls along pretty good...and then sort of wraps up with a whodunit that cannot compete with the really brilliant stuff by Crofts, or for that matter, any other great Mystery writer coming up with a truly great book.