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A dead body in a case of armor, a once-wealthy earl with lots to hide, a sprawling estate stacked with witnesses . . . it’s another head-scratcher of a case for Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan in this intriguing mystery by CWA Diamond Dagger winner Catherine Aird It is the early 1970s, and times are tough in the upper reaches of British society. To survive the changing tim A dead body in a case of armor, a once-wealthy earl with lots to hide, a sprawling estate stacked with witnesses . . . it’s another head-scratcher of a case for Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan in this intriguing mystery by CWA Diamond Dagger winner Catherine Aird It is the early 1970s, and times are tough in the upper reaches of British society. To survive the changing times, the Earl of Ornum has done the previously unthinkable and opened his estate to wandering tourists. One day, a hyperactive little boy and his family are roaming Ornum House delightedly. The curious tyke sees a full suit of armor and lifts the visor . . . only to see a face staring out at him.   As Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan soon finds, the man in the suit of armor is dead—and there’s a slew of suspects waiting to be interviewed. Was it the ditzy duchess? The disappointing nephew? One of the servants? The earl himself? It’s up to Sloan and his wisecracking sidekick, Detective Constable Crosby, to find out before the murderer strikes again.  


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A dead body in a case of armor, a once-wealthy earl with lots to hide, a sprawling estate stacked with witnesses . . . it’s another head-scratcher of a case for Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan in this intriguing mystery by CWA Diamond Dagger winner Catherine Aird It is the early 1970s, and times are tough in the upper reaches of British society. To survive the changing tim A dead body in a case of armor, a once-wealthy earl with lots to hide, a sprawling estate stacked with witnesses . . . it’s another head-scratcher of a case for Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan in this intriguing mystery by CWA Diamond Dagger winner Catherine Aird It is the early 1970s, and times are tough in the upper reaches of British society. To survive the changing times, the Earl of Ornum has done the previously unthinkable and opened his estate to wandering tourists. One day, a hyperactive little boy and his family are roaming Ornum House delightedly. The curious tyke sees a full suit of armor and lifts the visor . . . only to see a face staring out at him.   As Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan soon finds, the man in the suit of armor is dead—and there’s a slew of suspects waiting to be interviewed. Was it the ditzy duchess? The disappointing nephew? One of the servants? The earl himself? It’s up to Sloan and his wisecracking sidekick, Detective Constable Crosby, to find out before the murderer strikes again.  

