Portrait of a Murderer: A Christmas Crime Story

  • Title: Portrait of a Murderer: A Christmas Crime Story
  • Author: AnneMeredith
  • ISBN: 9781464209048
  • Page: 320
  • Format: Paperback
  • Portrait of a Murderer A Christmas Crime Story WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MARTIN EDWARDS Adrian Gray was born in May and met his death through violence at the hands of one of his own children at Christmas Thus begins a classic crime nove
    WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MARTIN EDWARDS Adrian Gray was born in May 1862 and met his death through violence, at the hands of one of his own children, at Christmas, 1931 Thus begins a classic crime novel published in 1933 that has been too long neglected until now It is a riveting portrait of the psychology of a murderer.Each December, Adrian Gray invites his extended faWITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MARTIN EDWARDS Adrian Gray was born in May 1862 and met his death through violence, at the hands of one of his own children, at Christmas, 1931 Thus begins a classic crime novel published in 1933 that has been too long neglected until now It is a riveting portrait of the psychology of a murderer.Each December, Adrian Gray invites his extended family to stay at his lonely house, Kings Poplars None of Gray s six surviving children is fond of him several have cause to wish him dead The family gathers on Christmas Eve and by the following morning, their wish has been granted.This fascinating and unusual novel tells the story of what happened that dark Christmas night and what the murderer did next.

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      Published :2019-09-22T20:35:40+00:00

    About AnneMeredith


    1. Librarian s note there is than one author with this name.Anne Meredith was a pseudonym of Lucy Beatrice Malleson 1899 1973 who is best known as the author of the Arthur Crook series of detective novels published under the name of Anthony Gilbert She was a highly esteemed writer of crime fiction and a member of the elite Detection Club, but the Anne Meredith books were out of print for many years.


    874 Comments


    1. Adrian Gray, a country gentleman, will be murdered by one of his six children on Christmas Eve, 1931. The seventy year old patriarch is hosting the Gray family's yearly holiday gathering. Adrian is a despicable tight wad who parents by using humiliation. His children either tolerate or despise him. One will take his life.Here are the players. Richard, married to a society woman, has been knighted but wants to obtain a peerage, an honorary title commanding even more respect. Unmarried Amy is Adri [...]

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    2. It’s Christmas 1931. *Pause - That’s it for Christmas, so if the lovely, traditional cover suggests that you might find here some warm, Christmas-infused tale or lesson in the Christmas spirit, you’ve been had. On the other hand, if like me you run with gusto in the opposite direction from heart-warming tales of the resilience of the human spirit and happy families where all value each other’s individuality, stick around, this novel is just right for you.So . . .where were we? Ah. It is [...]

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    3. In the bleak midwinterEvery Christmas, the Gray family gather at the home of their elderly father, Adrian Gray – a rather unpleasant, miserly sort of man who has produced an equally unpleasant bunch of children on the whole. This Christmas, in 1931, only a couple of the children are there out of any feelings of affection – most are trying to screw money out of the old man. There's Richard, a politician who desperately wants a title, but feels he needs to put on a show of wealth to impress th [...]

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    4. This is a novel primarily interested in portraying characters. And rarely have I encountered a less likable batch of people (or people I wish could escape from those people). The murderer's identity is revealed halfway through, and the rest is a matter of bringing home evidence to the culprit.Content note: very anti-Semitic.

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    5. Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for a digital galley of this novel.This novel written in 1933 is not so much a mystery as a psychological look at a murderer and the reasons for the crime. The family gathered at King's Poplars in 1931 to celebrate Christmas. Adrian Gray had not expected anything but trouble with his adult children but he got more than he had expected when his murder took pride of place in the emotional stew surrounding the lives of his family.This is just not a favo [...]

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    6. Firmly set during the Christmas period, A Portrait of a Murderer is more Christmassy than my last so-called Christmas mystery, but really it isn’t very Christmassy at all. Christmas is merely the device which brings people together, almost all of whom are absolutely horrid. There is absolutely no Christmas spirit in evidence. However, the story is deftly plotted and in a twist to the traditional whodunnit which I particularly enjoyed, we know fairly early on who the murderer is. I’ve always [...]

