C McLeod, Topsy Turvy, Gilbert & Sullivan

lpuszcz at uoft02.utoledo.edu lpuszcz at uoft02.utoledo.edu
Mon Nov 13 08:22:58 EST 2000

Jennifer wrote:
I've never seen it either, and would love to. I think it's shorter than
most of the others? Anyway, the (excellent) film Topsy-Turvy shows part
of a performance of it, and one of the Charlotte Macleod mysteries
takes place during the rehearsals and performance of an amateur version of
it, so you get snatches of the songs. (C. McL. is *wonderful*, very funny.
The book starts with a letter from the heroine's highly unpleasant aunt,
telling her friend all about the foolish operetta her foolish cousin is
putting on,and recounting the plot of it in order to show how awful it is!
Very crafty.And    aargh, I can't remember the title. It's one of the
Kelling ones- Aunt Emma's Romney is stolen- I can think of the whole plot, bits of dialogue,             
everything, but not the dratted words on the cover. Grrr, I hate it when
my brain does that. Can some erudite person help me?)

Well, I'm not pretending to be erudite (especially not this early on a
Monday morning) but I think it's _The Plain Old Man_.  I love Charlotte
MacLeod books in general ( if you haven't tried her Madoc Rhys books or
the Grub-and-Stakers books, which are quite possibly some of the weirdest
books I have ever read, you should give those a try too.  Any book with
characters named Dittany and Osbert and Arethusa is worth a  second look).
Interestingly, I like the early Sarah Kelling/Max Bittersohn books much
better that the later ones in the series, which is opposite to how I
normally like series books.  _The Family Vault_, the first one in the
series, is my all-time favorite.  Charlotte MacLeod also wrote a very good
biography of Mary Roberts Rinehart, another mystery author I really enjoy.
_The Circular Staircase_ is a great book. I recently heard that Macleod
has Alzheimer's disease, which is a shame, not only for her and her family
but also for her readers.  

As for "Topsy Turvy," I highly recommend it, even if you don't like
Gilbert & Sullivan.  Neither my sister nor I knew very much about G&S
prior to seeing it (except for the Simpsons episode where they sing G&S
songs), and we both liked it a lot.  Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels
also sneaks in G&S refernces into some of her books too.                              

Laurie (who is surfacing from a Miles Vorkosigan marathon.  You guys
warned those books were addictive...Off to get _Brothers in Arms_ from the

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