Review: Ten Little Herrings

Ten Little Herrings by L. C. Tyler is the second book in a series of homage-spoof-parody to the classic mystery starring crime-writer Ethelred Tressider and his literary agent Elsie Thirkettle. I had the first book, The Herring Seller’s Apprentice out from the library a while ago but didn’t get around to reading it. On my last library visit I was really in the mood for cosy and lighthearted crime but found only the second instalment. Oh well, I didn’t want to wait and just started reading this one. And I’m glad I did because it was lots of fun!

Ten Little Herrings takes on the classic of crime fiction, the country house murder. The country house in question is a hotel in France and just why and how Ethelred and Elsie come to be there, I’ll let you find out for yourselves.

Apart from Elsie and Ethelred, most other guests are part of a convention of stamp collectors. They are a much more deadly bunch then you’d first assume (or possibly not, if you’ve read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie) and it doesn’t take long before they start murdering each other. While Ethelred ponders, Elsie pounces, and the result is just hilarious. What I really enjoyed was the alternating point of view, Ethelred provides a bit of background information and Elsie does most of the chasing.  The sleuthing is noticeably done by amateurs, but always with perfect grammar!

I tend to side automatically with characters (and people) who love chocolate and Elsie was no exception. This gets her into all sorts of trouble but I thought she had a perfectly good reason 😉 Also, gotta love her publishing ethics, even if I do feel a bit sorry for Ethelred:

The Elsie Thirkettle Agency quickly attracted a number of promising young authors of high literary merit, but I managed to dump most of them.  It’s a question of quality, not quantity, you see.  The agricultural revolution was all about getting two crops a year out of a field that previously gave you one.  It’s much the same with books.  The royalties on a book that has taken five years to produce are usually much the same as on one written in six months.  I can double-, sometimes treble-, crop my authors.

If the weather in your part of the world is anything like it is here at the moment – cold, wet, very windy- then put the kettle on and curl up with Elsie and Ethelred!

Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I’ll add a link!


19 thoughts on “Review: Ten Little Herrings

  1. Nice review, Bina! I love that cover 🙂 Chocolate-loving characters are really nice! I liked that passage that you have quoted from the book. It really made me think.

  2. I’m just starting to get round to cosy mysteries – downloaded my first Agatha Raisin the other day, looks like I might add this to the list. Nice review.

  3. This book looks like fun and I would love to read about a character who gets into a lot of trouble or the sake of eating chocolate.

  4. Thanks for the excellent suggestion. My library had the first two available, and I plowed through them in a couple of days. I’ve got to put the next one on hold, and should be able to read it next weekend. The American covers are not as good as the original British covers. Very cartoony and colorful. Good, but not at all suggestive of the characters.
    And on another favorite, I read the Blandings portion of Blandings Castle, a selection of short stories. The first six, I think, are all Blandings. In these, the Hon. Freddie finds his Aggie and gets married, and even more momentously, the Empress of Blandings makes her debut. I’m slowly making my way through the series, and have the audio book for Summer Lightning for the next installment.

  5. So happy they were a success with you, Jennifer 🙂 The UK vs US cover thing can really be hit and miss, but I’m glad that didn’t scare you off reading this series.
    Aww, you make me want to rush through to the next instalment in the Blandings Castle series. I’ve only gotten till Leave it to Psmith, but all sorts of Wodehouse madness is going on already!

  6. Trying to catch up on my favourite bloggers! I know this is an old-ish post, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve just downloaded the first book in the series onto my Kindle! I love the cover you’ve shown, but the quick download won!

    Have you read the James Anderson books? Also very funny spoofs. Sadly, he died after writing just three. I recommend them highly! 🙂

    1. Aww, thanks Penny! I’m excited that you got the first Herring book, hope you’ll enjoy it! You can always get the actual books later when you’re a fan and want to display your good taste on your shelf 😉

      I’ve read the first Anderson book and absolutely loved it, so funny! I haven’t read the other two yet, they are kind of my stache for when I’m feeling in need of a great pick-me up. Love those covers, too.

      1. I had kept the last one for this purpose, but last Christmas I had a very bad flu and, once I was able to read, I re-read the first two and enjoyed them all over again and then read the third. Perfect reading for when you’re miserable!

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