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    7. Interesting inverted mystery but not my cup of tea. Full review at classicmystery.wordpress

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    8. This was far from the light, cosy Christmas mystery I thought it was going to be. It's dark and complex, the language rich--almost Dickensian, dare I say, but minus the humour in this context. I appreciate that it looks at how psychological and social factors shape a family, drawing attention to how siblings come to occupy different class positions and are strangers to one another.

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    9. Although the beginning of the book did not sound very promising, I ended up enjoying this mystery very much. It is not a typical whodunnit. Instead you have the opportunity to delve into the murderer's mind. It was surprisingly good! Also, it was a Christmas crime story - what could be better?!

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    10. I gather that this is the fiftieth forgotten classic to be issued in the British Library series. I have read nearly all of them and in many ways find this the most difficult to review.The plot is, on the surface, simple.Adrian Gray is murdered in the library of his house, King’s Poplars, deep in the heart of Grebeshire, at Christmas. The murderer is one of his six children. The culprit is revealed one fifth of the way into the book. The remainder provides a psychological study of that person a [...]

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    11. This review can also be found on my blogIndeed, I have never been so much ashamed of anything, without being in the least sorry.It’s hard to read the first chapters of this book without thinking of Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (which was published a few years later). We have a Christmas party in a family with little love lost between the different members. Most of the children have money-troubles and unhappy marriages. And then the patriarch who is an all-around horrible person gets murdered.H [...]

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    12. This really wasn't much of a mystery. It's more of a charcter study. The father dies. One of his children committed the murder. We know which one it was and how it was done. He's just trying to hide it from his siblings. I really disliked the entire family. It simply did not resonate well with me; however, persons who like to see character drive the story may enjoy it. It's labeled as Christmas crime. Just because the murder happened at Christmas when the family gathered does not make it a "Chri [...]

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    13. This is a very well written suspenseful book. While it is an inverted mystery, it’s not solely from the murderer’s perspective. Instead, we get glimpses the crime from those most involved. It starts out with a lengthy introduction to the most prominent characters. Then with startling abruptness, the crime is committed. What follows is a tortuous sorting out of personalities and clues. There aren’t really any surprises. Right from the first, you know what will eventually bring him down, but [...]

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    14. I have been a lover of Christmas Crime novels for many a year and was delighted when the British Library Publishing sent me a copy of Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith. This book marks the 50th in the series these really capture the crime writing of time gone by and with this current release in time for the festive period it is the perfect fireside read. I have been lucky during a previous Christmas to take part in a murder mystery which took place at a country house during the Christmas h [...]

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    15. Portrait of a Murderer is an early 20th Century novel that is getting a rerelease in 2017 by the British Library. Anne Meredith was a best selling crime writer and her books have been long out of print until now.Meredith has an old school writing style which at times for the modern reader can seem over written and a bit flowery. Personally, I found the plot and characters very interesting but there were times that I was lost within the prose. This is merely from reading a long list of modern fic [...]

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    16. "Portrait of a Murderer" is a historical crime fiction set in 1931 at Christmas in England. It was published in 1933. The story is told primarily from the viewpoint of murderer. He calculated how to get away with the crime as well as justified himself mentally and waxed philosophical about it. The first half of the story was setting up murder--describing who was in the house and why they would want to kill the victim--and then describing how the murderer tried to cover his crime up. The second h [...]

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    17. 4.5 that was great! Surprised by the low star reviews.

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    18. Netgalleypub date April 3, 2018British Library Crime Classic Publishing

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    19. An odd concept - we know who the murderer is throughout and are simply watching as those around him come to their own conclusions and wrestle with their consciences. Not particularly fascinating in itself, though everyone's motives are treated with gravitas and thoughtfulness.What makes it worthwhile is the strongly-drawn and interesting women characters, each of whom has an inner life driven by desires sometimes long suppressed, and though they aren't deeply explored they are the opposite of pl [...]

