Miss Emily Dorothea Seeton is a sleuth like no other. Trouble seems to follow the sweet, retired art teacher, who is either the law’s greatest asset or nightmare, depending on the officer queried. Armed with her ever-present brolly and her art supplies, she purports to draw culprits, but in fact makes bizarre sketches for Scotland Yard that baffle until fairly eccentric connections are made to reveal the culprit.
In Miss Seeton Cracks the Case, Scotland Yard faces not one but two criminal gangs. The Sherry Gang befriends those in need to gain entry to their homes, only to dope them with drugged sherry and steal their victims blind while they sleep. Meanwhile, the Dick Turpin gang hijacks buses to steal the occupants’ valuables at gunpoint. Both gangs have detectives at a loss, despite Miss Seeton’s sketches depicting pirates and the World War II bombing of Britain. To make matters worse, the village of Plummergen in which Seeton lives houses some of the most imaginative gossips in all of fiction. Two in particular, Miss Nuttel and Mrs. Blaine who are not-so-affectionately known as “the Nuts,” seem to have it out for the oblivious Miss Seeton.
This ninth entry in the Miss Seeton series began by Heron Cavic in the late 1970’s and now written by Hamilton Crane is a wonderful satire of the elderly female sleuth. Seeton deduces nothing and makes subconscious connections seemingly out of thin air, while accidentally tripping robbers with her brolly, pondering her vacuum purchase, and wondering if she has gingerbread for her adopted nephew. Miss Marple would cringe. Moreover, the inhabitants of Plummergen are truly hysterical with their beyond outrageous suppositions. Overall, Miss Seeton Cracks the Case is a delightfully funny, cozy mystery.
(Reviewed in exchange for copy of book via Netgalley.)