Thursday, August 10, 2017

REVIEW: Picture Miss Seeton

Picture Miss Seeton
Author: Heron Carvic

Miss Emily Seeton is a retired art teacher who seems to magically thwart criminals and evil-doers armed only with a trusty umbrella, grace under pressure, and her drawing talents. She is naive yet incredibly observant and astute. Miss Seeton definitely reminds me of Miss Marple, with innocent, unintentional humorous antics added. I absolutely adore her!

Picture Miss Seeton is the first in the 22-book series. The book was originally published in 1968 by Heron Carvic, who wrote the first 5 Miss Seeton books. The remaining books were authored by Hampton Charles (pen name used by Roy Peter Martin) and Hamilton Crane (pen name of Sarah J. Mason). I had never heard of the Miss Seeton books before the re-release of the series by Farrago. The first 3 books are available separately, or can be purchased together as an ebook set.

In this introduction to the series, Miss Seeton attends the opera. After the performance while still lamenting over Carmen's tragic end, she comes across a young man being rough with a woman. Rapping him with her umbrella, she intends to tell him off about his behavior -- young men just shouldn't accost women in the street, after all! But, as he knocks her to the ground, Miss Seeton discovers he did more than just smack the girl around a bit. As police officers and others gather to help her up, they find that the girl is dead. She's been stabbed to death. The perpetrator runs away into the night. The police are concerned about Miss Seeton's safety as the crook made off with her purse containing her address and keys, until they learn she is moving from London to a nearby village the very next day. As will happen in villages, word gets around about the heroic actions (or possibly her villainous intentions and nefarious criminal past, depending on which person is telling the story) of Miss Seeton. It might all have ended there if the village vicar didn't get tongue tied and blurt out Miss Seeton's location to the media. The criminal element follows Miss Seeton to her new home, and more run ins with evil creeps follow. She is spied upon, nearly shot, kidnapped, gassed, and almost drowned before it's all over! The police can't help but laugh as Miss Seeton miraculously uses her umbrella, laundry soap and her unfailing luck and wits to escape all attempts to do her in.

This book is just a delightfully fun story! At 224 pages, it's a relatively quick read. I love Miss Seeton as a sweetly clueless amateur sleuth, who just seems to come upon the facts without even realizing it. The supporting characters, especially the police, are left following behind, often laughing, at the miraculous ways Miss Seeton dispatches justice.

From murdering teenagers to shady lawyers, Miss Seeton rises to the occasion and triumphs in often hilarious ways. Thanks to Farrago, I have the next two books waiting on my Kindle. I can't wait to see what Miss Seeton gets herself involved in next!

Off to start reading book 2, Miss Seeton Draws The Line. :)

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