Book Review: Miss Seeton Draws the Line by Heron Carvic (A Miss Seeton Mystery 2)

Miss Seeton Draws the Line by Heron Carvic

Title: Miss Seeton Draws the Line (A Miss Seeton Mystery)
Author: Heron Carvic
Publisher: Farrago
Publication Date: 23 March 2017


Miss Seeton is most embarrassed. Her every attempt at a portrait of little Effie Goffer has become a chilling picture of a corpse. Is Miss Seeton actually drawing a clue to a series of child murders in rural England?

Scotland Yard thinks so, and wants Miss Seeton to turn from sketching . . . to catching a killer skilled in a very deadly art.

Retired art teacher Miss Seeton steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles. Armed with only her sketch pad and umbrella, she is every inch an eccentric English spinster and at every turn the most lovable and unlikely master of detection.

The Miss Seetonseries is a collection of cosy mystery novels featuring elderly spinster, Emily Seeton, and the cosy village of Plummergen. 

“… she is one of those people things happen to – or she happens to them ..”

The series was originally created by author Heron Carvic, before being continued by Roy Peter Martin writing under the name Hampton Charles, followed by Sarah J Mason under the pen name of Hamilton Crane. Miss Seeton Draws the Line is the second in the 25-book series. The books are fun, lively and completely zany, and completely lacking in the graphic violence and sex that we see in a lot of current crime fiction, which makes a refreshing change. 

In Miss Seeton Draws the Line, Miss Seeton once again relies on a bit of luck and her trusty umbrella (and maybe some minor assistance from Superintendent Delphick (“the Oracle”) and his sidekick Sergeant Bob Ranger). Scotland Yard are investigating the murders of young children and call in  former art teacher, Miss Seeton, to assist with their investigation (her drawing seem to hold some sort of psychic ability). When she fails in her attempts to draw a local child, this leads the policy to believe that the child in question will be the killer’s next victim. Heavy subject matter indeed, but told in a fashion that keeps the tale from becoming too dark. 

Miss Seeton is an entertaining protagonist, repeatedly finding herself in awkward situations and unwittingly thwarting criminals in their tracks – whilst usually being completely unaware that she has done so! The inhabitants of Plummergen also make a reappearance. With their unapologetic nosiness and love of gossip, they act as a real warning against village life. Plummergen is certainly not a place where you are allowed to keep to yourself!
Miss Seeton Draws the Line is undemanding and lighthearted – a wittily satirical take on village life, combined with an amusing parody of amateur sleuth detective fiction. It’s twee, old-fashioned, somewhat ridiculous but it really is great fun. With mystery and skulduggery underfoot, this book is perfect for those who fancy a humorous take on a classic detective novel.

Whilst it is a standalone novel, there are some recurring characters and details which will the reader may appreciate more if reading the through series in chronological order.
Thank you to Farrago Press for providing an advanced copy of Miss Seeton Draws the Line for review and huge apologies for the delay in doing so.

About the Author

Heron Carvic (1913-1980) was an actor and writer, most recognisable today for his voice portrayal of the character Gandalf in the first BBC Radio broadcast version of The Hobbit. He started writing the Miss Seeton novels in the 1960s, after using her in a short story. He later recalled that ‘Miss Seeton upped and demanded a book’.


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