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The Incredible Crime by Lois Austen-Leigh
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The Incredible Crime (1931)

by Lois Austen-Leigh

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879211,137 (3.18)21
Prince's College, Cambridge, is a peaceful and scholarly community, enlivened by Prudence Pinsent, the Master's daughter. Spirited, beautiful, and thoroughly unconventional, Prudence is a remarkable young woman. One fine morning she sets out for Suffolk to join her cousin Lord Wellende for a few days' hunting. On the way Prudence encounters Captain Studde of the coastguard - who is pursuing a quarry of his own. Studde is on the trail of a drug smuggling ring that connects Wellende Hall with the cloistered world of Cambridge. It falls to Prudence to unravel the identity of the smugglers - who may be forced to kill, to protect their secret.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
"She's too independent for a woman". Now, you would think that this was a line that then demanded that the woman show everyone how awesome she actually was but no, this book went on to make the woman less independent. The "incredible" crime ended up being kind of lame, and the clues laid for the mystery were all misleading but not in a good, smart way, just in a badly-written kind of way. Super annoying from Jane Austen's great grand-niece or whatever.

https://webereading.com/2018/09/ripxiii-update.html ( )
  klpm | Sep 20, 2018 |
This book falls utterly flat as mystery or detective fiction; its only saving grace is the author's fondness for the hunt. While she has little to say about life in Cambridge, Austen-Leigh comes into her own when her characters abscond to the country producing effusive descriptions of hunting rituals and the characters involved. 'The Incredible Crime' has far more in common with the works of R.S. Surtees or Somerville and Ross than it does with those of Margery Allingham or Dorothy Parker. ( )
  Lirmac | May 3, 2018 |
This novel by "the grand-daughter of Jane Austen's favorite nephew" may not be quite as good as the introduction claims, but it mixes scenes of Cambridge University and the English coastal countryside in a pleasing way. There is also a rather subtle handling of the uncertainty of two of the major characters, a brilliant chemist at Cambridge and his kinsman, a country squire type of nobleman --are they part of a drug-smuggling ring, or not, and if not, what are they doing?At one point it seems the question must be answered one way, but then it turns out to be answered another. The heroine is being awkwardly courted by the chemist and grew up with the nobleman, and feels a conflict of loyalties when asked by the police to spy on them. The final answers may seem improbable, and feminists may not approve of the heroine's ultimate submissive attitude, but overall I thought it was cleverly done. There is a brief but beautiful description of .a chapel service at Cambridge I particularly like. ( )
  antiquary | Mar 24, 2018 |
This is a somewhat bananas British Library Crime Classic that revolves primarily around Prudence Pinsent, the daughter of the Master of Prince’s College, Cambridge, and the revelation that some of her closest acquaintances may be involved in smuggling.

I found the storytelling cluttered in the first few chapters; it was hard to tell who was speaking and when, and even later on in the book I was forgetting characters. It was also uncomfortable to read gusto-filled descriptions of fox hunting (the poor foxes). This isn’t really a mystery that the reader can solve; it’s more of a light suspense story in which we wait for the criminals to be unmasked. There’s also a somewhat grimace-worthy (to modern eyes) love story that does no favours to the women’s movement. I can’t recommend this book. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 15, 2018 |
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  sarahemmm | Feb 4, 2018 |
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"She kicked the corpse fretfully with her delicately-shod foot and, staggering dizzily against the bloody lintel of the door, looked fearfully over her shoulder."
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