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The Anglo-Irish Murders [Hardcover]

Ruth Dudley Edwards
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 1 2001 Windsor Selection
The fifth in Ruth Dudley Edwards's wickedly funny series taking an irreverent look at the British Establishment: 'A Fragonard to the Hieronymus Bosch of the grittier writers' The Times Foolishly, the British and Irish governments have chosen the tactless and impatient Baroness Troutbeck to chair a conference on Anglo-Irish cultural sensitivities. She instantly press-gangs Robert Amiss, her young friend and reluctant accomplice, into becoming conference organizer. Despite their diverting encounters as they career through Ireland en route to Moycoole Castle in County Mayo, Amiss is in near-despair as the arrangements crumble around his ears. The interested parties -- particularly nationalists and unionists from Northern Ireland and civil servants from Dublin and London -- seem intent on living up to their worst stereotypes. A truculent Orangeman, intransigent republicans, imitative loyalists, appeasing English and hypocritical Irish are among the nightmarish participants whose arrival Amiss views with dread. And driving rain and security problems make everything worse. It is a conference to remember in more ways than one. When a delegate plummets off the battlements, no one, not even the authorities, can decide whether it was by accident or design. The next death poses the same problem and causes warring factions to accuse each other of murder even as the politicians are busily trying to brush everything under the carpet in the name of peace. The latest in Ruth Dudley Edwards's wickedly funny series of crime novels taking an irreverent look at the Establishment.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review

‘Devilishly funny…There are plenty of sharp political points in this beautifully written satire, guaranteed to make you laugh’ – -- Frances Fyfield, Mail On Sunday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

• In deplorable taste and wickedly funny, this, the latest in the Robert Amiss series, will consolidate the reputation established by Matricide at St Martha’s, Ten Lords A-Leaping, Murder in a Cathedral and Publish and be Murdered --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MOPES and DUPES May 1 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book, as with Edwards' other books, is a great spoof on political correctness and sterotypes. The mystery is not exciting - but the book is worth reading just for her discussion of the MOPES (Most Oppressed People on Earth). That seems to be the title most people vie for these days. This book is really funny.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Murder from a Bigot's Standpoint Aug. 30 2002
Format:Paperback
The thought of assembling a cast of farcical characters in a secluded castle representing all different viewpoints in the Anglo-Irish struggle had a great deal of promise in the beginning. In fact, when I read the first chapter or so, I had high hopes for a brilliant lampoon of all aspects of Irish and English society. But then the very one-sided political views of the author began to intrude on the novel. She is obviously very pro-British and pro-Unionist in her views, and anyone on the Irish nationalist side or any who are too close to them are either fools or villains in her view. In fact, the only criticism lobbed at any of the British characters is that they are too wimpy and give in to the "ridiculous demands" of the Irish nationalists (or "killers and mass murderers" as Ms. Edwards puts it.) The Unionists and Orangemen are all shown to be noble, upstanding characters (though somewhat eccentric), except for one who gets too close to the nationalists and gets murdered for his trouble. Outlandish characters like an Indian and a Japanese are shown to be wise men, even though vilified by racial epithets by the British baroness in charge of the conference in the castle. But of the four Irish nationalists or sympathizers in the plot, all are evil hypocrites or utter fools. Three are killed off in the plot and one later on, to show that "the only good Nationalist is a dead one" apparently. Various conference events provoke arguments amongst the attendees, and of course the views of the Irish are ridiculed. The author goes so far as to claim that the Irish Potato Famine was not an example of British inhumanity, but just "a spot of bad management". Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOPES and DUPES May 1 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book, as with Edwards' other books, is a great spoof on political correctness and sterotypes. The mystery is not exciting - but the book is worth reading just for her discussion of the MOPES (Most Oppressed People on Earth). That seems to be the title most people vie for these days. This book is really funny.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous satire Aug. 25 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I listened to the audio version of this book masterfully read by Bill Wallis. It's one of the finest (and funniest) political and social satires I have read (listened to) in a long time. You will laugh out loud as Edwards makes fun of political correctness, conferences, movements, religion, politics, just about everything. I'm sorry the offended other reviewer failed to see the humor and took everything so seriously. This is a marvelous book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor or a Message Feb. 26 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Edward's books while always entertaining have a tendency to point out soon of the inconsistencies of human behavior. You can read this quickly for the entertainment or you can read it carefully for a description of the futility of violence.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Anglo-Irish Murders Jan. 17 2013
By Damaskcat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Baroness Jack Troutbeck and Robert Amiss have organised a cross cultural conference in Ireland to try and improve cultural understanding between the various factions in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England. Anyone who has ever tried to organise a conference will immediately be wincing in sympathy at such a prospect and it proves to be a minefield for them. Jack is hardly the best person to get involved in anything where tact and diplomacy are concerned and the conference turns out to be hilarious for the reader if not for the participants.

