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“Gets on your nerves, doesn’t it? I mean, that playing of hers. I’ve never heard anything like it.” “I haven’t either,” Bobby said. Bobby Owen (now ‘temporary-acting-junior-under-deputy-assistant-commissioner’ of the C.I.D.) and his wife Olive are house-hunting. Finding the perfect country home, every prospect pleases … until they meet their neighbours, including the “Gets on your nerves, doesn’t it? I mean, that playing of hers. I’ve never heard anything like it.” “I haven’t either,” Bobby said. Bobby Owen (now ‘temporary-acting-junior-under-deputy-assistant-commissioner’ of the C.I.D.) and his wife Olive are house-hunting. Finding the perfect country home, every prospect pleases … until they meet their neighbours, including the odd, piano-playing Miss Bellamy, and Mr. Fielding, whose jollity is unsettling. The incessant piano music seems to jar on everyone, and Bobby Owen even wonders if the recent murder of a stranger might have been provoked by it. The true significance of the music, and what it has to do with a recent jewellery theft, is at the heart of a classic mystery set in the English countryside.Music Tells All was first published in 1948, the twenty-fourth of the Bobby Owen mysteries, a series eventually including thirty-five novels. This edition features a new introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.“What is distinction? … in the works of Mr. E.R. Punshon we salute it every time.” Dorothy L. Sayers


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“Gets on your nerves, doesn’t it? I mean, that playing of hers. I’ve never heard anything like it.” “I haven’t either,” Bobby said. Bobby Owen (now ‘temporary-acting-junior-under-deputy-assistant-commissioner’ of the C.I.D.) and his wife Olive are house-hunting. Finding the perfect country home, every prospect pleases … until they meet their neighbours, including the “Gets on your nerves, doesn’t it? I mean, that playing of hers. I’ve never heard anything like it.” “I haven’t either,” Bobby said. Bobby Owen (now ‘temporary-acting-junior-under-deputy-assistant-commissioner’ of the C.I.D.) and his wife Olive are house-hunting. Finding the perfect country home, every prospect pleases … until they meet their neighbours, including the odd, piano-playing Miss Bellamy, and Mr. Fielding, whose jollity is unsettling. The incessant piano music seems to jar on everyone, and Bobby Owen even wonders if the recent murder of a stranger might have been provoked by it. The true significance of the music, and what it has to do with a recent jewellery theft, is at the heart of a classic mystery set in the English countryside.Music Tells All was first published in 1948, the twenty-fourth of the Bobby Owen mysteries, a series eventually including thirty-five novels. This edition features a new introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.“What is distinction? … in the works of Mr. E.R. Punshon we salute it every time.” Dorothy L. Sayers

30 review for Music Tells All

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    There are 35 of these Bobby Owen mysteries, and I can't recall if I read another myself. I do recall that I tried reading a book by this author previously and may not have found it to my liking. It has to do with trying to find books through kindle unlimited, a decided challenge. This book is a prolonged who's on first comedy. Perhaps I should say tragic comedy since a couple murders figure into the action. Post-War housing crisis coupled with rations, and one can hardly believe it when Bobby an There are 35 of these Bobby Owen mysteries, and I can't recall if I read another myself. I do recall that I tried reading a book by this author previously and may not have found it to my liking. It has to do with trying to find books through kindle unlimited, a decided challenge. This book is a prolonged who's on first comedy. Perhaps I should say tragic comedy since a couple murders figure into the action. Post-War housing crisis coupled with rations, and one can hardly believe it when Bobby and wife Olive find a lovely house in the country, 20 miles from London, to go along with Bobby's new Scotland Yard job. He is highly suspicious from the start, but his wife is ever so convincing. Superintendent Bell from earlier Punshon books appears in this book to work on solving a gang problem with Bobby, something they refer to as smash and grab. During a police test run of a smash and grab that worked out how police could arrive more quickly to apprehend the criminals, Bobby follows a man who spoils the test as he pulls away from the scene on a motorcycle. The chase leads back to his new home and then goes cold. "I've still a sort of feeling that the way we got this house looks less like luck than plan." The Superintendent and Bobby work to investigate all the village residents, trying to discover what is going on when two men turn up dead. There are continual references to the piano playing by their next door neighbor, Miss Bellamy. "I've got an odd sort of feeling that in Miss Bellamy's music is the explanation of everything." I've got an odd sort of feeling that I am making this sound more interesting than it is! It is rather amusing how a small village has so many women and men who wander during the night, afraid and anticipating something ominous. The vicar attributes anything evil to Miss Bellamy's piano playing. "'Well, I don't see,' protested Bell in a perplexed voice, 'why listening to a lady playing the piano should make two boys want to fight each other.' "

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    Great stuff. Punshon was really good at creating atmosphere in his stories and some of his characters can be very enigmatic. He also has very strong female characters: Miss Bellamy, the pianist in this case. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    The previous book in this series involved the impact of a woman's beauty on people around her. This one involves the effect of a woman's piano playing. I don't think it was particularly successful as a murder mystery, but it was still readable enough. The previous book in this series involved the impact of a woman's beauty on people around her. This one involves the effect of a woman's piano playing. I don't think it was particularly successful as a murder mystery, but it was still readable enough.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris Browning

