Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Tale of Oat Cake Crag by Susan Wittig Albert

This is the seventh book in the fictional series about Beatrix Potter's life which follows shortly after the death of her fiance.  I love this series.  If your going to read it, I definitely recommend you read the series in order.  Even though she covers her earlier books, they are much more fun to read that way.

That being said, this latest installment (not sure if it's the last one) had way to many references to the previous books in the series to the point that it was almost an advertisement for all the other books, with a bit of a plot tucked in.

As this story opens, Beatrix has returned to visit her farm and get a little peace and quiet. It is now March 1912, and war with Germany is looming. As a result, Winston Churchill, first lord of the admiralty, is becoming increasingly interested in flying machines, and one of his projects involves the testing of a new hydroplane on Lake Windermere, near Beatrix’s farm.

It seems entirely possible that one of the villagers, irate over the noise from the tests, may have taken matters in his or her own hands and attacked the funder of the project, whose body is found at the foot of Oat Cake Crag. But there are other puzzles to solve as well. Someone is writing poison-pen letters to Beatrix’s friend Grace who is planning to marry the local vicar.  There is a twist in Beatrix’s own romance with Will Heelis. As always, the animals, especially Rascal the dog, Professor Galileo Newton Owl, and Thorvaald the dragon, help Beatrix solve the puzzles.

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