Second in Heron Carvic’s Miss Seeton mystery series set in a small village in England in the mid-1960s and revolving around Miss Seeton, a sweet old lady who happens to draw psychically.
This series is a buy for me…well, at least the stories written by Heron Carvic. In this particular story, Miss Seeton has been coming down to spend her holidays at her cottage for about a year now and the villagers should have had a chance to get to know her…well, to be fair, they have and it seems to be the Nuts who just can’t handle the truth. Well, it is so much more fun to make up your own!
I’d reckon about a third of the book is taken up with all the gossip that goes swirling around the village: Miss Seeton’s been arrested, she’s the burglar, she’s in cahoots with __fill in the blank__, she’s running from the law, she’s tossing people into traffic, etc. The gossip is actually just a few idjits spreading it far and wide; Miss Seeton has a number of friends in the village who do their best to stem the tide.
Oooh…it makes me furious!!!! Poor Miss Seeton was “informed” at art school that the “great cartoonist…Phil May…always worked in meticulous detail” and Miss Seeton’s “ebullience of pencil and her lightning sketches” were simply wrong. This sounds like so many art teachers—heck, teachers in general—who can’t see past what the rules [of the day] dictate and don’t encourage kids to let loose with their imaginations. Decades later, her intended art—versus her psychic art—is stodgy and uninspiring. Simply because of those idiot teachers who couldn’t see past the ends of their noses! ARgHHhh!!
I wasn’t sure I would like Mel Forby, but after she met with Miss Seeton…she’s all right. Brash, rough around the edges…and honest. Then there’s the battle between the villagers and the Choppers…too funny and too sweet for words as the villagers take up arms—a hoe, a weighted handbag, a hose…
In spite of the nuts, I do love the village life and how they all come together to help. Mel did some lovely articles…most unexpected.
This is a book you want to read when you need warm, funny, and sweet.
Effie Gofer is a nasty child whom Miss Seeton feels obligated to draw as a thank you for the help her mother gave, but the results are horrifying. And Miss Seeton is sure that she’s had a stroke. Why, every time she’s attempted to draw Effie, she simply cannot draw the right side—well, the little girl’s left, actually—of the little girl’s face properly!
In the meantime, Delphick and the Yard are struggling against a series of child murders. No clues. Nothing they can use to find this monster! Until he remembers Miss Seeton…
One would normally expect a story to then go either up- or downhill from there, but, no. This is Miss Seeton and instead it goes up and down, up and down with the most amazing coincidences and adventures.
Miss Emily Seeton is a drawing instructor for a private school in London and recently inherited a cottage, Sweetbriars, in Plummergen, Kent. In Picture Miss Seeton, Superintendent Delphick, a.k.a., the Oracle, and his Detective Sergeant Bob Ranger of Scotland Yard discover that she’s also psychic and her drawings provide useful clues when the police are stumped. She’s a sweet old thing with a strong sense of what’s right.
The Villagers include:
Major General Sir George and Lady Colvedon at Rytham Hall; Nigel is their son studying agriculture. Sir George is the local justice of the peace. The most normal of the village! Along with Dr. Knight who runs the local surgery and a small nursing home with his daughter Anne‘s help. She has a thing going with Ranger. Miss Seeton inherited Martha Bloomer along with the cottage (she also cleans for Lady Colvedon) and her husband Stan takes care of the garden and the chickens—MissEss gets veg and eggs while Mr. Bloomer sells the extra for his share in lieu of getting paid. Miss [Erica] Nuttel and Norah “Bunny” Blaine share a house in the center of the village—an ideal post for keeping an eye on what’s happening so they can stretch it out of all recognition. Most of the village refers to them together as the “Nuts” and their house as “the Nuthouse”. Arthur Treeves is the vicar with a distaste for socializing but a strong sense of what’s right. His sister Molly Treeves is much more levelheaded and intelligent; both are caring people. I’d just much prefer Molly. PC Potter is the village constable who doesn’t show much this time. Mr. Stillman and Mrs. Elsie Stillman runs the post office/grocery. Miss Wicks has a lovely nature in spite of the hypnotic quality of her dentures and her resulting speech.
Effie Goffer is a nasty little girl who revels in her police escort until she realizes how much it holds her back. Mr. and Mrs. Len Hosigg are new to the village and have taken the newly-deceased Mr. Dunnihoe’s cottage and there is quite a bit of speculation about them. Doris and Dick Quint and her deaf-mute brother are also new and staying at the Saturday Stop. She’s a very curious and eager cleaning lady. Mrs. Farmint is one of the burgled.
Mel Forby is a newspaper reporter whose editor has a brainstorm and sends Miss Forby down to Plummergen to cover the “Battling Brolly”. The Ashford Choppers are a motorcycle gang whose lawyers always manage to get them off…poor misunderstood boys. Maryse Palstead is a smarmy, nasty woman who has taken advantage of the bank cashier. Well, he has been taking money from the bank for some time now…and buying a house, jewels, and furniture for Maryse for when they’re together. Mr. Jestin, at the bank, thinks quite quickly.
The Police include:
It drives Chief Detective Inspector Chris Brinton of the Ashford Criminal Investigation Department nuts that Miss Seeton keeps getting in the way and solving cases that were already solved. The cheek! Sir Hubert Everleigh, Assistant Commissioner, C.I.D., is open to trying new things. At the least, it may kickstart an idea! Chief Superintendent Gosslin runs interference.
Yes, Miss Seeton certainly does. Miss Seeton Draws the Line right down the middle.