    This is basically top notch second tier golden age crime fiction. The puzzle is elegantly solved and makes complete sense; the red herrings aren’t too obtuse; the detectives manage to work their way through the puzzle through logic, hard work and the very occasional clue. It sags a fair bit in the middle, because really the central idea isn’t designed for a novel length investigation so there’s a lot of chat between characters wandering about the village and a sense of people being moved around This is basically top notch second tier golden age crime fiction. The puzzle is elegantly solved and makes complete sense; the red herrings aren’t too obtuse; the detectives manage to work their way through the puzzle through logic, hard work and the very occasional clue. It sags a fair bit in the middle, because really the central idea isn’t designed for a novel length investigation so there’s a lot of chat between characters wandering about the village and a sense of people being moved around a chessboard until the climax finally heads your way But the good bits are GREAT: the title, and a great deal of our hero’s hunch for the key to the crime, unfolds in a genuinely surprising way but one that never feels like a foul. It lends more to Cards on the Table than I was expecting but as that’s one of the few Christie’s I wholly enjoy I’m fine with that. The best bits are the way in which immediately post war society is evoked: it feels a little bit like the pre-war golden age crime novel in existential crisis: this is a book of spivs, of rations, of (frankly tiresome) carping about conscientious objectors... it feels a lot more real than many other books of its kind. There’s at least one revelation that feels unprecedented regarding experiences of the war It probably helps that the hero, Bobby Owen, by all accounts, has aged in real time and risen up the ranks as a promising young policeman would. His sidekick is another Punshon detective who has done the same thing. The relationship with Owen and his wife - supportive, occasionally tetchy, loving and grounded - feels very grounded and real. I can’t think of many other golden age detectives whose life outside the books would be as plausible as Owen’s is. Great stuff

  5. 4 out of 5

    MaryJo Dawson

    This is the second book in this series - I'm now reading the first one. That tells you something. First published in 1948, this is a very enjoyable police procedural British whodunit. Bobby Owen is a well developed character, and someone the reader can take to; he is a likeable guy. Supporting cast, including his wife, are also appealing. But the author's main focus is on the crimes committed and the possible suspects, who are perplexing group indeed, the most mysterious of them being their new nei This is the second book in this series - I'm now reading the first one. That tells you something. First published in 1948, this is a very enjoyable police procedural British whodunit. Bobby Owen is a well developed character, and someone the reader can take to; he is a likeable guy. Supporting cast, including his wife, are also appealing. But the author's main focus is on the crimes committed and the possible suspects, who are perplexing group indeed, the most mysterious of them being their new neighbor, Miss Belamy. Jewelry store robberies are followed by a murder, then another. Owen's cleverness in reading personalities behind their facades and tieing together facts that may or may not be related is fun to follow; if you can. Often I missed it, and in the end although the answer is now perfectly plausible, it was a few subtle hints caught by our man that revealed the truth.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Bobby and his wife, Olive, are house-hunting and find a wonderful house in the country which seems too good to be true. They move there an find an eccentric cast of town folk. Their neighbor plays haunting music that affects every one in the town, but what does that have to do with the mystery. Superintendent Bell joins Bobby in the hunt. Well-written classic mystery.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Reading this mystery novel reminds me of why they have called this the Golden Age of Detection. The author has created a powerful atmosphere of menace, wonderful string characters, and a good murder plot to unravel. I definitely want to read more of this series!

  8. 5 out of 5

    mzbeastle

    Such a smooth mystery, with characters I can easily appreciate, and thoughtful, innovative complexity leaving another satisfied reader. This author had a gift for detail, atmosphere, and interesting mysteries. I have several more available for future enjoyment, reading while sipping my Oriental Beauty oolong tea, on the screened patio, in my comfy lanai lounger. It's that kind of book. Such a smooth mystery, with characters I can easily appreciate, and thoughtful, innovative complexity leaving another satisfied reader. This author had a gift for detail, atmosphere, and interesting mysteries. I have several more available for future enjoyment, reading while sipping my Oriental Beauty oolong tea, on the screened patio, in my comfy lanai lounger. It's that kind of book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alaina Sloo

    1930s English mystery with a good depiction of place and time and a sense of humor. I only just discovered the Bobby Owen detective series thanks to its re-release on Kindle and I'm enjoying the characters and the mysteries. If you're looking for something to read after Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, this might be more up your alley than some of the other recently revived English mystery writers like John Bude and Freeman Wills Crofts. This is one of the later books in the Bobby Owen series, 1930s English mystery with a good depiction of place and time and a sense of humor. I only just discovered the Bobby Owen detective series thanks to its re-release on Kindle and I'm enjoying the characters and the mysteries. If you're looking for something to read after Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, this might be more up your alley than some of the other recently revived English mystery writers like John Bude and Freeman Wills Crofts. This is one of the later books in the Bobby Owen series, which brings in another of the author's earlier detectives, a morose man who expects everything to go wrong at all times. I think I will have to find those, too. (They're not available in print or on Kindle yet, but perhaps the Internet Archive will have them.)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Rowland

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

  13. 4 out of 5

    m.e.lewis

  14. 4 out of 5

    peter firth

  15. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Leamy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Teetee Carbin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Divad

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lucy C. Burton

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bnanno

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lesly Huxley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allen Winter

  25. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette Flowers

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jan Smith

  28. 5 out of 5

    Roshan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Spivey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trisha Edge

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