Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Common or Garden Crime (Rue Morgue Vintage Mysteries) Paperback – February, 2001
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
Sheila Pim's crisp first book, Common or Garden Crime, originally published in 1945 and reprinted now in The Rue Morgue's vintage series, tells of murder by herbs in a Dublin protosuburb. When a neighbor is murdered with monkshood from Lucy Bex's garden, the upright, indomitable Bex undertakes to save the wrongfully accused.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Set in a small Irish village during World War II, this 1945 novel features protagonist Lucy Bex, who discovers that although her town is far from the fighting, it might be just as dangerous when a neighbor ends up poisoned by plants growing in Lucy's own garden. This is the first in a series of Pim's mysteries that Rue Morgue will reprint.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The weapon, appropriately enough in this gardening community, is the poisonous root of a flower. Miss Lucy Bex, who keeps house for her brother, finds herself pondering the crime because she can't help noticing things about her neighbors -- and because people tend to tell her things. Lucy is kind-hearted, and a good listener.
There's a village romance to enliven the plot. But between the tea parties, the tennis parties, the odd behavior of newcomers, Flower Show politics, and backstairs gossip, there's plenty of other interesting goings-on too.
This is a dignified little mystery. It's not a tour de force of witty repartee or a romp with madcap characters. The humor is understated, the personalities more important than the mystery. Lucy is immensely likable for being so sensible, thoughtful, and mildly romantic in the manner of maiden aunts. l really felt for her when events surrounding the murder case got so chaotic that her peas went unpicked, her tomatoes were overdue for bottling, and the police trampled the strawberry runners.
I'm not a gardener, but I enjoyed the distinctions among the village gardens -- one ruled by academic standards, another focused on antique rose varieties, another featuring fruits and veggies for the pot, and Lucy's garden, rather untidy due to adventurous experiments.
The introduction to this edition paints an interesting portrait of country life in Ireland in wartime and includes a brief biography of Sheila Pim, who never married and wrote a gardening column for the Irish Times. Later in life she became an advocate for Irish gypsies -- a fascinating woman whose civilized mysteries are well worth cultivating.
A lovely list of suspects from Lady Madeleine's nephew Lord Barna, Otway her husband to Miss FitzEustace the new artist in town who was with her when she took ill. Lucy Bex is the main character and I loved her and her little family, brother Linnaeus and his son Ivor. Lucy is a no nonsense, competent woman whom everyone loves and looks up too. She is determined that Scotland Yard Inspector Lancey be left to do his job and has every confidence he will get it done.
The war in Europe seems distant in neutral Ireland where solders were forbidden to wear British uniforms. The villagers seem more interested in maintaining their traditions like the annual flower show, and on exchanging tips on ways to get the most out of their gardens. Politics and religious differences are kept at a minimum. To get along, "everybody begins by voicing what he assumes are the other parties' opinions, without giving away his own." Yet the "Emergency" has resulted in rationing for clothes, food, and available transportation. Lucy's nephew Ivor, from her Protestant family which declares itself to be "very Anglo," has volunteered to serve in the British army. There also is the reality that men not in military service were leaving Ireland for the high wages of war work in England.
This is a vintage book by Sheila Pim, who is considered to be one of the first novelists in Ireland to attain any degree of fame as a mystery writer. It is her first detective novel, appearing in print in 1945.
REVIEW: an easy-to-read whodunit that moves along at a leisurely pace, and has some nice insights in to what living in Ireland in the war years was like. It's solution is not a "what the..?" one, but it's still a satisfying time getting to the end.
In comparison to other mysteries of the same period, this veers more towards Agatha Christie than Dorothy Sayers, but is by no means as formulaic as Christie's works.