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A Lively Form of Death

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A Lively Form of Death by Kay Mitchell released on Aug 25, 1992 is available now for purchase.


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A Lively Form of Death by Kay Mitchell released on Aug 25, 1992 is available now for purchase.

30 review for A Lively Form of Death

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    This mystery is in the grand tradition of Dalglish, Wycliffe, Midsomer Murders; a great British police procedural mystery. Very enjoyable read, nice plot that weaves in a nice way through the book. I liked Chief Inspector Morrissey and the mystery was interesting and different.

  2. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    Helen Goddard knows her husband is sleeping with Marion Walsh. She hasn't done anything about it because she's not sure what she wants to do. But there's gossip - mainly between the charwoman for Marion and the milkman's wife. And everyone in town knows about it. Marion's char, Betty Hartley, isn't above making a snide remark or two to Marion, and also not above stealing a pint or two of milk, figuring she won't notice. But Little Henge is about to change: Betty steals a pint of milk from Marion Helen Goddard knows her husband is sleeping with Marion Walsh. She hasn't done anything about it because she's not sure what she wants to do. But there's gossip - mainly between the charwoman for Marion and the milkman's wife. And everyone in town knows about it. Marion's char, Betty Hartley, isn't above making a snide remark or two to Marion, and also not above stealing a pint or two of milk, figuring she won't notice. But Little Henge is about to change: Betty steals a pint of milk from Marion - milk that's tainted with cyanide, and was more than likely meant for Marion. Now the police are called, and Chief Inspector John Morrissey travels to Little Henge to question, search, and discover what he can. What he discovers is that Betty's cohort, Ida - the milkman's wife - has a lot to say about the murder and who might be suspect - namely, Helen Goddard, whose husband was having an affair with Marion. But Morrissey doesn't expect to find that he's attracted to Helen; mostly because she reminds him of his wife, and he doesn't want to believe she's capable of murder. After all, Marion is an unlikable woman, and he decides right away there's more to the murder than she's saying. But it's not until Marion is also murdered - brutally - that he begins his investigation in earnest, and what he finds isn't at all what he expected... This is the first in a short series of books by Kay Mitchell. I can only say after reading it I wish she would have gone on with the series. It is that good. Really. The mystery starts almost immediately with the death of Betty, and we learn that Marion doesn't want anyone involved in her life - so much so, she destroys evidence. But it is what comes after that which is so fascinating to read. Morrissey is very thorough, and keeps his emotions in check while he investigates. He uses his logic at every step of the way, and even when it leads him down one road, if he's not positive it's the right one, he begins again until it leads him down another. In this he differs from his sergeant, Barrett, who is not only ruled by emotion, he's convinced the murderer is Helen's husband Robert. He rankles at being dismissed by Morrissey, because he thinks he's smarter than him. But Morrissey is no fool. He knows what Barrett is about - and he also knows Barrett has more on his mind than a murder case. But then Morrissey's wife Margaret tells him of something that's bothering her - it seems on one of her committees they were discussing the disappearance of several boys from their son's school - more than would be expected, and asks him to look into it, which he promises to do when the case is settled. However, when everything seems to be wrapped up nice and tight, Morrissey has questions...and those questions lead him down another path again...one he discovers quite by accident and ties both cases together. The book is written very well, with characters who are believable and animated; you are drawn into the story almost immediately and waiting for the next piece of information to fall in your lap. Morrissey is quite interesting and I enjoyed watching him put the pieces together as he gleaned information from various sources. Small things discovered had him chasing clues that lead to something else to add to the puzzle. Red herrings abound, and it is up to the reader to decipher them along with the Inspector. It is by chance that I discovered this book and I liked it so well that I have been searching out the rest in the series. This book is a British police procedural of the finest and should be read by anyone who enjoys the same. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Simon Fenwick

    Although the tale told in this book is very good, I can't give it more than three stars due to the production. Considering how well established the publishers, Hodder & Stoughton are, the production of this Kindle version is appalling. It is so bad that in places some sentences are almost impossible to read. Proof reading all over the place is poor with for example the letter 'm' being printed as 'in' or 'rn'. In a large number of places, apostrophes and speech marks aren't printed as ' but with Although the tale told in this book is very good, I can't give it more than three stars due to the production. Considering how well established the publishers, Hodder & Stoughton are, the production of this Kindle version is appalling. It is so bad that in places some sentences are almost impossible to read. Proof reading all over the place is poor with for example the letter 'm' being printed as 'in' or 'rn'. In a large number of places, apostrophes and speech marks aren't printed as ' but with some weird set of code letters and with these surrounding the words, the sentences just don't make sense. Unless other readers have better produced copies, I'm afraid I wouldn't bother as at times you'll struggle to understand what's going on. Another thing that causes that is that normally when during a chapter if the scene changes there will be a several line gap or something like oOo between the paragraphs but that simply doesn't happen in this book. The paragraphs just jump from one place to another with no warning whatsoever. It may be that the printed versions of the book are better but I certainly wouldn't recommend the Kindle version. Three stars given purely because of the story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This has a great plot, but seems very dated for the times. I am not especially fond of British mysteries, so I am not sure why this ended up on my hold list at the library. Someone must have raved about it. There are divulging police investigations which all end up solved successfully. I missed an important clue - my bad. There is a murder which has suspicions of wrongful victim. When the alternate victim is also killed, it is firmly established that someone in this small town is hiding something. This has a great plot, but seems very dated for the times. I am not especially fond of British mysteries, so I am not sure why this ended up on my hold list at the library. Someone must have raved about it. There are divulging police investigations which all end up solved successfully. I missed an important clue - my bad. There is a murder which has suspicions of wrongful victim. When the alternate victim is also killed, it is firmly established that someone in this small town is hiding something. There are also some missing people from the area which has not been given as much attention as the murders. CI Morrissey is like a dog with a bone and does not give up the search until all is well again. I liked the characters but there were some obvious cliche's. I borrowed a copy from the public library.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Brue