30 review for The Stately Home Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    From when I first logged the book: First Aird book I read. I now own it...that is the true sign of a good book for me--if I read it from the library (or wherever) and then just have to buy it when I have the opportunity." Review from first reading of the owned book (2/16/18): “There’ll have been a reason,” murmured Sloan. That was one thing experience had taught him. There was a reason behind most human actions. Not necessarily sound, of course, but a reason all the same. (47) Third in Catherine Ai From when I first logged the book: First Aird book I read. I now own it...that is the true sign of a good book for me--if I read it from the library (or wherever) and then just have to buy it when I have the opportunity." Review from first reading of the owned book (2/16/18): “There’ll have been a reason,” murmured Sloan. That was one thing experience had taught him. There was a reason behind most human actions. Not necessarily sound, of course, but a reason all the same. (47) Third in Catherine Aird's series starring Inspector C. D. Sloan, The Stately Home Murder (aka The True Steel;1969) was the first of her police procedurals that I ever read. Like many of those early mystery discoveries, I brought this one home from my public library. I'm sure I discovered her name in the back of some other book or the title just leapt off the shelf at me...because, of course, there was no internet or book-blogging world available to this preteen back in the dark ages of the late 70s and early 80s. At that time, I was simply looking for a good mystery to feed my crime fiction habit and I don't remember noticing the humor so much. But Inspector Sloan has a dry, subtle wit that definitely appeals to me now. The stately home of the title is one Ornum House. Due to ghastly taxes, the current Earl of Ornum has been forced to open the house to the public every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday as well as Bank Holidays (except Good Friday--the Earl draws the line there: "Religious holiday. Not a civil one. No beanfests in my house on Good Friday."). On this particular Sunday in June, the usual crowd of folks on holiday and the curious have come to Ornum House...some with children in tow. Mrs. Pearl Fisher had had what seemed at the time the good idea to take her children on an outing. She should have known that Michael wouldn't be able to stay out of trouble. Of course, she would never have expected him to discover a dead body in a suit of armor, but, then, neither did their guide. The body belongs to Osbourne Meredith, who has been working in the library and muniments (documents) room--sorting out the history of the Ornum estate and earldom. When Sloane and his dubiously helpful constable arrive, the discover that Meredith had made some interesting discoveries among the papers, some of which may affect the noble lineage. Did someone kill to keep the status quo? Or did Meredith make an even more dangerous discovery? Aird has given us a mystery novel that is firmly rooted in the vintage works of the Golden Age. Though her book is set in the late 1960s, the detective work could have been done by Inspector Alleyn in 30s. The style of investigation is very much of an earlier era and she has made a definite effort display her clues in a nod to the "fair play" school. That alone makes this an excellent novel, but she also entertains us by making fun of the very tropes she emulates. She plays on standard motifs and plot devices and serves up a denouement that should make classic crime buffs howl in dismay--but, it fits with the atmosphere she has skillfully employed. ★★★★★ then and ★★★★★ now. [I love it when I still enjoy books that I loved when I was younger.] First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Robin Bailey 5 Hours 6 Mins Description: A stately English home open to the public, a worried mother looking for her son, and when she finds him in the dungeons trying to open a suit of armour she is relieved.. until the vizor opens and a dead man looks out at her... 3* Religious Body 3* Henrietta Who? (Inspector Sloan #2) 3* The Stately Home Murder (Inspector Sloan #3) Robin Bailey 5 Hours 6 Mins Description: A stately English home open to the public, a worried mother looking for her son, and when she finds him in the dungeons trying to open a suit of armour she is relieved.. until the vizor opens and a dead man looks out at her... 3* Religious Body 3* Henrietta Who? (Inspector Sloan #2) 3* The Stately Home Murder (Inspector Sloan #3)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Yibbie

    I think this might be a first, an Amazon suggestion was actually spot on, and I have found a new author that I really enjoy. Have any of you read Catherine Aird’s mysteries? I just read my first one, and it was really fun. A dastardly crime is committed. Summon Detective Sloan and slightly bumbling associate. Don’t offend the Earl and his lady. Don’t get lost in the House (that just must be capitalized). Follow the clues if you can. It was great fun. While it is a mystery, there aren’t really I think this might be a first, an Amazon suggestion was actually spot on, and I have found a new author that I really enjoy. Have any of you read Catherine Aird’s mysteries? I just read my first one, and it was really fun. A dastardly crime is committed. Summon Detective Sloan and slightly bumbling associate. Don’t offend the Earl and his lady. Don’t get lost in the House (that just must be capitalized). Follow the clues if you can. It was great fun. While it is a mystery, there aren’t really any great surprises. I think they call it a Police procedural. You just follow the detective around gathering clues, and they are all there if you can follow them. Aird did a wonderful job of hiding them in plain sight. I figured it out just at the climax. This was one of the few books that made me want to go back and look over the clues again before I read the solution, just to make sure I had it right. It was even fairly clean. Indecent situations were handled with great delicacy and there were only three instances of ‘mild’ swearing. I will be looking for more by this author.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Penelope

    This is, hands down, my favorite mystery of all time. I have it on audio read by Robin Bailey and it never fails to entrance and amuse me. The combination of CA's wit and sharp observation of human character and Robin Bailey's excellent portrayal of those characters make this, IMO, an absolutely perfect book. I adore all Catherine Aird's books, but this is at the tippy top. Why this book is not available for an e-reader baffles me. I will never finish this book because I listen to it over and ov This is, hands down, my favorite mystery of all time. I have it on audio read by Robin Bailey and it never fails to entrance and amuse me. The combination of CA's wit and sharp observation of human character and Robin Bailey's excellent portrayal of those characters make this, IMO, an absolutely perfect book. I adore all Catherine Aird's books, but this is at the tippy top. Why this book is not available for an e-reader baffles me. I will never finish this book because I listen to it over and over again under the title "The Complete Steel".

