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The Skeleton in the Closet Mass Market Paperback – Mar 15 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (March 15 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312981457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312981457
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.7 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #318,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By lawyeraau TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 24 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read and loved many of the other British cozies written by this author. In fact, she has written a number of series: Agatha Raisin, Hamish Macbeth, and the Edwardian Mystery series. I have enjoyed them all. This one, however, does not compare favorably.

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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fellworth "Fell" Dolphin grew up in a family lacking the normal love. His parents took good care of him and he never went hungry, but they never had any of the extras. Matter of fact, when his father became ill and later died, Fell had to get a job. His mother took his checks and gave him a small allowance to spend. She was a cold-hearted woman and controlled his life. Then one day he returned from work at the hotel to find his mother dead. Instead of grieving, he feels relieved.
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fell Dolphin has led a miserable life. Beaten as a child, repressed and forced to support his mother at an early age, he hasn't had much of a life and really has nothing to look forward to. Since his father's death, he has been her sole support, and has no privacy or life of his own. He doesn't even have a key to his own house. Upon the death of his mother, he finds out that he has inherited a substantial amount of money. Since his parents have cried poverty all his life, just where did all the cash come from? To avoid having his mother's sister move in with him, he tells her that he is engaged to a coworker, Maggie Partlett, and convinces Maggie to move in with him to substantiate the lie. Maggie had been living in much the same circumstances as Fell, and is happy to escape a miserable life. The two of them get together to investigate the source of Fell's wealth. Fell is afraid that his father had been part of a train robbery in the town, and decides to investigate that crime.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
M.C. (Marion Chesney?) Beaton takes the Regency Romance into the third millennia with a delightful cozy mystery featuring a couple of brand new friends. Once again the reader is treated to a healthy dose of English village life with the emotionally stunted semi-losers Maggie & Fellworth Dolphin. In this twenty-second century Cinderella story, Fellworth's tyrant of a mother dies, he finds his dull life absolutely full of surprises. To avoid a takeover by the Evil Aunt Agnes, the prematurely grey, virginal Fell fictionalizes an engagement to the plump Maggie with limp hair and thick glasses and ankles. As they turn the cottage from a pumpkin into a home, the two of them are virtually unaware of the magic going on in their lives. Fell begins to grow a backbone, as Maggie goes from ugly duckling to swan. But Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty really don't see themselves (or each other) as they attempt to figure out an ages old train robbery as well as the next chapter in their (up to this point) dreary lives. The author weaves her magic and once again gives us a spectacularly delectable little book with a couple of characters who we enjoy getting to know.
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.
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