Comments: 20
Hmm. I haven't read this one yet and I'd defer to Tigus in any event, but from the blurb description I'd be a bit wary of this one. Then again, the blurb does also sound a bit like "Anna, Where Are You?", which I liked.

This is book 22, though -- unless Tigus gives it the thumbs up, I'd probably start with a somewhat earlier one. There isn't *much* of a back story development to the series, but by this time Miss Silver and the policemen with whom she regularly collaborates have covered quite a lengthy path, and it does tend to show in the later novels ... besides which, it's simply fun to watch how it all comes about.

Also, towards the end of the series (and this one *is* in the final third), Wentworth started to experiment with bringing other forms of the suspense novel into her mysteries (gothic romance, inverted mysteries, treasure hunts, etc.), not all of them successfully IMHO -- particularly when mixed and matched with a TSTL heroine. Thankfully, most of her heroines after book 5 are, by the standards of their time (and many even by today's standards) strong and independent young women, but even these may fold into nervy messes in a novel with a "gothic suspense" touch, which has made me howl in frustration more than once of late.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Thank you both. Well, I think we can safely assume that this would not be my last Wentworth even if I didn't love it. I mean, you both seem to enjoy her books enough to make me want to discover her work and I tend not judge an author by one book only ... unless, you know, it is really, really bad.
a reading life 2 years ago
Ooh, I've never read Patricia Wentworth before and this discussion is helpful. Is it better to read from the Miss Silver series or read a standalone?

I have two in my personal library: Devil's Wind and The Fire Within; Tigus/Themis, have you two read either one? Thankfully, my lending library has lots.
a reading life 2 years ago
Oh, that's cool; I know nothing about them other than I wanted to try PW one day so I picked these up as freebies when I got the opportunity.
I echo Tigus's envy as to the early standalones -- and also the not being able to comment for not having read them!

Moonlight Reader has read some of Wentworth's standalones lately; she may be able to comment on the ones you have.

As for Miss Silver, I'd avoid the first 5 books ("Grey Mask" through "The Chinese Shawl") as a "first time" experience -- Wentworth was really still finding her mystery feet there (she'd written romance novels and historical fiction before; the standalones you have are both significantly pre-Miss Silver, so I'd assume they would fall into that category).

From book 6 on ("Miss Silver Intervenes"), though, you're in pretty safe waters as far as reading enjoyment is concerned ... from what I've seen so far (I'm still making my way through the series, too -- *not* in publication order), I'd say that is true approximately up until book 24 ("The Silent Pool"), though book 29 ("Poison in the Pen") is also a strong one.

Among the books I've read so far, books 7 ("The Clock Strikes Twelve") and 11 ("Latter End") so far have been my favorites.

That said, I am keeping two books that Tigus recommended to me a while ago as "best for last", as I want to go out of the series on a strong note: "The Brading Collection" (book 17) and "Through the Wall" (book 19).
Why would you think that? I loved all those that you specifically recommended! And I did sneak-peek "The Brading Collection" and loved what I saw there. :)
a reading life 2 years ago
Themis, fhanks for the suggestions. For my next TBR, I'll include one of the two I own and one Miss Silver from the library and see how I like them.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Btw, I have started Ladies' Bane and I am really digging it so far (I'm only up to Ch.3.). I'll share a proper update tonight, but I can't wait to get back to it. It seems to be just the thing after Titus Andronicus.
Hahaha, yes, Patricia Wentworth makes for great comfort reading -- *particularly* after a slaughterfest like Titus! :)

Good to hear you're liking "Ladies' Bane" so far. Fingers crossed it's going to continue!
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Omg, I wanted chocolate, hot sweet tea, and a blankie after finishing Titus. That was traumatic. But, to be fair, I can also see where the screenwriters for I, Claudius may have gotten some clues.
Abandoned by user 2 years ago
I have not read this one - although I plan to. I just finished book 12, Wicked Uncle, which didn't end up as a favorite, although it was all right.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Are you reading them in order?
Abandoned by user 2 years ago
At this point I am, although I don't feel like it's necessary to do so. I decided to go in order to see if there were changes in the writing style, like there are with Christie's work. It's also not necessary to read Christie in order, but there are definite themes that are more prevalent in the late Christies than in the early ones.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
I'd be interested to know if there are similarities in the development, or similarities in the themes in the later books of both authors. Just curious if their outlook, or their characters' outlook, somehow assimilated in the later books.
I've read a fair bit of Wentworth's later novels at this point, and based on what I've seen I'd say they didn't. Maudie Silver very much remains a character of her own -- and the same character that we see from, at least, book 5 onwards. Ex-school marm, Victorian at heart and knitting needles always at the ready (OK, granted, these she shares with Miss Marple, but their characters are nevertheless very different), not afraid to let her opinion be known (either by body language or expressis verbis) and with a lot of empathy for the innocent-usually-not-so-bright-young-things who get themselves tangled up in a murder. -- Like Poirot, she insists that she can only get involved in furtherance of the truth, not in order to come to anybody's assistance even if they turn out to be guilty, but this, too, is something we see in her from the very beginning. So, I'd say no gradual assimilation -- rather, Miss Silver shares the odd attribute and / or attiude with both Miss Marple and Poirot, but she is nevertheless very much her own woman throughout.

(Sorry for butting in.)
BrokenTune 2 years ago
It is quite a lot of fun so far! :D