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The Chinese Shawl (1943)

de Patricia Wentworth

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Miss Silver Mysteries (5)

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3611053,987 (3.66)32
Tanis Lyle was one of those passionate women who always get their own way. Her cousin Laura hated her. Most women did. But men found her irresistible and she used them mercilessly. So when Tanis was found murdered there seemed to be any number of suspects on hand. But Miss Silver had her own suspicions . . .… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 10 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This was an interesting story although a little dated. Miss Silver, retired governess, doesn’t assist but directs the police inspector in the right direction to solve the case. Family secrets and resentments come to a head during a house party. There’s an assortment of guests --One cousin who legally owns the house and another one who doesn’t want it willed to her and one of them is murdered. ( )
  Kathy89 | Jul 23, 2018 |
What a complete and utter pleasure to read this fifth entry in the long-running series, especially after the ghastliness of the fourth. Took about four hours to get sucked in, bash the touchscreen of my Kindle in a fever of impatience to see if I was right about the perp (missed it), and bask in the glow of Miss Silver as she first came to my attention.

The real reason series readers read the series is to visit with old friends. Miss Silver, to this point, hasn't been a solid character in the stories. She's developed the mannerisms (that effin' cough) by now, and Author Wentworth now begins to fill in the character that will carry the books through more than 20 entries to come.

If you're just starting to think about reading these books, I'd recommend starting here. Miss Silver is finally herself, not merely a collection of tics and crotchets. Nothing from earlier books, nothing of significance, is needed to appreciate the storytelling voice and the newly developed manner of Miss Silver being in the picture from the start, as it is in more modern series mysteries.

Now about that storytelling voice...I've been schooled recently on how very unladylike it is of me to express disapprobation of female storytellers' failings as I see them. I will herewith attempt to make my distastefully male grunts of dissatisfaction and displeasure into a more lady-friendly tone.

Author Wentworth is a person of a particular time, one in which ladies were either hard and evil or soft and good. Women, that is to say the serving class female, could be both hard and good (or soft and evil, which is far far more common {pun intended} for them to be) but only because theirs was a, well, a tougher row to hoe than a lady's was. So ladies were always attempting to marry or kill someone of either, often both, genders. Coupling up is de rigueur in a Miss Silver mystery. The sleuth is a former governess and therefore is hard and good, and frequently acts as a distressed, helpless, lovely young lady's proxy in the scuffling conflicts of quotidian battles to secure her money and her man.

This is jarring to my sensibilities. I don't think it makes the books unreadable, as do some other bygone horrors like racism and homophobia; but I am not a woman and I don't know what would make a story unreadable to one. As Author Wentworth began her career as a 1920s romance novelist of the Mills & Boon/Harlequin school I am inclined to roll my eyes and pass on by the ridiculous guff. There are countervailing pleasures in this read. Ma'at is maintained here by the perp being caught, the lovers being united, the benefits of class and cash being ladled into the bowls of the Best Sort, Our Kind of People.

Socially regressive it might be, well it certainly is if I'm even somewhat honest, but a pleasure it also is. Seeing the patterns we've grown up treading upheld is a validation of our conditioning. It's a good thing for society when someone so far outside the norm as to be a murderer is prevented from killing again. In this case, the murderer kills twice; the second murder is one of those where the reader is expected to murmur "well, shame on them but really asking for it means no complaining when one gets it," and pass on.

So that, dear reader, is what I most want you to know before launching your good self onto these placidly stormy waters.

I do hope that was better than my raw and honest responses have proven to be. ( )
1 vota richardderus | Jun 27, 2018 |
This is the story of Laura Fane, whose parents died while she was quite young and left her a historic estate called The Priory. Laura didn’t have the funds required to maintain The Priory, so was forced to lease it to her wealthy Aunt Agnes. Now that Laura has turned 21 and gained her inheritance she has come to the Priory to determine if she wants to inhabit or sell it to her Aunt Agnes and her other niece Tanis Lyle. Laura soon discovers there is family bitterness over old wounds, and this bitterness is personified most strongly by Tanis Lyle. Tanis is known for stealing other women’s boyfriends, then unceremoniously dumping them. We soon realize that Tanis has many enemies who could happily kill her. And dead she turns up.

As it happens, Miss Maud Silver, amateur detective is already a guest at the Priory. And, the Superintendent sent to investigate the murder was a young charge of Miss Silver when she was a governess. So the investigation proceeds with lively exchanges between these two. Miss Silver gently chiding her “dear Randall” over his hasty judgments and guiding his efforts — all while clicking away on her knitting needles. The Priory setting is beautifully rendered and Laura is a nicely developed character. There are plenty of suspects from jilted boyfriends, to angry ex-girlfriends, to a pilfering maid.
I was totally engaged by this mystery. The suspects are characters in and of themselves. I enjoyed them all, but also tried ascertain their motives, could they have done the deed?
I had a great time with Miss Silver and the Superintendent, as we solved the crime — actually they solved it — I still hadn’t quite figured out in the end.

