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In the little town of Mitford, four babies have disappeared, and Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte must find them. When the fifth baby disappears, its mother is found dead beside the empty crib, but for once, Murder Must Wait.


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In the little town of Mitford, four babies have disappeared, and Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte must find them. When the fifth baby disappears, its mother is found dead beside the empty crib, but for once, Murder Must Wait.

30 review for Murder Must Wait

  1. 4 out of 5

    John

    Just re-read this after many years. I had forgotten how good it was and it is very good. Bony (despite the daft name) is an excellent character and the way he acknowledges the manifestations of his mixed race heritage is really well described. Upfield obviously had great admiration for the aboriginal people. Quite an unusual plot for Bony as it was far more urban than usual. There is a bit of bushcraft in it but not as much as usual. The author played fair with the reader, providing plenty of clu Just re-read this after many years. I had forgotten how good it was and it is very good. Bony (despite the daft name) is an excellent character and the way he acknowledges the manifestations of his mixed race heritage is really well described. Upfield obviously had great admiration for the aboriginal people. Quite an unusual plot for Bony as it was far more urban than usual. There is a bit of bushcraft in it but not as much as usual. The author played fair with the reader, providing plenty of clues which enabled me to more or less work out what was going on. Like most of Upfields' work, I imagine that the description of the way the indigenous population have been treated could make quite uncomfortable reading for modern day Australians.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    A lovely sense of place for the Australian Murray River Country, from a perspective of 60+ years ago, where the political niceties and conventions of language were so different to women and aboriginals, and boy so much smoking! The patient and painstaking processes of Bony as he deals with murder and mayhem, whilst acknowledging his dual ancestry and allowing the reader to feel the power of the landscape and Australian indigenous culture was a delight to revisit. The language may be dated, but t A lovely sense of place for the Australian Murray River Country, from a perspective of 60+ years ago, where the political niceties and conventions of language were so different to women and aboriginals, and boy so much smoking! The patient and painstaking processes of Bony as he deals with murder and mayhem, whilst acknowledging his dual ancestry and allowing the reader to feel the power of the landscape and Australian indigenous culture was a delight to revisit. The language may be dated, but the originality and quality of Upfield's work still shine through.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Something completely different -- a mystery set in New South Wales, Australia. Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte ("Bony") is sent to investigate the disappearance of five 3-4 month old baby boys. Bony is half aborigines and is very vain about his reputation of having solved all of his investigations. He takes associates into his confidence, but not completely, and works closely with a young female policewoman. The aboriginal community living just outside of town are of interest to him. Unfortunately Something completely different -- a mystery set in New South Wales, Australia. Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte ("Bony") is sent to investigate the disappearance of five 3-4 month old baby boys. Bony is half aborigines and is very vain about his reputation of having solved all of his investigations. He takes associates into his confidence, but not completely, and works closely with a young female policewoman. The aboriginal community living just outside of town are of interest to him. Unfortunately (since the book was written in 1953) these people were terribly discriminated against and that shows up in the writing. This is the 17th book in the series and I would like to find some earlier one to get more background on Bony. Might be read alike for Hillerman's Navaho mysteries or Coel's Wind River mysteries as native communities come up against the white world.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Glen U

    "Murder Must Wait" is the 17th book in the Australian series featuring the half caste Aboringine detective, Napoleon Bonaparte. In Upfield's previous books, the wonder and beauty of Australia comes through as his protagonist travels to the many diverse and unique locales of Australia. In the last book and in this book, Upfield stays nearer the established townships and the reader misses out on the vicarious thrills of exploring the one of a kind Australian landscapes. His writing is still exempl "Murder Must Wait" is the 17th book in the Australian series featuring the half caste Aboringine detective, Napoleon Bonaparte. In Upfield's previous books, the wonder and beauty of Australia comes through as his protagonist travels to the many diverse and unique locales of Australia. In the last book and in this book, Upfield stays nearer the established townships and the reader misses out on the vicarious thrills of exploring the one of a kind Australian landscapes. His writing is still exemplary and he continues to detail the relationships of the whites and the Aborigines and Bonaparte's own inner struggle to act as a civilized Western citizen or revert back to his Mother's roots and once again become the free native of the indigenous peoples. The mysteries themselves are always imaginative and complex, and usually bring into play some of the Aborigine's culture and folklore. All in all, an excellent read by one of my favorite mystery writers but I do hope in the subsequent novels, Boney harkens back to the less known regions of Australia and Upfield continues to explore the nature of the Australian's original race. As a warning, these books were written prior to the 1950's and, in light of modern times, can be deemed to be both racist and sexist. Enjoy them for the mystery literature that they are and do not judge them against 21st century attitudes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David

