Item description for The Old English Peep Show (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) by Peter Dickinson...
Americans may have Colonial Williamsburg, but for the Brits, there's "Old England," an elaborate theme-park that pays homage to a similarly imaginary glorious past. At Old England, the woods are lush with game-birds, servants know their place, and round every corner is a pink-cheeked, mob-capped maid, bobbing a curtsey and trilling "lawk-a-mussy!" in a rustic brogue. It's no wonder the tourists are happy to buy tickets to a yesterday that never was. Lately, though, there's been a fly in the Old England ointment. The two doddering old war-heroes who own the estate seem to have slipped from charmingly eccentric to disturbingly nuts, and one of the "servants" has committed suicide. Dispatched to investigate the death, Inspector Jimmy Pibble is half-hypnotized by Old England's allure, but when he forces himself to poke beneath the daydream, what he finds is not exactly a green and pleasant land.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 7.5" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Jul 15, 2007
Publisher Felony & Mayhem
ISBN 1933397748 ISBN13 9781933397740
Availability 0 units.
More About Peter Dickinson
Dickinnson is Head of Music at the Institute of United States Studies, London University.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Old English Peep Show (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries)?
Behind Disneyland's Scenes Jun 30, 2008
Peter Dickinson is one of my favorite authors, so I'm biased, but I really enjoyed this book. I'd rate it about third of the 5 Pibble mysteries, just below 'The Glass-Sided Ants' Nest' and 'One Foot in the Grave'. Maybe 4 and a half stars, rounded to 5. Pibble is partly an anti-hero here, with his career going down-hill, assigned to the case simply to rubber-stamp it. But his mind is too quick [I think Dickinson is superb in showing us this, making real the flights of inference that in, e.g., Agatha Christie seem to come out of the blue], and won't let him overlook the evidence of stage-managing of one murder-account after another. By experts at stage-managing--the park does sound more like 'Renaissance Fair' than Disneyland, but keeping the Disneyland model in mind reminded me of what sacrilege Pibble kept getting dragged into committing. Maybe the villian was predictable, but in every Dickinson book there are wheels within wheels, and following him getting to the heart of things was captivating.
A Very British Mystery...Almost Feb 12, 2008
The characteristics of an (older) British mystery include eccentrics, a country house, the Old Retainer, and a detective of roughly the same background as the suspects and wry, dry wit. A former war hero and his twin brother have converted their country estate into a caricature of Olde England and busloads of tourists (mostly American) come to see it, saving the estate from bankruptcy. A son in law is actually the brains behind the outfit, and he calculates what will sell down to the last farthing. (OK, this is more modern than 'farthings'...It is set in current day). The Old Retainer is found hanged and the home office wants it found to be suicide. Our hero is the CID detective who understands that to bring shame on a war hero (who is a hero for failing to win a battle)would make an unhappy Scotland Yard and would very much like to avoid the ramifications to his career if he finds anything but a minor tragedy.
This book has the perfect recipe for either an English romp with wit and charm or a true mystery with clues that the reader has a chance of correctly interpreting. It is neither. I didn't find the characters engaging enough to root for anyone in particular (except perhaps the lion who is mentally disturbed). The one twist that propels the plot is predictable. The most interesting two characters (both women) go nowhere and the killer becomes predictable with an obvious, and sort of boring, motive. There is no sex, very little violence (not counting the lion) and not much wit to redeem it all.
A disappointment from a skilled writer.
One of Dickinson's finest Aug 14, 2005
The author calls it a "Baroque spoof", but there is a lot of intensity here. Flawless writing--each page is a joy to read. The lion scenes are remarkable.