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    It is the early 1970s, and times are tough in the upper reaches of British society. To survive the changing times, the Earl of Ornum has done the previously unthinkable and opened his estate to wandering tourists. One day, a hyperactive little boy and his family are roaming Ornum House delightedly. The curious tyke sees a full suit of armor and lifts the visor . . . only to see a face staring out at him. 3* The Religious Body (Inspector Sloan #1) 3* Henrietta Who? (Inspector Sloan #2) 3* The Stat It is the early 1970s, and times are tough in the upper reaches of British society. To survive the changing times, the Earl of Ornum has done the previously unthinkable and opened his estate to wandering tourists. One day, a hyperactive little boy and his family are roaming Ornum House delightedly. The curious tyke sees a full suit of armor and lifts the visor . . . only to see a face staring out at him. 3* The Religious Body (Inspector Sloan #1) 3* Henrietta Who? (Inspector Sloan #2) 3* The Stately Home Murder (Inspector Sloan #3) TR A Most Contagious Game

  6. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    A friendly warning about this one - it was originally published in 1969 under the title The Complete Steel and for some reason, the title was changed to "The Stately Home Murder." you can still find it under the original title. This is to prevent anyone from buying both titles without realizing they're the same book. I've had this happen with some Edmund Crispin books. DI C D "Seedy" Sloan and DC Crosby investigate the very unusual murder of a man whose body was stuffed in a suit of armor in the A friendly warning about this one - it was originally published in 1969 under the title The Complete Steel and for some reason, the title was changed to "The Stately Home Murder." you can still find it under the original title. This is to prevent anyone from buying both titles without realizing they're the same book. I've had this happen with some Edmund Crispin books. DI C D "Seedy" Sloan and DC Crosby investigate the very unusual murder of a man whose body was stuffed in a suit of armor in the home of the Earl of Ornum. The body is discovered during a tour when a bored 13-year-old boy is amusing himself with the suits of armor and notices that one sounds different than the others. He lifts the visor and a dead man looks back at him. It turns out the victim was researching the family history of the Earls of Ornum, and he may have discovered something important shortly before his death. The motive for the crime is not readily apparent at first, though the clues are there if you pay attention. The murderer was certainly a surprise (a very amusing one, actually!). The quirky, eccentric noble family is entertaining, though I found the spinster (is that word used any more?) cousin to be rather dated, even for the early 1970s. The book pokes gentle fun at nobility in general. The Earl and Countess of Ornum and their extended family don't really seem to do anything. You have a feeling that once this mystery is over, they will simply make a few minor changes in their household and then go on like nothing happened. Like The Religious Body, this book feels like it dates from the 1940s or 1950s. There's nothing to indicate it was actually published in the 1970s. Like Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, Aird does not let her main characters age or really change in any substantial way. I don't see this as an issue and obviously I'm not alone, judging from the popularity of Perry Mason and Nero Wolfe books to this day. Since the characters never change, you always know what to expect - an amusing, entertaining read with a cozy, old-fashioned atmosphere.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    The beginning of this mystery is classic. A very rambunctious boy who came with his mom on a tour of Ornum House gets split from the group. The group goes down into the armoury, where there is a display of several suits of armor. The boy is there, playing around with the armor, and as he opens the visor on one of them, what's there to meet him but the face of a dead man. So...in comes Inspector Sloan, but solving the crime isn't going to be easy with a list of suspects and motives for the murder The beginning of this mystery is classic. A very rambunctious boy who came with his mom on a tour of Ornum House gets split from the group. The group goes down into the armoury, where there is a display of several suits of armor. The boy is there, playing around with the armor, and as he opens the visor on one of them, what's there to meet him but the face of a dead man. So...in comes Inspector Sloan, but solving the crime isn't going to be easy with a list of suspects and motives for the murder. I'll rate this one as average; it's good, but there really wasn't a whole lot of room for the story to be more developed (imho). Recommended for those who like police procedurals and British mystery in general.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Francis