    “Murder Must Wait” by Arthur W. Upfield is an unfortunate mystery novel. Written in the early fifties, the plot relies way too much on sexist ideas and a non-liberal application of a casual racist attitude towards the aboriginal people. On top of that, the plot relies on an obsolete understanding of psychology. The sleuth Bony is described as a “virile male”. Enough said. Perhaps a mystery novel of its time. It hasn’t aged well at all. Of the Upfield novels, I can’t recommend this one at all. It “Murder Must Wait” by Arthur W. Upfield is an unfortunate mystery novel. Written in the early fifties, the plot relies way too much on sexist ideas and a non-liberal application of a casual racist attitude towards the aboriginal people. On top of that, the plot relies on an obsolete understanding of psychology. The sleuth Bony is described as a “virile male”. Enough said. Perhaps a mystery novel of its time. It hasn’t aged well at all. Of the Upfield novels, I can’t recommend this one at all. It’s an embarrassment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sue Law

    Top Bony mystery. Bony is sent to investigate the disappearance of 4 babies in a remote country town. On the day he arrives not only is it discovered that a fifth baby has disappeared, but the mother of the latest baby has been murdered! This time, though, if there's any chance the babies are still alive, the murder investigation must wait! Top Bony mystery. Bony is sent to investigate the disappearance of 4 babies in a remote country town. On the day he arrives not only is it discovered that a fifth baby has disappeared, but the mother of the latest baby has been murdered! This time, though, if there's any chance the babies are still alive, the murder investigation must wait!

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Sheahan

    Upfield shows some of the breadth of his knowledge of First Nation culture in this novel. His sympathies continue to lie with the people of the ancient culture even as the clash plays out seemingly differently within Bony himself.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John

    Four babies have disappeared in a small NSW town. A fifth has disappeared and his mother is found dead. All the babies are boys. A case for Bony, of course. An entertaining mystery which kind of wanders off towards the end. Still a good read and recommended to all mystery fans.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alayne

    It's been a long time since I read a Bony novel, but it stands up very well. A different sort of mystery, but very entertaining and enjoyable. It's been a long time since I read a Bony novel, but it stands up very well. A different sort of mystery, but very entertaining and enjoyable.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Candy

    Very interesting. Not my favorite but a good read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peter Reeves

    Upfield is usually excellent and this one is too

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Cain

    I greatly enjoyed this Outback mystery and even more when a policewoman joined Boney and added her personality and flare to it too.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dillwynia Peter

