Wednesday, June 1
Book review: Tale of Hill Top Farm
Yesterday I finished reading this little book, The Tale of Hilltop Farm by Susan Wittig Albert.
It's a "cozy mystery", that is, no sex, violence or swearing. The characters are nice people, the setting is friendly, and the story is well-written.
Beatrix Potter has bought a small farm in a small village called Sawrey, where she is at first looked upon as an outsider. But she begins going around and making friends with all the interesting characters. Along the way, there is rumor of a murder, and numerous thefts that must be solved.
The thing that sets this book apart from other cozy mysteries is that the animals talk. They only talk to each other, of course, but they get involved in solving the mysteries, too. We are also introduced to Potter's own entourage of pets: two rabbits, a hedgehog, and a mouse. Most of the action revolves around the village cats and a dog.
My only problem with this is that sometimes the animals are described as just animals, and other times they're described as wearing clothes, drinking champagne and doing other things that they do in Beatrix Potter's illustrations. My mind instantly unreeled Redwall lookalikes for all this, and I wound up getting confused.
But aside from that, this was a sweet little book that ambled from place to place, once you get past the weirdness of seeing Beatrix Potter solving mysteries. I'd happily read more in this series.