"When the adventurous Zarl Osterley is invited to an English country house for the weekend, she is told to bring her monkey Percy. She also takes her friend, who is disguised as a maid and monkey-minder.
"During their stay the peaceful, idyllic atmosphere of Tattingwood Hall is wrecked by a dastardly crime. Famous diamonds go missing, the Chief Inspector called in to investigate is discovered horribly murdered.
"The monkey, the maid and the magnetic Zarl all get inextricably involved in the whole nasty business, and it takes the women's brains and shrewdness to sort out a mess that spoils the weekend for everyone.
"This reprint of the 1933 original is a delightful spoof on the popular British detective series of the late 1920's and 1930's by Miles Franklin, author of the best-selling Australian classic My Brilliant Career."
I have always loathed murder.
Once I took not the slightest interest in murder cases. I never read even the most luridly headlined nor the socially shocking. However, the Tattingwood case assaulted my interest, and has forced me to wonder how many other women or men may have killed someone, and escaped detection or even suspicion: or alternatively, how many may have been wrongfully suspected, accused, or even convicted of murder.
But I loathe murder more than ever, as revolting, stupid, bestial, unnecessary.
To employ Zarl Osterley's locution, it carries a fiendish thing altogether too far.
From the Pandora paperback edition, 1987.
This edition was published with an introduction by Bronwen Levy.
This page and its contents are copyright © 1999-2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Miles Franklin page.
Last modified: March 21, 2001.