- Series: The Cottage Tales of Beatrix P (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; First THUS edition (October 4, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425201015
- ISBN-13: 978-0425201015
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 78 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tale of Hill Top Farm (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix P) Mass Market Paperback – October 4, 2005
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"Promises to be a series with legs-and tails." —Publishers Weekly
"Endearing...resonates with charm...sleuth Beatrix positively shines." —School Library Journal
About the Author
Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she is the author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Some of her recent titles include Widow’s Tears, Cat’s Claw, The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, and The Tale of Castle Cottage. She and her husband, Bill, coauthor a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries under the name Robin Paige, which includes such titles as Death at Glamis Castle and Death at Whitechapel.
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When I learned that there was a series of mystery books featuring BP as a character, I was thrilled. First, I gave a few of the books to a relative who had visited Hill Top. Then I received the first book, the Tale of Hill Top Farm, as a gift from my husband. Since then, I've been addictively reading my way through the whole series.
Susan Wittig Albert has achieved a really remarkable feat. Her Beatrix Potter character is exactly as I would have imagined her, along with the Lake District scenery and inhabitants. She manages to convey the world, thoughts, and conversations of the animals, who have their own society existing in parallel to that of the Big Folk, in a most Beatrix Potter-like way.
For Beatrix Potter fans who thought adulthood meant leaving their favorite author behind, these books will be a delight. Thank goodness there are a lot of them, because I don't want them to end!!
This is a very charming, warm, sensitive story of Beatrix Potter arriving in Sawrey village in the Lake District and her efforts to finalize the purchase of Hill Top Farm. There are many decisions which need to be made about the farm, especially since there is a farmer and his family in residence there and provisions must be thought out for how to handle the problem of everyone fitting into a too-small accommodation. There is not just one mystery in this story, there are many and Miss Potter is not the only person responsible for solving them. Instead of thinking about this novel as a murder mystery, think about it more as a very small community of people who are so closely connected in their lives by proximity to each other that they cannot help but all get involved in each other's business.
I found this book very relaxing and soothing once I stopped expecting to be reading a conventional murder mystery. There are animals in the story which talk - but only to other animals, they cannot be heard by the humans. In actuality, the animals play a large part in helping relate information to the reader about any situation in progress because the animals tell each other what they have just seen or heard. In order to appreciate this style of storytelling a reader has to completely trust the author to make them feel comfortable and accepting of all the elements of the storytelling. Perhaps a reader of this series should be someone who so enjoys the stories of Beatrix Potter that they have no problems allowing mice, rabbits, hedgehogs, and cats and dogs to be vital characters in the book. I enjoyed it immensely because it was so different and it takes the English cozy style of novel to a level I had never experienced. It's almost a shame to classify it as a mystery, because of the expectation that category engenders with readers. Instead, read it for the lovely descriptions of the location, the perceptive insights into life in a tiny community, and the facts regarding the life of Beatrix Potter.
I've never been a fan of mysteries that employ the persona of a famous person until I stumbled into this series by accident.
A great afternoon to cuddle by the fire, remember old friends, and meet new ones.
Nash Black, author of SINS OF THE FATHERS.