    Catherine Aird seems to be one of those author's who rarely surprises you, yet always manages to deliver a tale to hold your interest and entertain you. Her books have that classic British golden age feel to them and if you like Agatha, Dorothy, Margery and the rest from that period, although she wrote later, I think you will find a liking for Catherine Aird as well. Catherine Aird seems to be one of those author's who rarely surprises you, yet always manages to deliver a tale to hold your interest and entertain you. Her books have that classic British golden age feel to them and if you like Agatha, Dorothy, Margery and the rest from that period, although she wrote later, I think you will find a liking for Catherine Aird as well.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    Another fast and very entertaining book. The solution of this one threw me for a loop.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Iffah

    Truly enjoyable!! I recommend this for fans of the show Lewis, and also fans of Agatha Christie.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gerry

    Ornum House has 300 rooms and on a Sunday the Earl and Countess of Ornum open their house to the public at a cost of two shillings and sixpence each. The house contains an exceptional display of fine china, an authentic Hans Holbein painting and a dungeon that contains a variety suits of armour and associated weapons. On a particular Sunday a 13-year-old boy is with his mother until he disappears. She panics but eventually finds him in the dungeon inspecting the suits of armour and that is when h Ornum House has 300 rooms and on a Sunday the Earl and Countess of Ornum open their house to the public at a cost of two shillings and sixpence each. The house contains an exceptional display of fine china, an authentic Hans Holbein painting and a dungeon that contains a variety suits of armour and associated weapons. On a particular Sunday a 13-year-old boy is with his mother until he disappears. She panics but eventually finds him in the dungeon inspecting the suits of armour and that is when he gets a terrible shock. One of the suits of armour sounds different when he knocks on it than the others so he opens the visor only to be confronted by the staring face of a dead man. Panic sets in with the Earl, the Countess, their quirky extended family, some of whom live at Ornum House and others who are staying with them, and the servants, including a condescending butler named Dillow. Inspector Sloan, with his partner, Sergeant Crosby, is called in to investigate. But it is not immediately evident how or why the man has died but once the body is removed from the suit of armour it does become apparent that he has been murdered. Nobody is allowed to leave the house as Sloan and Crosby go about their investigations and for a time they seem to be getting nowhere. Then information comes to light about the Holbein painting and about the activities of the murdered man, Osborne Meredith who is an archivist working with the family. Did he discover something that someone did not want him to reveal? This leads Sloan in another direction and his enquiries with the very different types of people in the house produce new leads. And eventually he manages to work out what has happened, the reasons behind the crime and most importantly the culprit. Although not written in the so-called Golden Age of Crime fiction, Catherine Aird has given 'The Stately Home Murder' a decidedly period flavour that works well and that keeps the suspense going until the denouement ... and who committed the crime? Well, you may be able to work that one out!

