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Heron Carvic Books In Order

Publication Order of Miss Seeton Books

Picture Miss Seeton (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Miss Seeton Draws the Line (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Miss Seeton, Bewitched aka Witch Miss Seeton (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Miss Seeton Sings (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Odds on Miss Seeton (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Heron Carvic, real name Geoffrey Rupert William Harris was an English author and actor most popular as the creator of the Miss Seeton series of novels. He also got widespread fame for portraying “Gandalf” in the BBC reenactment of the Hobbit for radio. He also played the part of “Caiaphas the Priest” on the popular play “The Man Born to be King” on BBC Radio. As a young man, Heron Carvic would leave Eton and travel across the Channel to France to earn a living as an actor in France. It was in France that he took up his grandmother’s name to use as his stage name, which outraged his family back home. He would meet Phyllis Neilson-Terry, a woman 20 years older than him when he was 23, whom he proceeded to marry in 1958. As a writer, he created one of the most memorable of British characters in the retired art teacher Miss Emily D. Seeton. His character who was a caricature of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple proved very popular, leading to Carvic publishing five titles in the series. Ten years after Heron Carvic’s death, his novels were reissued as ebooks. The reissued titles were so well received that, the decision was made to engage Sarah J. Mason to write more titles in the series. After the death of the author in 1980, the author Hampton Charles would write three novels in the series that were published in 1990, before Sarah J. Mason came in to write the series starting from 1991 under the pseudonym Hamilton Crane.

If you love the Agatha Christie novels, you will love Miss Seeton by Heron Carvic. Miss Seeton is logical no nonsense lady who believes in discipline and manners, which does not always go well with the boys. Despite her seemingly worldly appeal she is naïve in that she believes everyone would live according to her own very high standards, and hence is frequently disappointed. Most of the time, she finds herself being deemed an eccentric as her logic driven character goes against the gossip of the villagers. Nonetheless, it is Seeton’s insistence on discipline that brings out her characters and makes her useful to the other significant people in the novels such as Superintendent Delphick. When we are first introduced to Miss Seeton, she is an accident-prone middle-aged arts teacher at private school in London. She recently inherited the Sweetbriars cottage in Plummergen, Kent, which she uses as a getaway from the bustling life in London. With her exceptional skills at drawing sketches that portend or predict the future and the past, she often gets embroiled in mayhem, drugs, and murder. Nonetheless, she only has her umbrella as a tool and weapon for any emergencies, though she is quite the match for anyone that would take her on. Alongside Mrs. Seeton is Scotland Yard’s Superintendent Delphick, who has been nicknamed the Oracle, and his sidekick Detective Sergeant Bob Ranger. The law enforcement officers use Seeton’s drawing in their investigations into a wide range of crimes that have left the police in Plummergen stumped.

Heron Carvic’s novels are a romp type clue hunting type of mystery that balances between the comedy of a weird clairvoyant like character and some gruesome crimes. With such a great combination, the reader can be assured of a good laugh from the village rumor mill and the thrill of resolving a crime mystery. The cast in the series is also delightful with likable detectives such as Sergeant Bob Ranger, Superintendent Delphick, Lady Colvedon, and Sir George who make for some interesting plots and subplots throughout the five titles. The series of novels adopts a soap opera type of approach to crime and drugs similar to what you would expect in novels such as “Mind Reefer Madness”. The police and the lead character use their wits and intelligence to resolve crime, while the villagers are kindly and practical offering the layman’s understanding of crime. The villagers are notorious for gossip, embellishing tales of crime and achievement with nonsensical speculations that frequently get Miss Seeton and her activities into trouble. The novels are a mashup of Miss Silver by Patricia Wentworth, and Miss Marple’s Agatha Christie with a good dose of satire. While Heron’s titles were written in the 60s, they still have that village cozy vibes, while still being edgier given their crimes are more cold-blooded and nastier than contemporary cozy mysteries.

“Picture Miss Seeton”, the first novel in the series is Heron Carvic’s delightful debut, which opens to a murder in London that brings the elderly Miss Seeton to the attention of the thugs and police in Plummergen. Miss Seeton is less conventional and younger Miss Marple type of character, who always finds herself embroiled in farcical situations that she wants nothing to do with. A teacher at a London art school, the forty-something year old Miss Seeton stumbles upon the murder of a French prostitute, which turns out not to be local. Bold and moral to the core, the elderly woman fights off the-would-be murderer with nothing but her old umbrella. However, when she reports the crime to the Scotland Yard, she finds herself in a tight spot, as she cannot describe the man, though she can draw a perfect rendition of what he looks like. But drawing the picture of the man for the police makes her the target for a crime ring, that is determined to find her and exact their revenge while she is holidaying at Plummergen in Kent.

“Miss Seeton Draws the Line”, the second novel is a fascinating thriller mystery by Heron Carvic. Miss Seeton is worried that she may have had a heart attack, but such thoughts are soon discarded when she gets busy to drawing a portrait of Effie Gofer, the daughter of one of her very good neighbors. Effie is a naughty child who is disliked throughout the village, but Seeton has nothing against the girl. However, three times she draws the girl, and three times the drawing says the girl will die. For the detectives of Scotland Yard, this represents a great opportunity to conduct unusual investigations similar to many that Seeton has helped them with in the past. However, the villagers believe that their neighbor is involved in some crime ring and that she may have had something to do with the recent incidents of child murders in their village. The novel is a delightful mystery full of adventure and unexpected twists that will enthrall any thriller mystery fan.

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