The Brading Collection by Patricia Wentworth (1950)

Miss Silver was unimpressed by Lewis Brading. Brading, believes his valuable collection jewelry who is in danger and seeks to hire her. His boasts to Miss Silver regarding the terrible history behind the jewels, and the threatening means by which he controls his staff, lead to her refusal. But before he leaves she warns that his actions are putting him in danger. Days later Miss Silver receives a message from Brading, there have been “developments”, and begs her to come and investigate. But that same morning she reads a newspaper report of Brading’s death in the annex that held his collection. 

‘Dear me!’ 

**WARNING – if you don’t enjoy a good formulaic romance/mystery, move along ‘cause there’s nothing here for you to see!**

Regular readers of Wentworth will find many of her usual themes in The Brading Collection. There is of course, a young couple in love, separated by a serious misunderstanding, one of whom falls under suspicion. There are malicious relatives, some shady individuals, and the murder victim is probably someone who deserves what he got. And then, Miss Silver arrives to gather the facts, get to the truth, see that justice is achieved, and eventually add to that growing collection of baby pictures.

Six individuals had plenty of opportunity to kill Brading. Four actually paraded into the annex under the eye of receptionist Edna Snagge (whose musings as she watches each go by are highly entertaining). Only one has an obvious motive, but others are soon teased out. And while there are plenty of red herrings placed along the way, Miss Silver sees through the deceptions, pieces the facts together and solves the mystery.

And it’s likely that the reader will also not have the slightest problem in determining who the culprit is, or how the murder was accomplished either. The who and how are really so transparent that some may throw their arms up in disgust. But not me! Ok—full disclosure—I’ve read this one a few times so of course the solution was no surprise to me. 

I know the Miss Silver mysteries are not everyone’s cup of tea. There are those who find her old-fashioned and annoying. But I never find it boring to watch Miss Silver apply her methods. IMO, reading a Wentworth is like sitting down with a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup (my favorite comfort meal). I could eat it every day, and somehow it never gets old.

Cough and nature thereof – 27: Introductory, preliminary, deprecating/deprecatory, interrogative, reproof/reproving, restrained, encouraging, gentle, little, premonitory, slight, and pleasurable.

P.S. – “Dear me!” count – 11

Prior Rulings – Moira Redmond @ Clothes in Books

Vintage Mystery Extravaganza—2015 Bingo—Read one book already read by a fellow challenger [Bev @ MRB]

4 thoughts on “The Brading Collection by Patricia Wentworth (1950)

  1. Laurie – thanks for the post. I have only read one Miss Silver, The Lonesome Road. I didn’t get an impression of Miss Silver other than her omniscient ability and a fixation on knitting. I also spotted the murderer immediately in that one (too easy). I like your “comfort food” analogy and will give Wentworth / Miss Silver another look as I feel the same.

    1. Thanks Scott! Yah, Patricia Wentworth’s books can’t be looked at with the same critical eye as you would give other authors. For me, it is sheer indulgent entertainment to be read when I need to not over think things 😜. Just enjoy them.

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