  12. 4 out of 5

    An Odd1

    "When it is not necessary to change, quoted the Earl sententiously, it is necessary not to change" p 157. Brain challenge in one line. Eccentricity is why I read Sloan series, and to expand my vocabulary. Sloan even asks boss for "dictionary" to tackle new words like "muniments" p 54. "Home, James, and don't spare the horses" commanded Sloan, climbing in. "Beg pardon, sir?" Sloan sighed. "Headquarters, Crosby, please." p 190 Crosby just wants tea, is mildly baffled when Sloan quotes from literary e "When it is not necessary to change, quoted the Earl sententiously, it is necessary not to change" p 157. Brain challenge in one line. Eccentricity is why I read Sloan series, and to expand my vocabulary. Sloan even asks boss for "dictionary" to tackle new words like "muniments" p 54. "Home, James, and don't spare the horses" commanded Sloan, climbing in. "Beg pardon, sir?" Sloan sighed. "Headquarters, Crosby, please." p 190 Crosby just wants tea, is mildly baffled when Sloan quotes from literary education. Duo usually stimulate tiny tickles, seldom galumphing guffaws. "Sunday in June" p 12 during stately Ornum House public tour, mischievous Michael lifts visor on armor "circa 1595" p 39 - and finds corpse. DI Detective Inspector C.D. Sloan and inadvertently funny sidekick DC Detective Constable Crosby must sort out who stashed late "Our Mr Meredith, Librarian and Archivist to his Lordship" p 39 thirteenth Earl, and why. "Dead these last couple of days" p 41, victim was last seen Friday by butler Dillow, "just after four o'clock tea .. He ate the lot" p 63. "Osborne Meredith might not have been any trouble to a butler. He was going to be a great deal of trouble to a police inspector. This police inspector" p 49. Humor is light, sneaks up from side. Meeting vague Countess "was rather like interviewing cotton wool or blotting paper" p 51. Clearly the fact that Meredith arranged masterpiece painting experts "The Young Masters [Art Society p 163] coming down to see the pictures" contributed to his death. "Lordship's nephew Miles Cremond" is visiting with his wife Laura. I get lazy nephews confused. Another is artist William Murton "expensive tastes and a low income .. pursues his career in fits and starts and nubile young ladies all of the time" p 158. Meredith also found papers "proving Harry isn't Earl" p 53. (view spoiler)[ Evidence was long ago discredited. I missed clue that Dillow couldn't collect from will of previous employer Mr Baggles, because "considerable collection of the works of the artist Van Gogh were fakes (which discovery had occasioned the [fatal] apoplexy " p 159. Here again Dillow replaced a "Hans Holbein the Younger [from] .. 1532" p 183. To stop discovery of fake, Dillow killed Meredith, who saw switch on Friday because aunts did not invite him share tea as usual. Hidden from view, Murton saw Dillow drag body, failed at blackmail attempt. Dillow killed Murton, stashed in sunken oubliette hole so not found right away till Supt Leeyes sent coach bus full of policemen to help "in the hunt" p 163. I knew Dillow should have laid serving for Meredith's tea with batty aunts, but not how showed guilt. Is tea tray so large that Dillow could fit bludgeon underneath? (hide spoiler)] I still can't see how perpetrator kept godentag weapon hidden before attack. Putting together the puzzle is so complicated, I had to just drift, enjoy eccentrics, setting, until Sloan solves crime. In minor sub-plot, Traffic officer melancholy droopy-face 'Happy Harry' Harpe asks how same garage catches calls to accidents. (view spoiler)[ Sloan notes all incidents are "out of working hours" p 175, when mechanic Pete rides new motorcycle from where he "lives opposite the ambulance station .. follows the blood wagon" p 191. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Clare Snow

    Taking all the tropes of a murder mystery and turning them on their head. Seedy Sloan is as witty as ever and the title is a clever play on words. It was changed to The Stately Home Murder in the US and they miss out on the pun. Taking all the tropes of a murder mystery and turning them on their head. Seedy Sloan is as witty as ever and the title is a clever play on words. It was changed to The Stately Home Murder in the US and they miss out on the pun.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    This book has also been published under the title 'The Complete Steel'. Ornum House is a favourite place for day trips for the people of Calleshire. Bit one small boy gets more than he bargained for when he lifts the visor on a complete suit of armour and sees a face staring back at him. Osborne Meredith - that family archivist and historian has been murdered and put inside the suit of armour. DI Sloan and DC Crosby are sent to investigate. Sloan soon decides that it is an inside job but trying t This book has also been published under the title 'The Complete Steel'. Ornum House is a favourite place for day trips for the people of Calleshire. Bit one small boy gets more than he bargained for when he lifts the visor on a complete suit of armour and sees a face staring back at him. Osborne Meredith - that family archivist and historian has been murdered and put inside the suit of armour. DI Sloan and DC Crosby are sent to investigate. Sloan soon decides that it is an inside job but trying to get the various members of the Earl of Ornum's family to account for their movements at what appears to be the relevant time is a difficult job. This is an entertaining and well plotted mystery story with some ingenious twists and turns and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. This is an enjoyable series for all those who like the cosy mystery genre with no on the page violence and interesting characters. The series can be read in any order and I have read each book more than once.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    While I love mysteries written during the first half of the 20th century and mysteries written in that style, this book was a disappointment. It's that dreaded British tax code taking its toll again. A stately, historic home has to be opened for tours by the public to make money for upkeep. During one of the tours, a naughty little boy (or maybe he was just frisky) opened the visor on a suit of armor and, of course, there was a body inside. In typical English country home murder mysteries, the m While I love mysteries written during the first half of the 20th century and mysteries written in that style, this book was a disappointment. It's that dreaded British tax code taking its toll again. A stately, historic home has to be opened for tours by the public to make money for upkeep. During one of the tours, a naughty little boy (or maybe he was just frisky) opened the visor on a suit of armor and, of course, there was a body inside. In typical English country home murder mysteries, the murderer has to be someone within the house or grounds. Call in Detective Inspector Sloan and his sidekick Detective Constable Crosby. While plodding through this book, I got the distinct impresssion that it was being written in the hope that it would be a candidate for Masterpiece Theater--minus the Masterpiece. While I generally gallop through a good mystery, I couldn't even work up a good canter for this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This was just an OK read for me. I don't know whether it was because I was reading in bits and spurts, the story didn't grab me or I found the cast of characters to be too many and confusing but I ended up skimming the last 20 pages or so to see 'who did it' and didn't feel like I missed much. This sort of surprised me because the previous books I read by this author were very enjoyable. Oh well, guess you can't win them all. This was just an OK read for me. I don't know whether it was because I was reading in bits and spurts, the story didn't grab me or I found the cast of characters to be too many and confusing but I ended up skimming the last 20 pages or so to see 'who did it' and didn't feel like I missed much. This sort of surprised me because the previous books I read by this author were very enjoyable. Oh well, guess you can't win them all.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kucharski