    Another easy reading Boney mystery. Upfield is a complex person when he discusses Aboriginal culture: on one hand he supports the Mission system that was in place in the 1950s (when this was written), and yet, he talks about the golden days before white arrival. Even Boney is not 100% sure of the murderer's identity till the last few pages, so altho you guess, you hit the same conundrum Boney did. The other main story - hence the title - is interesting with current & recent discussions on placing Another easy reading Boney mystery. Upfield is a complex person when he discusses Aboriginal culture: on one hand he supports the Mission system that was in place in the 1950s (when this was written), and yet, he talks about the golden days before white arrival. Even Boney is not 100% sure of the murderer's identity till the last few pages, so altho you guess, you hit the same conundrum Boney did. The other main story - hence the title - is interesting with current & recent discussions on placing babies to better families from their birth families. It is really hard to determine Upfield's stance, because he is so vague about it. Tiny spoiler: I had to think why Boney was encouraging of Alice taking the baby on the final page, till I reminded it now was an orphan - for all intents and purposes. Women's intuition comes into play in various detection aspects - something that would be considered antiquated nowadays. Thank God! men are more involved with babies & their children. Some parts of Riverina NSW are still the same as when Upfield wrote, other parts have been lost to progress. I could visualise Upfield's Riverina from my travels in the region. I really enjoyed the historical nature of this book, as I have with all of the others that he wrote. I'm not so sure I want our current politicians, who hanker for this Golden Age, to read Upfield - it might reinforce their white male superiority concepts. For the agnostics, I think they would be horrified and stop pushing backward policies.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    Murder Must Wait is the 17th book in the popular Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series by Australian author, Arthur Upfield. Although he usually prefers to deal with murder cases, Bony goes to the Riverina town of Mitford to investigate the disappearance of four babies after Sydney’s CID have been unable to make any headway. Just as he arrives, another baby is taken and the mother murdered. But Bony’s priority is the babies, and the murder must wait. And while he may be conceited, even Bony knows Murder Must Wait is the 17th book in the popular Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series by Australian author, Arthur Upfield. Although he usually prefers to deal with murder cases, Bony goes to the Riverina town of Mitford to investigate the disappearance of four babies after Sydney’s CID have been unable to make any headway. Just as he arrives, another baby is taken and the mother murdered. But Bony’s priority is the babies, and the murder must wait. And while he may be conceited, even Bony knows when he needs a woman’s input: he soon has the able Policewoman Alice McGorr from Melbourne assisting him. Are the murder and the disappearances linked? Is the theft of a native rock painting related to the case? Why are he and Alice being followed by aborigines? This mystery is set in 1952, long before the days of CSI, kinesics and DNA testing, yet Bony manages to cleverly deduce an awful lot from careful observation. A mended glove, shoe prints, a button, metal shavings, celluloid strips and hair-oil stains are all integral to the case. Upfield uses this novel to comment on the obnoxiousness of Australian sherry, anthropologists, the treatment of aborigines and the single-mindedness of novelists. And a mystery it may be, but Upfield’s descriptions are evocative and the atmosphere of outback NSW is marvellously portrayed: “….shortly after seven, when the sun-god was losing his grip on the world and showing his anger by splashing the sky with blood.” Another excellent read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Four babies are missing in the town of Mitford, New South Wales. The babies were all male, all healthy, under 3 months old, and apparently all neglected or unwanted. The local police have given up. Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte is called in after a fifth baby goes missing, and this time, the mother is killed. Of all the cases he's worked, this one has him entering a foreign world of infants. He calls in an assistant on this one, Police Constable Alice McGorr for a little female insight. I really e Four babies are missing in the town of Mitford, New South Wales. The babies were all male, all healthy, under 3 months old, and apparently all neglected or unwanted. The local police have given up. Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte is called in after a fifth baby goes missing, and this time, the mother is killed. Of all the cases he's worked, this one has him entering a foreign world of infants. He calls in an assistant on this one, Police Constable Alice McGorr for a little female insight. I really enjoyed this book. It was a treat to see Bony working with a partner. But the domestic side is never allowed to overshadow the mystery. It's not at all warm and fuzzy, just a pleasant change and setting for this book. Highly recommended and worth searching for. CMB

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This is definitely not my favorite Upfield. Most of his novels reek of one or another Australian locality -- or at least successfully appear to do so, I never having been to Australia. Here the scene is a town in New South Wales. To this outsider a sense of place is not recognizable. Further, Upfield is especially good with social relationships between and within classes. So here. Nevertheless, the plot is wrought and the people less well drawn than often the case. Similarly, Upfield's descriptio This is definitely not my favorite Upfield. Most of his novels reek of one or another Australian locality -- or at least successfully appear to do so, I never having been to Australia. Here the scene is a town in New South Wales. To this outsider a sense of place is not recognizable. Further, Upfield is especially good with social relationships between and within classes. So here. Nevertheless, the plot is wrought and the people less well drawn than often the case. Similarly, Upfield's descriptions of nature, which at their best rival Conrad's, are not quite up to his usual standard.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    Heard about this on the Heard about this on the

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Harvey

    One of the differences with this Arthur Upfield novel and others is that the place of Mitford is fictional. The nature of the town is similar to either Mildura or Leeton or Swan Hill. The description of a creek leading from the river to the settlement could be either Swan Hill or Mildura. There are passages that rule Mildura out. The description about the roads point to Balranald.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    I love the Upfield "Bony" books, having read them all initially in the early 1990s. This one does not have so much of his famous tracking skills, but still it touches on some of the Australian aborigine folklore that makes these books special. Peter Hoskings is a great reader for these books, and I hope that eventually all of them will be available for listening. I love the Upfield "Bony" books, having read them all initially in the early 1990s. This one does not have so much of his famous tracking skills, but still it touches on some of the Australian aborigine folklore that makes these books special. Peter Hoskings is a great reader for these books, and I hope that eventually all of them will be available for listening.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie scott

    This novel was not quite as good as I thought it might be especially after reading "Venom House" it just seemed to be missing something maybe if It had more drama and captivating characters. Unfortunately It just seemed to flow along without much happening to catch the reader's interest.❤❤❤ This novel was not quite as good as I thought it might be especially after reading "Venom House" it just seemed to be missing something maybe if It had more drama and captivating characters. Unfortunately It just seemed to flow along without much happening to catch the reader's interest.❤❤❤

  21. 4 out of 5

    Manju

    first book featuring Bonaparte.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Zellmer

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shoshana

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dominique

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sandra J Weaver

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kme_17

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Miller

  29. 5 out of 5

    Celia Summers

  30. 5 out of 5

    Koen

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