Review: Hands Up, Miss Seeton, by Hamilton Crane, Heron Carvic. Farrago.

hands-up-miss-sMiss Seeton arrested! How can that be?

It’s really not her fault. Our Miss Seeton, feeling a trifle fatigued from her weeks of substitute teaching, decides to take a day for herself and go to London: visit art galleries, maybe do a little gift shopping and treat herself to a really nice lunch. Soon she is happily on her way, but a sudden rainstorm hits the city and the day turn tempestuous, the high winds turning Miss Seeton ‘s second-best umbrella inside out. Then it gets worse: she witnesses a stabbing. Or at least it looks like one, and it wouldn’t be the first time that she interrupted a villain in the act. But in this case, it is the 17th incident this year of the Tomato Ketchup Gang at work–creating a distraction to cover a robbery. The outraged victim, his nice new coat now a mess of ketchup stains, makes a citizen’s arrest of Miss Seeton, angrily assuming she is a part of this fraudulent scheme.

Thank goodness Miss Seeton has friends in high places–Scotland Yard, that is. So while the village rumor mill starts up again, the police smooth ruffled feathers and turn to Miss Seeton for her artistic talents to provide a sketch of the escaped perpetrator.

Well of course it’s not that simple. Miss Seeton produces one of her trademark cartoons, which starts the process of discovery and capture. There are a lot of birds in the story, particularly pigeons; Chief Superintendant Delphick’s day is complicated by a pigeon flying into the window of his home; Miss Seeton feeds pigeons in the park, then rescues a carrier pigeon found exhausted in her back yard.

Dickie Nash and Juliana Popejoy, last seen during Miss Seeton’s Greek islands cruise, appear in the village seeking to do business with an art copyist they know. They claim it’s strictly a legitimate proposition, but exactly what are they up to? Oh really, it’s getting too hard to explain, and besides that would spoil the fun. Just read it. You’ll like it.

 My thanks to publisher and NetGalley for making an advance copy of this fine book available for me to read and review.

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