    A LIVELY FORM OF DEATH, Kay Mitchell (Sarah Lacey), 1990 First in the Chief Inspector Morrissey series. Morrissey is called into a small village when the local gossip is murdered, apparently from poisoned milk. However, it seems she had stolen the milk from her employer, an attractive single woman who seems to have a great many boyfriends. A very good police procedural with well-developed characters. I enjoyed the interaction between Morrissey and his sergeant, Neil Barrett, and appreciated that A LIVELY FORM OF DEATH, Kay Mitchell (Sarah Lacey), 1990 First in the Chief Inspector Morrissey series. Morrissey is called into a small village when the local gossip is murdered, apparently from poisoned milk. However, it seems she had stolen the milk from her employer, an attractive single woman who seems to have a great many boyfriends. A very good police procedural with well-developed characters. I enjoyed the interaction between Morrissey and his sergeant, Neil Barrett, and appreciated that his attraction to the woman thought to be the actual target bothered him, and had him questioning his own thought processes. There are five books in the series, and I hope to find the others to read. Recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dbeazle

    I loved this book and can't wait to read more by this writer. I loved this book and can't wait to read more by this writer.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    1990, #1 Chief Inspector Morrissey, village of Little Henge; cosy police procedural. Dastardly doings in a pretty but not-so-nice rural English village, just my cuppa! When the local busybody/gossip/cleaning lady gets herself killed, a nice policeman tries to figure out who hated her enough to use a particularly nasty poison - she seemed to be fairly well-liked in the village, with most folks taking her "information" with a grain of salt. But when the local Wild and Promiscuous Widow does ditto, 1990, #1 Chief Inspector Morrissey, village of Little Henge; cosy police procedural. Dastardly doings in a pretty but not-so-nice rural English village, just my cuppa! When the local busybody/gossip/cleaning lady gets herself killed, a nice policeman tries to figure out who hated her enough to use a particularly nasty poison - she seemed to be fairly well-liked in the village, with most folks taking her "information" with a grain of salt. But when the local Wild and Promiscuous Widow does ditto, the plot gets rather more complicated - and fun. First of five books about Inspector Morrissey published in the 1990s, Ms. Mitchell's writing style is similar to early Caroline Graham, or to Dorothy Simpson - genteel but clear, sharply edged plots and interesting people, and a very likeable Inspector eventually on top of it all. And that village. Very "Midsommer-ish", in the most positive way - I adore Midsommer Murders the tv show, as their general viewpoint or intent is pretty much the same as this book - nasty goings on behind those oh-so-respectable pretty doors in an idyllic setting in the English countryside, mixed with some nice bits of humor about the whole situation. Not real life, but quite entertaining.

  8. 4 out of 5

    J.L. Greger

    This is a typical English village detective mystery, i.e. with less action than most American mysteries. The characters in Little Henge (the village) are well developed. No one is perfect, so all are capable of murder if provoked. The author supplies clues at the start on the murderer but they are deftly hidden.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tami Cowden

    I enjoyed this mystery, which I discovered in paperback (along with the next in the series) at a used book store. I have purchased and read the 3 remaining books in the series on Kindle, and would like to know whether the author has other books out there - perhaps under a different name?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karen Lowe

    Unfortunately I found this a far from 'lively' read - a rather dull, unengaging Midsomer Murders type of book, riddled with formatting errors. Unfortunately I found this a far from 'lively' read - a rather dull, unengaging Midsomer Murders type of book, riddled with formatting errors.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gaynor

    The first in a series about Chief Inspector Morrissey. It was good enough that I will try and read more of these.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diana Rossell

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kacper Nedza

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melet

  16. 4 out of 5

    ShazM

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda Rastedt

  18. 4 out of 5

    Catherinen

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maria Schneider

  20. 5 out of 5

    T

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  22. 5 out of 5

    Camille Dee

  23. 5 out of 5

    William S Haaf

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anunka

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Rose

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ann Marie Stephenson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Lyon

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather Smiley

  29. 4 out of 5

    KM Nielsen Cons.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gail

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