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The Scold's Bridle: Complete & Unabridged Audio Cassette – Audiobook, May 1 2004


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Audio Cassette, Audiobook, May 1 2004

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754097323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754097327
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
When senior Mathilda Gillespie commits suicide, no one in her village seems to mind very much except her doctor, Sarah Blakeney, one of the few people who'd actually liked Mathilda. Sarah finds it odd that Mathilda died by cutting her wrists in the bath while wearing a scold's bridle entwined with flowers. That she wore a barbaric contraption once used to silence talkative women is strange in itself, but how would she have managed to carefully weave the flowers all the way around her head, especially when the autopsy shows that she'd taken a fair amount of barbiturates? Needless to say, neither Sarah or investigating officers believe Mathilda committed suicide.

The Scold's Bridle is a heart-rending tale of a family who's taken dysfunction to a new level. While the family at first seems rather hateful, if not pathetic, author Minette Walters does a superb job of layering back the malicious, selfish layers to reveal deep-seated pain that made me more sympathetic to the characters as the story unfolded. At over 450 pages, the book isn't a fast read, but it is a thought-provoking one which takes a hard look at the ramifications of family secrets, desires, and misunderstandings, past and present. This is an excellent, emotionally charged read.
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Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately, I didn't see the BBC TV series but it must have been great. Mathilda Gillespie is a bitter, nasty woman who is found dead in her bath, naked with her wrists slashed and wearing a horrible middle ages contraption called a scold's bridle on her head. The bridle was a metal head collar which held down the tongue, effectively, if cruelly, silencing the wearer.Mathilda was generally disliked so there are quite a few candidates on the police list of suspects. It's a great murder mystery which I enjoyed tremendously.
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By J. Colucci on March 18 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I discovered Walters by accident about 4 years ago when I found a copy of "The Sculptress". I loved it and I haven't enjoyed anything quite like it until now.
The Scold's Bridle is wonderful. The characters are dark, complex and quirky. You are never really sure that you know any of them. And yet you can't stop reading about their predicaments. This book was impossible to put down. I think Walters has some of the best mystery characters I have ever read.
I did figure out "the murderer" about 2/3 through the book, so I can't give it 5 stars. But the story alone is terrific. Buy & read this book you won't be disappointed!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Walters has woven a narrative that starts out rather slow and takes untilt he middle of the book to really get the reader interested. Nontheless, her ability to develop god characters, contrary to other opinions I have seen here, are excellent. The tangled web that surrounds the life of a wretched and sometimes-wicked old lady is startling and the reader is anxious to know who the killer is - if even there is one.

It is good to read a non-American novel, with good British prose amidst the culture of small-town nosiness. With a mixture of homour and horror, Walters writes a good tale that gives credence to her fame as a world-class mystery writer.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Minette Walters is a terrific writer and certainly deserves the comparisons to Ruth Rendell and PD James. Yet, it's hard to know what to make of this compelling yet flawed book. Elderly Mathilda Gillespie, wealthy, eccentric and misanthropic, is found dead, gruesomely, with wrists slit and an ancient torture instrument on her head. Suicide, or murder? And what about that will?
Each chapter is prefaced, brilliantly, with an excerpt from Mathilda's diaries. Literate and erudite in a
period where women of her social position were destined purely for domestic ornamentation, her decades of vindictive bitterness all but spit at us from the pages.
There's a much more interesting and less homogeneous than usual cast of characters, and the wonderful dialog perfectly captures their varying classes, ages and personalities. The book is supposedly set in or near the present but apart from the occasional f-word and references to heroin and abortion, has a sort of
otherwordly timelessness of most classic British mysteries.
The motive behind the killing turns out to be weak, the final reconciliation of the main characters mawkish, and the intergenerational torture and other goings-on is laid on heavily enough to be almost slapstick in the end. But so assured and precise is the telling that The Scold's Bridle remains an enjoyable book. If you like British whodunnits, then read it, it's darker and edgier than most of them. I'll definitely be reading more Minette Walters.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Minette Walters is a terrific writer and certainly deserves the comparisons to Ruth Rendell and PD James. Yet, it's hard to know what to make of this compelling yet flawed book. Elderly Mathilda Gillespie, wealthy, eccentric and misanthropic, is found dead, gruesomely, with wrists slit and an ancient torture instrument on her head. Suicide, or murder? And what about that will?
Each chapter is prefaced, brilliantly, with an excerpt from Mathilda's diaries. Literate and erudite in a
period where women of her social position were destined purely for domestic ornamentation, her decades of vindictive bitterness all but spit at us from the pages.
There's a much more interesting and less homogeneous than usual cast of characters, and the wonderful dialog perfectly captures their varying classes, ages and personalities. The book is supposedly set in or near the present but apart from the occasional f-word and references to heroin and abortion, has a sort of
otherwordly timelessness of most classic British mysteries.
The motive behind the killing turns out to be weak, the final reconciliation of the main characters mawkish, and the intergenerational torture and other goings-on is laid on heavily enough to be almost slapstick in the end. But so assured and precise is the telling that The Scold's Bridle remains an enjoyable book. If you like British whodunnits, then read it, it's darker and edgier than most of them. I'll definitely be reading more Minette Walters.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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