Family Matters

Family Matters Robert Arthur Kewdingham is an eccentric failure of a man In middle age he retreats into a private world hunting for Roman artefacts and devoting himself to bizarre mystical beliefs Robert s wife Be

  • Title: Family Matters
  • Author: Anthony Rolls
  • ISBN: 9781464207426
  • Page: 251
  • Format: Paperback
  • Robert Arthur Kewdingham is an eccentric failure of a man In middle age he retreats into a private world, hunting for Roman artefacts and devoting himself to bizarre mystical beliefs Robert s wife, Bertha, feels that there are few things dreadful than a husband who will persist in making a fool of himself in public Their marriage consists of horrible quarrels, futiRobert Arthur Kewdingham is an eccentric failure of a man In middle age he retreats into a private world, hunting for Roman artefacts and devoting himself to bizarre mystical beliefs Robert s wife, Bertha, feels that there are few things dreadful than a husband who will persist in making a fool of himself in public Their marriage consists of horrible quarrels, futile arguments, incessant bickering Scarcely any friends will visit the Kewdinghams in their peaceful hometown Shufflecester Everything is wrong and with the entrance of John Harrigall, a bohemian bachelor from London who catches Bertha s eye, they take a turn for the worse Soon deep passions and resentments shatter the calm facade of the Kewdinghams lives This richly characterised and elegantly written crime novel from 1933 is a true forgotten classic.

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      Published :2019-08-22T09:56:07+00:00

    1 thought on “Family Matters”

    1. Do you enjoy stories of people stepping, inching, toward murder? This is one of those, and I don’t particularly care for that style; so I’m afraid my review won’t be as favorable as it might be if I did. It is intriguing, and the style is excellent. The characters are perfectly horrible, and the setting is drear enough. If you’re looking for a suspenseful read, here is the book for you. Even disliking every character and the style, I found it very hard to put down. There was one thing ab [...]

    2. Welcome to Shufflechester "one of the most English of English towns" and home of Robert Arthur Kewdingham and his wife Bertha. Despite the idyllic setting, their marriage is not a happy one, constant bickering, frequent clashes and a fast developing hatred between the spouses. Robert Arthur is more interested in Ancient Civilisations and collectables, than his attractive wife, who has gained the admiration of a local doctor and a London writer.This book is less of a who-dunnit and more of an ill [...]

    3. This is a variant of the inverted mystery, a genre I've never cared for, filled with mostly unsympathetic characters, but beautifully written (even sometimes with a feminist slant, astonishing for a male writer from the Golden Age). Unpleasant, ineffectual Mr. Kewlingham has annoyed so many people that there are two people trying to murder him by poisoning him. Neither can understand why he's not dying. When he finally does die, the pathologists decide (SPOILER) it's been caused by two poisons-- [...]

    4. Another in the series of British Crime Classics. Not the most exciting of plots and felt that it was a bit rushed and ‘convenient’ at the end. But not a bad read.

    5. Family Matters by Anthony Rolls is an unusually farcical murder mystery. After having been made redundant from his job as an engineer at the age of forty-five, Robert Arthur Kewdingham devoted himself to a life of insufficiently quiet madness. He collected all manner of items of dubious provenance (“bits of coral, broken pots, beetles and butterflies impaled on pieces of cork or stuck on cards, odd fossils, bones, brasses, dried flowers, birds’ eggs, little figures in soapstone and ivory, us [...]

    6. Set in 1933, in a quiet town in England, this domestic crime is one where you felt that the victim should have been got rid of a long time ago. The fact that he lasted this long is itself surprising.The gentleman in question was Mr. Kewdingham, in his forties who has been out of work for quite some time. This did not detract from his sense of pompousness and attitude and was a source of frustration for his wife who was the younger and quite lovely Bertha. Mr. Kewdingham thought himself an author [...]

    7. Family Matters is one of the British Library Crime Classics that I collect. I received this one for a Mother’s Day gift. The story concerns Robert Arther Kewdingham, a self-absorbed failure of a little man and the people in his orbit, his wife, his doctor, his relations, and neighbors.Robert and his wife, Bertha are stuck in a horrible marriage, in which he feels entitled and self-important while she looks on in growing resentment at the reality of their situation. There is more than one perso [...]