    I’ve read a number of this particular series and this was a really fun one. I like the setting and the characters. Nice humor in the telling of the story through Sloan and the newer policeman Crosby. Through both you get a bit of world weary knowledge with the unrestrained curiosity of a newbie doing his best. A really fun quick read, hope these stories are reprinted or e-booked my copy was a bit brittle and much tape was used to hold bits together. This is one of those mysteries that you start o I’ve read a number of this particular series and this was a really fun one. I like the setting and the characters. Nice humor in the telling of the story through Sloan and the newer policeman Crosby. Through both you get a bit of world weary knowledge with the unrestrained curiosity of a newbie doing his best. A really fun quick read, hope these stories are reprinted or e-booked my copy was a bit brittle and much tape was used to hold bits together. This is one of those mysteries that you start out and by halfway I wanted to finish it. A teaser of who was where and some of the clues you had to follow were what people said as well as knowing the routine of the house. (Also you get to learn a bit about aristocracy and history in this one.)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ping Naka

    The Stately Home Murder : Truly enjoyable! Great writing style! The narration is great! The characters and the plot are very good! I love the narrator of this book. I like the echo in the dungeon. The guide is talking and the echo always repeats what he says except when …… He cleared his throat impressively. The echo didn't quite know what to make of this. The Stately Home Murder : Truly enjoyable! Great writing style! The narration is great! The characters and the plot are very good! I love the narrator of this book. I like the echo in the dungeon. The guide is talking and the echo always repeats what he says except when …… He cleared his throat impressively. The echo didn't quite know what to make of this.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cyn Mcdonald

    In which we learn some vocabulary words like muniments and brandistock. Crosby is in good form, and his muttered comments are completely appropriate. The 300-room stately home is a bit over the top, but I'm pretty sure that's on purpose. In which we learn some vocabulary words like muniments and brandistock. Crosby is in good form, and his muttered comments are completely appropriate. The 300-room stately home is a bit over the top, but I'm pretty sure that's on purpose.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    The uppercrust (and undercrust) types aren't as funny or as well-delineated as they should be, but Aird has fun slightly skewing a traditional murder in a manor house. Briskly readable. The original title was better: The Complete Steel. The uppercrust (and undercrust) types aren't as funny or as well-delineated as they should be, but Aird has fun slightly skewing a traditional murder in a manor house. Briskly readable. The original title was better: The Complete Steel.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    Just your good old fashioned whodunit!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Pleasant read, modern English mystery with a few surprises and nothing shocking or scary. Clean. Well narrated.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sg.00 macc

    Mildly interesting series. So far, the main character doesn't grab me Mildly interesting series. So far, the main character doesn't grab me

