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The Skeleton in the Closet Mass Market Paperback – Mar 15 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Taking a break from her two long-running series (Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth), Beaton introduces a pair of engaging misfits whose struggles to cope with overbearing families and overweening circumstances teach them, eventually, to rely on each other. When diffident fortyish virgin Fellworth Dolphin's mother dies, he finds himself surprisingly relieved and freed from a bondage he was only partially aware of. That's nowhere near the astonishment he feels when he learns that, in spite of their penurious existence, he's heir to a large sum. In a moment of panic, when it seems an aunt might assume the tyrannical role his mother once played, Fell pretends an engagement to mousy waitress Maggie Partlett. In fits and starts, Maggie and Fell begin their separate transformations--she to a swan, he to a drake. One catalyst is the money and its questionable provenance--perhaps the result of an infamous train robbery that occurred many years ago and that Fell's father might have been involved with. The other is the transformation wrought by their shared investigation and their shared lives, as Maggie falls in with the pretended engagement for her own purposes. Various relatives and villains attempt to derail the couple as they journey, but there's never a question of where the author is taking her odd couple, and never a doubt they will arrive safely. The trip will delight fans of either of Beaton's other series. (Mar. 21)will be published on Mar. 6 (see Forecasts, Dec. 18, 2000).
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Fellworth Dolphin, virginal and fortyish, achieves freedom when his manipulative, widowed mother dies of a sudden heart attack. Surprisingly, Dolphin inherits a small fortune as well as a mysteriously full cash box. To keep family at bay, he invents a live-in fianc e plain Maggie from the restaurant he has just quit who becomes his accomplice in investigating a years-old, unsolved train robbery with which his father had some connection. Assault, deception, and attempted murder dog their search, which uncovers much more than just robbery perps. Beaton, in fine form, handles a twisting plot with dexterity, wit, and precision. Recommended.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The author introduces the character of Fellworth Dolphin, a nearly forty year old virgin who comes into a tidy little inheritance when his cold, unfeeling mother dies. As he and his mother had lived a working class existence when his mother was alive, Fellworth is both surprised and confused by the wealth of riches to which he suddenly finds himself heir,
Fellworth buddies up with a Plain Jane, Maggie Partlett, a waitress at the same hotel in which he also waits on tables. When Maggie moves in with Fellworth, they both begin to blossom, as does love. Together they seek to solve the mystery of Fellworth's surprising inheritance.
The problem with the book is that the characters are neither particularly well-developed nor engaging, nor is the plot all that intriguing. The dialogue is tepid, and the pace is languorous. That being said, fans of this author will derive a modicum of enjoyment from this book.
Even before he can decide what he will do, his parents' lawyer calls. Fell finds out that his mother left him a large sum of money. Where did the money come from? They lived like misers. He could have gone to the university. They stole his youth! Fell goes home and begins going through his father's desk to find out more about his parents' financial situation. He finds a cash box full of money. Why would they hide money in the desk? Could it have been gotten illegally?
Aunt Agnes, his mother's sister, comes to call. She is concerned that Fell will need someone to care for him so she has decided to make the sacrifice. Fell is stricken with horror. He immediately tells her that won't be necessary because he is engaged to Maggie, a co-worker at the hotel.
Next he needs to tell Maggie and see if she will go along with his charade. She is a very plain girl and it turns out her home life hasn't been great. She is thrilled with the idea. She ends up moving into Fell's home -- separate rooms of course.
Fell and Maggie begin redecorating his house. Things are going well. They even begin discussing opening a bookstore.
Then Andy Briggs shows up accusing Fell's father of being a part of the old Post Office train robbery.Read more ›
This was a very good mystery, very different from Beaton's usual works. Two unhappy repressed characters find each other and blossom and solve a mystery as well. There is even a happy ending. A fast read and very entertaining.
This time of year, I would also HIGHLY recommend Ms. Beaton's HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS, as well as the entire Hamish MacBeth and Agatha Raisin Series.
Most recent customer reviews
M.C. Beaton is a fabulous author! Her stories move swiftly but are loaded with detail and information about British culture.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was another very entertaining book by M C Beaton. More funny and quirky characters. I couldn't put it down.Published 16 months ago by JSEK
I love it - there are more wonderful things in here than (M.C. Beaton's mind) - Agatha Raisin, Hamish MacBeth, an Edwardian novel
that sets your heart a beating, and now Fell... Read more
What a delightful book. Fell Dolphin and Maggie Partlett are two new characters for Beaton. This is a very good mystery, to me. Read morePublished on July 21 2002 by Mac Blair
Marion Chesney (M C Beaton) has a gift for story invention, but the level of writing is at the teenage level. I gave this story a read because I enjoy the Hamish Macbeth stories. Read morePublished on March 30 2002 by Sherry Danielson
I have always felt somewhat ambivalent about the Agatha Raisin series which is too over the top for me, and too unsatisfactory from a matchmaking perspective, but had a lovely time... Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2001 by Kristi E. Jalics
"The Skeleton in the Closet" introduces new characters by M.C. Beaton, who is "taking a break from her two long-running series." I love Hamish, I love Agatha. Read morePublished on July 30 2001 by Foodie
MC Beaton has done it again. She can always be counted on for an enjoyable light read with great characters. Read morePublished on April 27 2001 by Amazon Customer