    8. An unusual mystery for its time : a thoroughly unpleasant man dies. It turns out that not one, but two people were poisoning him, plus a third poison was found to be the actual cause of death. How can this be? This book is not a puzzler, since we know perfectly what the two poisoners are thinking and how they go about administering the poisons. The book's strength is the psychology of a thoroughly unhappy household, where the husband is hypochondriac and self-pitying, and where the younger, exas [...]

    9. For fans of 1930s murder novels, this has many of the classic ingredients: a small town ripe for gossip; some idle rich with nothing better to than murder each other, and a cast of extended family members to add to the mix. Unlike many novels, there is no detective and the reader is fully cognisant the whole time of who is plotting and executing their murderous plans. The entertainment comes from the macabre farce that ensues as two people try to poison the same victim, unbeknownst to each other [...]

    10. An outstanding gem from Anthony Rolls - not least because Mr. Rolls gives us Golden Age female characters that are written with depth and wit and an apparent belief that women have inner lives untouched or unfocused on men - that reads much more as a family drama (the terrible and various branches of the Kewdingham family) played out in several beautifully crafted parlor scenes. Death inevitably creeps in, but slowly and sparingly; no one is stumbling upon the Colonel stabbed in the library and [...]

    11. Giving this four stars for the first 90% of the book, but the ending still has me puzzled. I'm not sure exactly what happened on the last three pages, but up until then it was a splendid little farcical tale with characters and situations that were surprisingly relatable to a contemporary audience. The victim was so thoroughly preposterous and unlikable, and the incidents that led to the murder so richly drawn, it's just a shame that the wrap-up was so confusing!

    12. Another smashing who dun it from British Library Crime Classics.These books are timeless even though they are written almost 50 years ago.This one is no exception, with bodies and mysteries galore!Very highly recommended.I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Poisoned Pen Press via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review, which I am very happy to do.

    13. I think it must be have been meant as satire, because of all the double-barreled aristocratic names, the unredeemingly unpleasant victim, and the totally ridiculous situation. (In the introduction, Dorothy Sayers is quoted as calling it "grimly farcical".) 1 1/2 stars, because I did actually finish it, but I didn't like it.

    14. Held my interest for the most part, even while full of unsympathetic characters, including the deceased. But at the end I wanted to throw the book across the room. (It was a library book, so of course I didn't)

    15. Story goes to great length to develop characters. Not much of a "Who Dunnit?" as the storyline gives this away about half-way through. A Minor surprise ending.

    16. A between-the-wars mystery set in England. The author's satirical observations about people and society add to this unusual tale of murder gone wrong.

    17. Not the greatest Golden Age crime novel, but still an intriguing satire. Full review: booksmjb/2017/05

    18. I thoroughly enjoyed this inverted mystery in which we follow a pair of characters each attempting to murder someone. In large part that was thanks to the author's wry commentary on the action. I also really appreciated the use of dramatic irony here.

    19. At least three people are competing to murder a very unpleasant man. When he dies, even they are not sure who did it.

    20. "Family Matters" is crime fiction that was originally published in 1933 and is set in England. This is one of the oddest crime novels I've ever read. It's not a mystery as we're told exactly who is poisoning Robert, how they are doing it, and what the bizarre result is. And yet, at the end, it's hard to say exactly who and what finally killed him. Also, we're apparently supposed to be rooting for the poisoners, so don't expect a typical mystery novel's ending.The story started by describing the [...]

    21. Thank you to netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an advance copy ebook.This is very much better than Scarweather in terms of plotting and characterisation.It is also rather amusing.Many,if not most, of the protagonists are unlikeable.The plot is ingenious although I am not well up enough in poisons to know if it is feasible.It is hard to guess the ending which some readers may find disappointing/unsatisfactory but it is entirely in keeping. I have no hesitation in giving 5 stars although I did [...]

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