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Sirens Sang of Murder Hardcover – May 7 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C; Large Print edition edition (May 7 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745180469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745180465
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Schau on Aug. 16 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of the four Caudwell mysteries, this is the one to read last or not at all. That Wildean wit and off-center logic that are a part of the characters in all four books are there, but Good Grief! the wading one must do through tax codes, financial details and fiduciary claptrap. Caudwell becomes almost pedantic about government regulation on tax matters (will there be a quiz after?) and that is very tiring. Any of the other three is a better choice, particularly as a first Caudwell read. (Note: Given a vote in the matter, I do believe that Prof. Tamar is female, though it seems not to matter one way or another.)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third of Sarah Caudwell's sublimely funny murder mysteries narrated by Hilary Tamar, professor of legal history at Oxford, and featuring her young barrister friends. All four of these books are hilarious, and this is the funniest of the lot. Not many books in my life have made me cry with laughter, but this one reduced me to tears on several occasions. The adventures of young Michael Cantrip (educationaly disadvantaged, poor boy, he went to Cambridge)in the Channel Islands and in France and Monaco are full of wildly funny incidents. The poor boy has to suffer spending five hours shut in the boot of a car, being locked in a wine celler by a dotty waiter etc, meanwhile back in london his colleagues are having to cope with his barmy uncle. The plot is amazingly convoluted, and like all the books you may find yourself getting a bit lost in the complexity of the financial details, but who cares. Just enjoy the ingenious story, the wonderful characters, the witty dialogue, and Sarah Caudwell'smarvellous style. What a tragedy that there are only four of these marvellous books.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cantrip is missing! Having been seconded to assist with the mysterious Daffodil settlement in the Tax Haven of the Channel Islands, he disappears, and there seem to be bodies all over the place, bodies and unlimited suspects who might well have been involved in murdering them - or then again might not. Even murder isn't necessarily on the cards here. Really, it is up to Professor Hilary Tamar to sort things out and find the culprits, and find Cantrip at the same time.
A while ago we were discussion (on a Jane Austen list) the art of the epistolary form of the novel - and perhaps this is the original idea behind Caudwell's form of mysteries - they are very reliant on letter writing. While the first mystery featured letters by Julia from Venice (Thus was Adonis murdered), and the second Serena from Corfu (The Shortest Way to Hades), this has Young barrister, Michael Cantrip, writing from..... well.... all over France - and using the handy mechanism of the Telex machine to send his messages back to the members of the nursery at 62 New Square (and the occassional less than flattering note to their Clerk, Henry).
A very funny, bouynat mystery with the usual Caudwell twist at the end - I guess the unexpected seems to occur every few pages really - The only thing I would mention is that I didn't feel like all the clues were quite at my grasp as they might have been - however, I didn't mind, it was such a rollicking good fun ride. Sometimes I wonder if I read these as mysteries or comedies - they are lovely as both. .
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By Cadeau's mom on Sept. 27 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was delighted with Cauldwell's third book in her too-short series. Much maligned Cantrip always makes me laugh, and you get plenty of him in this book.
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