Cover image for The skeleton in the closet
Title:
The skeleton in the closet
Author:
Beaton, M. C.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2001.
Physical Description:
218 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780312207724
Format :
Book

Available:*

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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Poor Fellworth Dolphin has been living under the thumb of his miserly, cold-hearted mother for far too long. Since the death of his father, Fellworth has been supporting both himself and his mother with the meager wages he earns as a waiter in the local hotel. When his mother suddenly dies, Fellworth is shocked to find that she has left him a sizable inheritance. Not knowing where the money could have possibly come from, Fell teams up with Maggie, a plain girl with a similar background, to figure out where the riches came from. Could Fell's late father have had a hand in a long-ago train robbery? What secrets surrounding the Dolphin family will the two sleuths uncover? As they poke around the village for answers, Maggie and Fell embark upon a surprise-filled path to danger and adventure, and-just possibly-love.With the same charm and wit that characterize her Agatha Raisin series, "the always wonderful M.C. Beaton" (Romantic Times magazine) has created yet another charming mystery in the best of the cozy tradition.


Author Notes

M. C. Beaton's real name is Marion Chesney. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1936. She has written over a hundred books under her own name and other pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Helen Crampton, Jennie Tremaine, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester. She started her writing career while working as a fiction buyer for a bookstore in Glasgow.

Working at one time or another as a theater critic, newspaper reporter, and editor, she used her British background to write a series of regency romances set in England and Scotland. Some of her regency romances include The Folly, Colonel Sandhurst to the Rescue, and Regency Gold. In 1986, she was awarded the Romantic Times Award for Outstanding Regency Series Writer.

She has also written two mystery series under the pseudonym M. C. Beaton: The Hamish Macbeth Series, which became the inspiration for a television show in England, and The Agatha Raisin Series, about a retired advertising executive. Her title His and Hers made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Fell Dolphin hates his full name of Fellworth and his life: toiling as a waiter supporting his bitter, aged mother. When she dies, he discovers there's a lot of money he didn't know they had. He's outraged at the loss of his youth (he's 37) and the university education he craved. When he finds even more cash hidden in his dead father's possessions, he begins to wonder about a decades-old train robbery connected to his father's name. Throughout a "dandelion summer" (unusually steamy for Britain), and assisted (often masterminded) by a young woman whose charms and loyalty he steadfastly refuses to see, Fell traces that long-ago theft. Along the way, he gets shot at and tossed in the river, spends lots of money on clothes and furniture, and travels to London for the first time. He not only finds true love and pots of money but also uncovers his true parentage and opens a bookshop. With the twists and turns of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, this is a nice bit of fluff. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido


Publisher's Weekly Review

Taking a break from her two long-running series (Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth), Beaton introduces a pair of engaging misfits whose struggles to cope with overbearing families and overweening circumstances teach them, eventually, to rely on each other. When diffident fortyish virgin Fellworth Dolphin's mother dies, he finds himself surprisingly relieved and freed from a bondage he was only partially aware of. That's nowhere near the astonishment he feels when he learns that, in spite of their penurious existence, he's heir to a large sum. In a moment of panic, when it seems an aunt might assume the tyrannical role his mother once played, Fell pretends an engagement to mousy waitress Maggie Partlett. In fits and starts, Maggie and Fell begin their separate transformationsÄshe to a swan, he to a drake. One catalyst is the money and its questionable provenanceÄperhaps the result of an infamous train robbery that occurred many years ago and that Fell's father might have been involved with. The other is the transformation wrought by their shared investigation and their shared lives, as Maggie falls in with the pretended engagement for her own purposes. Various relatives and villains attempt to derail the couple as they journey, but there's never a question of where the author is taking her odd couple, and never a doubt they will arrive safely. The trip will delight fans of either of Beaton's other series. (Mar. 21) FYI: Beaton's latest Hamish Macbeth mystery, Death of a Dustman, will be published on Mar. 6 (see Forecasts, Dec. 18, 2000). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Fellworth Dolphin's uppermost emotion is anger when he learns that he is inheriting a great deal of money upon his mother's death. His youth had been one of deprivation; any spirit he may have had was beaten out of him by his parents. Totally dominated by his mother, his main act of rebellion was to get his own house key, made on the sly. In awkward starts Fellworth begins to remake himself into a man, as he tries to find out if his father had acquired the money illegally. These efforts bring him into the sphere of dangerous criminals and a glamorous fortune hunter. Donada Peters, while always an excellent reader, is a surprising choice for a male coming-of-age (even at 40 years old) novel. Fel's point of view predominates, so the listening experience would be enhanced by a male voice. However, the always professional Peters adds a husky timbre to impersonate Fel and generally brings in entertaining accents and pacing for supporting characters. Recommended for mystery collections. Juleigh Muirhead Clark, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Lib., Colonial Williamsburg Fdn., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.