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Who Killed the Curate? by Joan Coggin

Who Killed the Curate? (1944)

by Joan Coggin

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This novel features Bright Young Things Between the Wars, a favourite genre of mine. Lady Lupin is a wonderful character, a brainless blonde and London socialite who marries a vicar twice her age. Theirs is a genuine love match, but "Loops" is hopeless as a vicar's wife. She drinks, smokes, receives visitors in her dressing gown until around noon, and is determined to have few if any babies. The vicar thinks she's adorable and couldn't care less. What "Loops" does have is a memory like a steel trap and a habit of retaining and blurting out small details that have escaped everybody else's notice, which is enough evidence for the vicar's nephew in His Majesty's Secret Service to piece together and solve the mystery of who poisoned the curate. ( )
  JMlibrarian | Mar 3, 2015 |
This, the first in Joan Coggin's series is a little gem of a mystery. Lady Lupin is a somewhat slightly young woman who marries a handsome vicar and starts a new way of life. While she appears to be a light weight she actually dives into the village life with full intentions of being a good vicars wife. In just a few days she has to meet so many people and be part of so many committees, organizations and groups her head is swimming. So is the readers for that fact. We get confused right along with her.

So when the curate is killed on Christmas eve we are in the middle of the investigation with her. She is one person who notices things and can finally help people come to the right conclusion because of her memory for detail. Not a lightweight at all, in fact a thoroughly delightful protagonist.

( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
When 21-year-old Lady Lupin Lorrimer marries vicar Andrew Hastings, she soon learns that there is more to being a minister's wife than she had ever imagined. The parish is full of spinsters and empty-nesters, each with a favorite cause in which she expects Lady Lupin's assistance. Lady Lupin does her best to do what is expected of her, but she is too scatterbrained (her closest friends call her Loops) to be of much help. When the church's curate dies of unnatural causes on Christmas Eve, Lady Lupin and her friends set out to discover his murderer.

The Lady Lupin books were written in the 1940s and had been out of print for a long time before being reprinted by The Rue Morgue Press. I enjoy reading mysteries set in England during the first half of the 20th century, so I was intrigued by the mention of this series in a Faith Fairchild mystery I read a few months ago. Apparently Katherine Hall Page is a fan of the Lady Lupin mysteries.

The book was a pleasant enough read, but I don't know that I'll make a great effort to find any more in the series. There were too many similar characters in this book. I repeatedly had to check the list of characters at the front of the book to distinguish between, for example, Miss Gardner the Girl Guides leader and Miss Gibson the Sunday School superintendent. Even though the series features Lady Lupin, she wasn't the person who actually solved the crime. It would have made more sense to me if Lady Lupin and her husband worked as a team to solve the crime, but the vicar wasn't a part of the group investigative effort. I think I'll stick to the great British mystery writers like Christie, Sayers, Tey, and Allingham ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Dec 4, 2008 |
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"How is my face?" asked Lady Lupin Lorrimer.
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