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When Sheila Malory's godson finds Ms. Richmond, a librarian in Oxford’s New Bodleian library, crushed under collapsed bookshelves, Mrs. Malory probes the victim’s past in search of answers. Could Gwen, who had many enemies, have been murdered for blackmail? Holt's civilized and tantalizing mystery explores both modern Oxford and rural wartime England. Book 2 in Holt’s Mrs. Malory series.

Published: Coffeetown Press on Jun 21, 1991
ISBN: 9781603810548
List price: $5.95
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While visiting in Oxford to do some research, Sheila Malory is drawn to investigate the death of a very unpleasant library whose death has been ruled an accident. Despite a charming Oxford setting, I found this book disappointing. The heroine comes off as a rather officious busybody.read more
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Once again I enjoyed a mystery with roots in World War II. This time it was Sheila Malory, literary critic and indefatigable volunteer in the village of Taviscombe, who is visiting Oxford and solves the mystery. Hazel Holt was a friend and literary executor of Barbara Pym and one can see why.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Kind of a thin plot, but the character development in this second installment of the Mrs. Malory series is well done. Mrs. Malory begins to emerge as a more complex, fallible, and interesting character. And the descriptions of Oxford and the Bodleian Library, as well as the connections to Dorothy Sayers and _Gaudy Night_, are all delightful for and Anglophile book geek like myself.read more
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Reviews

While visiting in Oxford to do some research, Sheila Malory is drawn to investigate the death of a very unpleasant library whose death has been ruled an accident. Despite a charming Oxford setting, I found this book disappointing. The heroine comes off as a rather officious busybody.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Once again I enjoyed a mystery with roots in World War II. This time it was Sheila Malory, literary critic and indefatigable volunteer in the village of Taviscombe, who is visiting Oxford and solves the mystery. Hazel Holt was a friend and literary executor of Barbara Pym and one can see why.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Kind of a thin plot, but the character development in this second installment of the Mrs. Malory series is well done. Mrs. Malory begins to emerge as a more complex, fallible, and interesting character. And the descriptions of Oxford and the Bodleian Library, as well as the connections to Dorothy Sayers and _Gaudy Night_, are all delightful for and Anglophile book geek like myself.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In The Cruellest Month, Sheila Malory visits Oxford where her son is studying. She arrives to find him upset by the death of a staff member in the Bodleian Library so, rather reluctantly, she begins to investigate the circumstances and finds that memories from her own past are raked up. Meanwhile, she is staying with friends in one of those chaotic academic households that would drive anyone with an ounce of organisation absolutely demented - it's a wonderful portrait that really enriches this book and makes a wonderful contrast to, say, Gaudy Night (Dorothy Sayers) which I've also just read. On the face of it a "cosy" mystery, The Cruellest Month is very much in the Sayers tradition, and is my favourite of the Mrs Malory books.
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