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    20. I love the British Library reissues of classic mysteries and was looking forward to this one. It has a Christmassy setting, which is always effective, and Anne Meredith also wrote as Anthony Gilbert and I loved her Arthur Crook series back in the 1970s. However - if you are offended by unthinking racism I would hesitate to recommend this book.There is nothing in it which was not typical of the thinking at the time not is it particularly brutal but even at my age (60) I found it rather difficult. [...]

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    21. "Adrian Gray was born in May 1862 and met his death through violence, at the hands of one of his own children, at Christmas, 1931"Thus begins Anne Meredith’s murder mystery, Portrait of a Murderer: A Christmas Crime Story. The novel, divided into 7 parts begins on Christmas day, with the Gray children coming from different parts of the country to spend Christmas at their ancestral home in the country, with their father, Adrian Gray, as per family tradition. Adrian Gray’s children are made up [...]

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    22. It's rare for me to drag on my reading time whenever I pick up any titles from the British Library Crime Classics series. "Portrait of a Murderer," however, is one of the titles that falls into that unfortunate category. It isn't a bad written book, in fact, I think the writing and concept are of excellent quality. This, in fact, is probably quite a memorable inverted mystery that I have had the pleasure to read so far. The ingenious thing about any inverted mystery works is the crimes are told [...]

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    23. I've made it an annual tradition to read one of the British Library Crime Classics (BLCC) during the holiday period and to try to make it a season appropriate selection as well. The BLCC series of reprints concentrates on the “Golden Age” of British Crime writing from the inter-World War years, and specializes in authors that are currently not that well known and whose works have otherwise gone out of print. The marketing for Anne Meredith's "Portrait of a Murderer" certainly teases a season [...]

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    24. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.This novel begins with a paragraph stating that Adrian Gray was murdered by one of his children, and, at the 20% mark, we learn which of the children it was. Although there is an intelligent gentleman police detective, we see little of him and he does not correctly identify the murderer. A lawyer, who is related to the family by marriage, is the one finally to put the pieces together and confront the culprit. We are introduced to e [...]

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    25. One of the British Library's reprints of a detectives story written in the years between WWI and WW2.This is, however, a little different to most. Although the greater part of the story is set in a country house, it is not a country house thriller as usually thought of. There is no denouement in the library as Poirot or some such unmasks the killer. This book is neither a whodunnit, a whydunnit or howdunnit. We know all of those facts from quite early on. The murderee is the father of a large fa [...]

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    26. 3.5 stars.I was given this as a Christmas present. (The subtitle is A Christmas Crime Story.) According to the introduction, Anne Meredith was a prolific author and this book was highly regarded by Dorothy L Sayers who was her contemporary. It was published by the British Library as part of their Crime Classics catalogue and has all the hallmarks of a traditional whodunnit: the gathering of a family to the ancestral home for Christmas; the siblings and their spouses forever arguing and suspectin [...]

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    27. A bit of a different Christmas crime novel this time. The setting & premise are familiar (snowy Christmas, country house, unpopular old man gets killed) but the twist is that we know who the murderer is, so the question for the rest of the book is 'will they get away with it' - it's basically Columbo before Columbo. All I will say is that the I didn't quite feel that the final 3rd of the novel (the post Christmas part) quite worked but it was good to see a crime novel trying something differ [...]

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    28. A wonderful inverted mystery that takes place during a family Christmas party although it can be enjoyed all year round. Meredith creates compelling characters and a compelling plot. This is one of my favorite British Library Crime Classics releases to date and I would strongly recommend it.For a full review check out my blog post at Mysteries Ahoy!

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    29. I did enjoy this book as it was different in structure to other "Golden Age" crime novels in that you know who the murderer is by about a third of the way through. Although I didn't feel the same sympathy that the author obviously has for either the murderer or their rationale for the crime. I liked the writing and the descriptions of the rather unpleasant extended family were well done.

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