Stereotypical? Certainly. Similar to Miss Marple series? Of course.

I’ve learned the 1920’s Miss Silver series, while lesser known than Ms. Christie’s, set the standard for cozy mysteries solved in old estates, with lots of fun characters, cups of tea, and charming old (OK Older) ladies who knit.
Count me in any day. See more at ( )
1 vota BookBarmy | Apr 28, 2018 |
The Miss Silver series hits its stride with this fifth entry. Written in 1943 and set during World War II, the story follows young heiress Laura Fane, who is invited for a weekend at the country home that she now owns but her Aunt Agnes leases. Agnes and Laura's father Oliver were engaged once upon a time (first cousins, ew) but he threw her over for Laura's mother and Agnes never forgave the family.

Her motivations for inviting Laura is to strong-arm her into selling the house to her, so she can leave it to her "adopted" daughter, Tanis Lyle, a cousin Laura has only recently met and doesn't much like. Other new friends are part of the country weekend, all of them with complicated connections to Tanis, so when the young woman turns up dead one morning, fingers point in all sorts of directions ...

One of the reasons I really liked this one is that Miss Silver was much more involved in the plot. She is an acquaintance of Aunt Agnes and also a guest in the house on the murder weekend. I got a strong Miss Marple vibe from this one, as Miss Silver is constantly knitting and eavesdropping and being ignored as a useless old lady. Meanwhile, the police officer assigned to the case (whom we met in [In the Balance]) is a former charge of the former governess and has a healthy respect for Miss Silver's detecting abilities. I don't mean to imply that Patricia Wentworth was copying Agatha Christie or vice versa, but they both do a great deal to emphasize that old does not mean useless.

This being a Wentworth "mystery", there is a semi-ridiculous romantic element that of course ends happily. It's silly but doesn't detract from the mystery plot or the overall strong pacing, plotting, and writing in this one. My favorite Miss Silver to date, for sure. ( )
  rosalita | May 23, 2017 |
The worst kind of reading experience, for me anyway, is one that can be summed up with the word meh. I’d rather really hate a book than be left bored, unengaged and apathetic by one. Alas my introduction to the Miss Silver series was not nearly entertaining enough to engender hatred.

The book started off with an explosion of names and relationships that I had to listen to four times before feeling like I could move into the actual story. I know everyone in a story has to be introduced but here there are thirteen characters shoehorned into the first 5 minutes of the audio book and all but one has at least one important familial connection that has to be remembered. We haven’t even gotten to the country house party at which Significant Events take place yet and I’m already bored keeping track of who’s who (and who’s related to who).

By the time we do get there, to the house party, another half-dozen or so players have joined the cast and what passes for a story starts to play out. Tanis Lyle is the central character of it. All the men are besotted with her. To the point of madness (or infidelity and a range of other immoral if not illegal acts) All the women her own age want to scratch her eyes out (because all the men love her and not them) (and also because she’s a right cow). Her two Aunts (there are no parents, can’t remember why) love her and spoil her rotten. Well they would because they’re crazy old spinsters, at least one of whom is still pining over some bloke who dumped her decades ago. When Tanis is murdered it’s a bloody slog to knock anyone off the suspect list but we spend about seven hours on the task.

The fact that any woman under 50 is a simpering idiot is probably the most eye-roll inducing thing about the book but there are more. Two of the women over that age are batshit crazy and the lone voice of female reason – series heroine Miss Maud Silver – is a highlight only by comparison with the rest of the sisterhood as represented here. The simpering, lovesick blokes are no better than the women. Most of them have faced a war (and have other much nicer women that love them to bits) but are made mental basket cases because one ‘not even beautiful’ woman passes them over. Even the book’s title made my eyes roll as it gave too much prominence to an artefact of the story which made it blindingly obvious (to me at least) why the horrid Tanis was killed. I wasn’t as sure who did it but I truly didn’t care and all I felt when it was revealed was relief that the whole thing would be over soon.

I didn’t really spot anything about Miss Silver that would warrant another single outing let alone the 32 titles she’s featured in. I can’t even summon up enough interest to weigh in on the Marple vs Silver debate that seems to be argued, demurely of course, in some corners of the internet (truth be told I’m not a huge fan of Miss M either). She’s fairly typical of the ‘gifted amateur’ variety of crime solving sleuth but did not stand out in any way for me.

Or, as I put it more succinctly in the beginning, meh.
  bsquaredinoz | Feb 24, 2017 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Patricia Wentworthautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Carrière, Anne-MarieTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Caselli, MarilenaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Daukšienė, OnaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gelder, Eny vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Müller, UlrikeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Rapola, SirkkaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Vincent, SophieTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Рубцова, П.В.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Tanis Lyle was one of those passionate women who always get their own way. Her cousin Laura hated her. Most women did. But men found her irresistible and she used them mercilessly. So when Tanis was found murdered there seemed to be any number of suspects on hand. But Miss Silver had her own suspicions . . .

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