Belated Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! Just before Christmas I finished Speedy Death by Gladys Mitchell. This is the first Mrs. Bradley mystery and after I started it, I realized I’d seen this episode with Diana Rigg. The show is more like an older Phryne Fisher than Mrs. Bradley as written. She’s supposed to be fairly hideous, which Ms. Rigg is far from, and has an extremely macabre sense of humor. She wears clothes which stun with their showy ugliness, but is, of course, very clever at figuring out mysteries. The charming chauffeur of the show is not in the first book at all.
I realized pretty quickly though that they changed the story considerably for the show. About a third of the way in it seems pretty clear whodunnit, so I was wondering what Mitchell was going to do for the rest. Naturally, the answer is more crime and throwing doubt on what had seemed the solution. The story is far more complex in the book than I remember the show. It’s not a great story, but then I think it was her first book, so there’s time for her to improve. In fact, I have a major question which might seem spoilery, so stop reading if you’re worried, but in the last murder, why the hell didn’t the murderer make it look like suicide? It would have been so easy and far more sensible. Despite this stupidity, I will most likely read more of them.
This works as a country house mystery for Bev’s Golden Vintage Mystery Bingo.