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Lee

    This is the third book in the Inspector Sloan series. A young boy accompanying his mother and sister on a stately home tour sneaks off and discovers a body in a suit of armor in a not to often visited part of the mansion. Inspector Sloan and his 'sidekick' Constable Crosby proceed to interview some colorful characters, members of the extended family who reside in Ornum House which has been in the family for centuries. There are a lot of twists and turns in the investigation just as there are in t This is the third book in the Inspector Sloan series. A young boy accompanying his mother and sister on a stately home tour sneaks off and discovers a body in a suit of armor in a not to often visited part of the mansion. Inspector Sloan and his 'sidekick' Constable Crosby proceed to interview some colorful characters, members of the extended family who reside in Ornum House which has been in the family for centuries. There are a lot of twists and turns in the investigation just as there are in this stately home. I always enjoy Catherine Aird's books, but especially the audio editions read by Robin Bailey. The story is good, Robin Bailey's narrative is great.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    I've just started this series and this, #3, is the best thus far. I have the same comment as for the previous two editions, however. The Complete Steel is, like the others, almost entirely plot driven with very little character development. Therefore, I suppose they better fill the requirements of a "mystery" than many of my favorite mystery novels. I, however, tend to prefer character-driven novels, with mystery as a secondary plot device. I certainly would recommend this as a light, quick read I've just started this series and this, #3, is the best thus far. I have the same comment as for the previous two editions, however. The Complete Steel is, like the others, almost entirely plot driven with very little character development. Therefore, I suppose they better fill the requirements of a "mystery" than many of my favorite mystery novels. I, however, tend to prefer character-driven novels, with mystery as a secondary plot device. I certainly would recommend this as a light, quick read but not as a favorite series in which the primary characters have become old friends you can't wait to hear from or about again. As thus far there is little or no character development, the recurring figures being merely police officers going about their duty without attention to their private lives or a glimpse at their private thoughts, it would not matter in which order you read the books. Thus far, there has been no plot carry-over nor any growth of the characters. Again, however, the concoction and unraveling of the mystery itself is very well done. If you prefer plot-driven novels and guessing who-dunit, this is the series for you.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Leggitt

    When a young visitor discovers a body stuffed into a suit of armor, the local police force is initially at a loss to explain how this happened. Fun cozy mystery set in a stately English manor house. Lots of interesting history and descriptions. Catherine Aird lays out an informed account of the investigation. I enjoyed this book and didn't guess who-done-it. It made great rainy-day reading. I 'm thinking I might have to check out another book by this author. When a young visitor discovers a body stuffed into a suit of armor, the local police force is initially at a loss to explain how this happened. Fun cozy mystery set in a stately English manor house. Lots of interesting history and descriptions. Catherine Aird lays out an informed account of the investigation. I enjoyed this book and didn't guess who-done-it. It made great rainy-day reading. I 'm thinking I might have to check out another book by this author.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    A very English mystery certainly, with many of the clichés associated with them. While this isn't brilliant nor has an overly complicated or intricate plot as far as mystery stories go, I quite enjoyed it. The narrative is humorous mostly because of the interaction between people at very different levels (opposite ends, pretty much) of English society. One character I found a little exaggerated but overall this was a fun revisit. A very English mystery certainly, with many of the clichés associated with them. While this isn't brilliant nor has an overly complicated or intricate plot as far as mystery stories go, I quite enjoyed it. The narrative is humorous mostly because of the interaction between people at very different levels (opposite ends, pretty much) of English society. One character I found a little exaggerated but overall this was a fun revisit.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Estepp

    A bunch of these are on sale for Kindle this month and I decided to pick up the ones that sound interesting, as I'd read a handful in the series and liked them well enough. This isn't my favorite - I think it could've used one of those little Cast of Character directories that you sometimes get at the beginning of books - but it was solid and I liked the occasional cheeky bits. A bunch of these are on sale for Kindle this month and I decided to pick up the ones that sound interesting, as I'd read a handful in the series and liked them well enough. This isn't my favorite - I think it could've used one of those little Cast of Character directories that you sometimes get at the beginning of books - but it was solid and I liked the occasional cheeky bits.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbra

    Third in the Inspector Sloan series. Back Cover Blurb: Inspector Sloan tiptoes through the halls of Ornum House hoping his impecable powers of observation might reveal who murdered the family archivist.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie Bee

    Although I guessed the solution to the mystery quite quickly, this is nonetheless another pleasant installment in the Inspector Sloan series, with a crop of interesting characters (I particularly liked the two ancient great-aunts).

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