This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Body in the Dumb River by George…

The Body in the Dumb River (1961)

by George Bellairs

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
366485,656 (3.45)3
"Jim Teasdale has been drowned in the Dumb River, near Ely, miles from his Yorkshire home. His body, clearly dumped in the usually silent ('dumb') waterway, has been discovered before the killer intended - disturbed by a torrential flood. With critical urgency, it's up to Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard to trace the mystery of the unassuming victim's murder to its source, leaving waves of scandal and sensation in his wake as the hidden, salacious dealings of Jim Teasdale begin to surface"--… (more)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This is an easy-to-read and unchallenging whodunnit police procedural novel set in the 1960's English countryside.
James Teasdale is last seen on a Sunday evening as he leaves to drive to another village where he works during the week. He never arrives there alive and his body is found the next day in the rain and flood swollen Dumb (as in silent, not stupid) River, a victim of murder.
Scotland Yard Superintendent Littlejohn who is in the area working on another case agrees to investigate the Teasdale murder. The local police are fully-occupied with the problems caused by severe flooding so they gladly accept his help. Littlejohn and his trusted sidekick, Sergeant Cromwell, undertake their usual dogged investigation by questioning everyone connected to the dead man. Littlejohn gradually wears down his recalcitrant interview subjects, until they break down. In this case, the Scotland Yard detectives are confronted by a surly lot of suspects; the dead man's in-laws are an unpleasant crew of misanthropic snobs headed by a particularly obnoxious ex-military man. With a few exceptions, there are no attractive characters in the story. Cromwell mostly missing from the narrative, which is a disappointment to this reader. The English country towns in the story are quintessential but portrayed as being unglamorous and dull. The characters are mostly pompous middle-class people, with no landed gentry in sight. The plot is uncomplicated, bordering on being boring; there's no interesting red herrings. The story sputters along to a slightly exciting conclusion, that includes an attack on Littlejohn.
This is one of the later additions (#35) to the author's Littlejohn series. It will likely appeal to Bellairs fans, although it's not a good introductory read for readers new to Bellairs or the Littlejohn series. There's better ones to introduce the series to a newcomer. It can be read however as a standalone, lthe speech is not particularly outdated or slangy.
As with all the British Library Crime Classics, there is a fine Introduction written by Martin Edwards which provides helpful background on the author and the story. It is a mistake to skip over it.
All in all, a qualified recommendation.

I received an advance reader's copy of this book from Poisoned Pen Press via Netgalley. The comments are my own. ( )
  BrianEWilliams | Dec 18, 2019 |
I think I've found my new favorite detective in Superintendent Littlejohn! I was growing weary of searching for a detective that could hold my interest in vintage stories, have a long enough series of novels to make sure I would have plenty to read, and not have the usual hang-ups with society that most classic detectives usually have (their viewpoints towards women, mostly). As this is my first George Bellairs novel and I haven't read enough of this series to be sure of that last point, I definitely have a good feeling about it.

The Body In The Dumb River is listed on Goodreads as being the 35th installment in the series (yes, 35th!!). It honestly reads as a standalone novel, so anyone just picking up this book from the series should not have any trouble jumping right in. The setting was phenomenal. I loved the feeling of going back to a simpler time without the convenience of cell phones, the instant knowledge of DNA testing, and the quick work of computers instead of relying on good old fashioned detecting. I loved the idea of the double life in this story as it's always been a plot point that has intrigued me (watch out, dear husband!) The characters were uniquely flawed and so realistic. Their passions, hatreds, and desires were all easy to relate to. The mystery was classic and I was unsure of how the story would play out until very close to the end. It really could have went several different ways.

A bank manager by day, Bellairs wrote the Littlejohn novels in his free time and never really hit the success of other writers from that time period. What a shame! His novels are, if this one is any indication, full of the scandals and plot twists very similar to the much loved black and white detective films of yesteryear. These will be added to my list of books I need to collect. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
Not the best

I didn't like this offering very much. The story is one in which perceived social class differences and petty bourgeois norms and behavior are pushed at us at every turn. A seemingly nice, harmless man is murdered and as Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard investigates he finds nothing but horrible ideas of propriety valued ahead of human decency. A bit of this goes a long way in a novel and I found far too many sentences judging people on their looks, speech, attitudes, actions and supposed antecedents.

I think that Dumb River is an unlikely place name.

"The Body in the Dumb River" is one of several George Bellairs books being republished by the British Library and Poisoned Pen Press. It was first published in 1961. I received a review copy of " The Body in the Dumb River: A Yorkshire Mystery" by George Bellairs from the Poisoned Pen Press through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Dec 1, 2019 |
The Body in the Dumb River is the thirty-fifth police procedural featuring George Bellairs series detective Inspector Littlejohn of Scotland Yard. He had just wrapped up a case when asked to take another murder because the local police are too busy with the rain and flooding. The dead man is Jim Lane, a regular on the carnival route running a game booth and he has been stabbed in the back. Everyone is shocked because he is such a nice man.

Of course, it’s more complicated than that. Jim Lane may be a very nice man, but he’s also James Teasdale with a wife and three daughters back home. The woman he is with during the week seems to have given him a kind of happiness and acceptance he never found at home where there might be more viable suspects. Well, it’s more complicated than that and Littlejohn decides to go to his home and check out the suspects there.

I enjoyed The Body in the Dumb River and like most the crime classics republished by Poisoned Pen Press, it is fair and carefully plotted. I enjoy Bellairs wry humor and Littlejohn’s humanity. Littlejohn cares about the victims. You can feel his compassion for Lane/Teasdale and how much he was undervalued and unappreciated by his family. I hope to read more in Bellair’s wonderful series.

The Body in the Dumb River will be released December 1st. I received an e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley.

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/the9781492699569/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Nov 27, 2019 |
With flooding in the area, the local police find themselves stretched to the limit. Since Inspector Littlejohn of Scotland Yard wrapped up a case in the area, they call on him to investigate. The victim James Teasdale, aka Jim Lane, suffers the misfortune of being married to a woman from a snobbish family. He owned a carnival game attraction and spent most of the time on the road. His income helped maintain his wife's standard of living, but she nor her family knew how he really earned the income. While on the road, he lived with another woman to save money. Although the author includes several red herrings, the perpetrator seemed obvious. The writing style did not really grab me. I received an advance electronic copy from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review. ( )
  thornton37814 | Oct 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
U.S. title of 'The Body in the Dumb River' is 'Murder Masquerade'
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.45)
1 1
3 4
3.5 1
4 2
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 141,635,802 books! | Top bar: Always visible