I laughed out loud many times at the preposterous conversations and misunderstandings and the marvellously eccentric characters. I liked the way Jack cut through all the posturing and Okinawa - the Japanese delegate - is a marvellous character. This is probably one of the funniest books in this entertaining series. The murders take second place to interaction between the characters so if you're expecting a conventional crime novel then you may be disappointed. As a portrait of the problems in Ireland I've no means of knowing how accurate it is but it definitely sounds plausible.

If you enjoy crime novels which are out of the ordinary then try this one - or any of the novels in this series - they are full of satirical portraits of people and institutions and are very amusing in my opinion.
15 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Murder from a Bigot's Standpoint Aug. 30 2002
By Brian D. Callahan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The thought of assembling a cast of farcical characters in a secluded castle representing all different viewpoints in the Anglo-Irish struggle had a great deal of promise in the beginning. In fact, when I read the first chapter or so, I had high hopes for a brilliant lampoon of all aspects of Irish and English society. But then the very one-sided political views of the author began to intrude on the novel. She is obviously very pro-British and pro-Unionist in her views, and anyone on the Irish nationalist side or any who are too close to them are either fools or villains in her view. In fact, the only criticism lobbed at any of the British characters is that they are too wimpy and give in to the "ridiculous demands" of the Irish nationalists (or "killers and mass murderers" as Ms. Edwards puts it.) The Unionists and Orangemen are all shown to be noble, upstanding characters (though somewhat eccentric), except for one who gets too close to the nationalists and gets murdered for his trouble. Outlandish characters like an Indian and a Japanese are shown to be wise men, even though vilified by racial epithets by the British baroness in charge of the conference in the castle. But of the four Irish nationalists or sympathizers in the plot, all are evil hypocrites or utter fools. Three are killed off in the plot and one later on, to show that "the only good Nationalist is a dead one" apparently. Various conference events provoke arguments amongst the attendees, and of course the views of the Irish are ridiculed. The author goes so far as to claim that the Irish Potato Famine was not an example of British inhumanity, but just "a spot of bad management". Sorry, but an event that left over 1 million people starving to death while the ample foodstuffs in the island were exported to England for sale does not qualify as "bad management". The word "genocide" comes to mind instead. She also blithely claims that the Protestant population in the Republic of Ireland was mostly wiped out through massacre, which is patently absurd. And her defense of British colonialism as a "beneficent policy" makes her look foolish. Perhaps she should have had her Indian character explain why, if British rule in India was so beneficial, the Indian population couldn't wait to kick the British out.
While I appreciated the farcical elements (like naming many of the lesser characters after famous Irish patriots) and enjoyed a few of the characters' foibles, the author's polemics against the entire Irish race and against the Catholic Church in particular ruined the book for me. Even the Irish characters who were not villains were maligned in some way, as with one who is shown to be an absolute alcoholic. Sorry, Ms. Edwards, but a good political lampoon coupled with a mystery (and the mystery part of the story is barely developed at all) requires the author satirizing characters on all sides on a fairly equal basis, not just savaging the ones whose political views you disagree with. (By the way, when you refer to the Northern Ireland nationalists as mass murderers and criminals, I might point out that twice as many Catholics were murdered in the Troubles by the British Army, the highly-prejudiced Protestant police force and the Protestant paramilitary groups as Protestants were killed by the IRA and their supporters. So it would seem the government and their supporters were mass murderers and criminals too.)
It could have been an excellent book, but the one-sided nature of the presentation made it seem in the end like something the Rev. Ian Paisley might have produced had he over-indulged at the pub one Saturday night.
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