Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Cape Cod Mystery - TBR Review

The Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Source: Purchased
Description:  Miss Prudence Whitsby and her niece Betsey are expecting to have to fend off a deluge of people wanting to visit there beach house on a hot summer weekend.  What they aren't expecting is to have to figure out who killed their neighbor the very much disliked novelist Dale Sanborn before their dear friend Bill Porter ends up taking the blame.  Luckily Asey Mayo and Prudence Whitsby are on the case.

Genre: Mystery
Why I Picked This Book:  The author came up on my Goodreads recommends list.  Apparently she's considered a classic American mystery writer and I've somehow missed her.

My Impression:
Pros:  The setting is very well done.  It's easy to visualize the summer cottage and the shore.  Even though I don't think the main character ever physically goes to the beach the setting FEELS like a beach town.  This is a very classic mystery with a very unlikable dead guy and bunches of suspects.  The sheriff of the small town is incredibly inept which is normally a negative for me but in this situation it makes sense.  This is a small town with basically no crime so the position of sheriff is just to fill in the blank.  They picked the only resident who had any law enforcement experience to fill the role.  The book was published in 1931 and that came out.  There's talk about how exciting it is to have a new electric refrigerator especially as all the other people are hauling around large chunks of ice on car running boards.  The actual investigation is done in a very casual fashion without much trust in physical evidence.  At one point the sheriff is suspicious of the doctor because the doctor could talk about what kind of weapon was used.  I really didn't see the ending coming but it made sense and I was very satisfied with it.

Cons: The pace is a little slow and it's very dialogue heavy which makes it a touch on the dry side.  Despite not being very long (less than 200 pages) it did take me a little while to get through.  Because of this it also took a little while to really get caught up in the story.  Because the book was published in 1931 there are a few very un-politically correct statements but these are used as expressions and not directed at a specific person.

Overall:  I enjoyed this very classic feeling mystery.  While it may not have been the fastest read it was enjoyable and anyone who likes Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers or Mary Roberts Rinehart would enjoy this one.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes!

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Yes!  If you're a mystery reader this one is definitely worth trying out.


  1. Does the dialogue make it more tell then show? I like the setting and murder mystery aspect of this one.

  2. This sounds interesting, Katherine, but I don't know that I'm up for another slow read! Good review.

  3. The title of this book alone sounds intriguing! I love Cape Cod so I think I would really enjoy a book that takes place in that area.

  4. I'm not at all familiar with this author, but then there are so many authors whose work I've never heard of so it's not a surprise. This sounds interesting, although it being slow and still short doesn't make it sound appealing, especially for a mystery.

  5. She's a classic mystery author? I don't think I've heard of her. Huh. Despite how dialogue heavy it is, I think I'd like it. Very good review. :)

  6. I haven't heard of this author but it sounds like a good book.

  7. I'm not familiar with her, either, but I've seen her name in a few different places recently, so apparently she's getting re-released? I tend to prefer classic British mystery over American, but I should probably give Taylor a try. Nice review!

  8. Hmmm, new-to-me author too. I think I'd enjoy this book. Even though I live clear across the country, I always read about Nantucket and Cape Cod in the summer. What IS that, anyway?? :)