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Summary

Sir Rudri Hopkinson, an eccentric amateur archaeologist, is determined to recreate ancient rituals at the temple of Eleusis in Greece in the hope of summoning the goddess Demeter. He gathers together a motley collection of people to assist in the experiment, including a rival scholar, a handsome but cruel photographer and a trio of mischievous children. But when one of the groups disappears, and a severed head turns up in a box of snakes, Mrs Bradley is called upon to investigate.

©1937 Estate of Gladys Mitchell (P)2012 Soundings

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Something a bit different

I love the Gladys Mitchell books. They satisfy my love of a detective story but are different from the usual types. They don't always start with a death followed by the detective solving the crime. Things happen as the story goes along. I would recommend these to anyone who likes a good yarn.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not her best work

Set out in Greece, both the characters and the endless allusions to Classical Greek culture and sites became tiresome. If you've an atlas and a glossary, you may find this easier going. This is a pity because the author can produce wonderful plots.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Yvette
  • 02-11-12

Great book, but you have to pay attention!

If you liked other Mrs Bradley mysteries, you should like this one. But if you don't pay careful attention to everything going on, you might think that it is a travel log with a little mystery at the end. Gladys Mitchell includes the necessary information to solve the mystery, but she has hidden it in a wealth of detail. I enjoyed it very much, especially Patience Tomlinson's reading of it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Marina
  • 07-11-13

No more Mitchells for me

Gladys Mitchell's books are always tempting—the synopsis sounds promising, Patience Tomlinson is a lovely narrator—but always a baffling disappointment. Mitchell's heroine, Mrs Bradley, is an unsatisfying detective whose methods are opaque and whose psychology is suspect, as well as extremely outdated. I've fallen for three of these books now and come out of every one irritated. The convoluted mystery plot unravels at a lame snail's pace, the cast is overlarge and undifferentiated, the main characters are dolts, and the entire proceedings are remarkably humorless. Never again, Mitchell, never again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • pickwickpixie
  • 27-03-18

What just happened...?

Ordinarily, I am an admirer of old-fashioned mysteries. It must be then, that Ms. Mitchell’s stories aren’t my cup of tea. The narration is quite lovely, but perhaps for this sort of story/plotting, it could have been a tad more leisurely? The plot seems to flit, whoop and swirl, and do a jig. Didn’t quite manage to keep apace. Wanted to like it as I remember enjoying a television portrayal of one of the author’s stories with the same protagonist. But to no avail. Perhaps, I’ll stay clear of the books and stick to other artistic interpretations of her work.

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  • Ms Peach
  • 09-06-16

Good listen

The actual murder doesn't happen until hour 6. The narration is very nice. Good book for a rainy day