The Tale of Hill Top Farm (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The author of Peter Rabbit and other tales, Beatrix Potter is still, after a century, beloved by children and adults worldwide. In this first Cottage Tale, Albert introduces Beatrix, an animal lover and Good Samaritan with a knack for solving mysteries. With help from her entourage of talking animal friends, Beatrix sets out to win over the ...
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The Tale of Hill Top Farm (Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Series #1)

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Overview

The author of Peter Rabbit and other tales, Beatrix Potter is still, after a century, beloved by children and adults worldwide. In this first Cottage Tale, Albert introduces Beatrix, an animal lover and Good Samaritan with a knack for solving mysteries. With help from her entourage of talking animal friends, Beatrix sets out to win over the human hearts of Sawrey, where she's just bought an old farm--and plans to stay.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Beatrix Potter fans will welcome the talented Susan Wittig Albert's The Tale of Hill Top Farm, the first in a new cozy series to feature Peter Rabbit's creator as sleuth. Newly arrived in Near Sawrey in 1905, the sensible and charming Beatrix, aided by an assortment of talking animals, looks into a suspicious death and several small happenings that mainly serve to introduce the residents of the Lake District village. Despite weak British dialogue ("By Jove" isn't enough), this promises to be a series with legs-and tails. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When children's author Beatrix Potter moves from London to the Lake District, locals worry about female farmers and tenant eviction. Beatrix has talking rabbits, a hedgehog, and a mouse in tow and only has sketching in mind, which she hopes will take her mind off her late fianc . The town boasts the usual, odd characters (both human and animal); a constant, muted flurry of daily activities; and the sudden, suspicious death of one of its own. Beatrix soon fits right in, sleuthing and all. A fine series start. Albert, the author of the China Bayle herbal mysteries, lives in Houston. [See Mystery Prepub, LJ 6/1/04.] Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This novel is the first of a proposed eight-volume mystery series and, as might be expected, a great deal of time is spent introducing the characters who live in Near Sawrey, England, where Beatrix Potter has recently bought the farm of the title. This rather curious story, in which all the animals interact and speak to one another, opens with a death, strictly in the "cozy" category; however, the first eyewitness testimony comes some 60 pages later, and from a cat at that. The book comes "fully loaded" with an author's note, a cast of characters (actual beings distinguished from fictional), historical notes, a map, resources, recipes, and a glossary. Keeping track of all of the villagers plus all of the "talking" animals (never mind trying to keep track of clues-this is a mystery after all) can become a chore. All that said, Tale is endearing and worth the work for most readers. The English country village resonates with charm and humor, and sleuth Beatrix positively shines. When the animals or children appear, the story gains an even more vivid voice. Teen fans of Potter or any book in which animals are the protagonists will find this mystery appealing.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440623370
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/4/2005
  • Series: Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Series , #1
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 104,348
  • File size: 493 KB

Meet the Author

Susan Wittig Albert
Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she is the author of the China Bayles Mysteries, the Darling Dahlias Mysteries, and the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Some of her recent titles include Widow’s Tears, Cat’s Claw, The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose, and The Tale of Castle Cottage. She and her husband, Bill, coauthor a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries under the name Robin Paige, which includes such titles as Death at Glamis Castle and Death at Whitechapel.

Biography

Susan Wittig Albert grew up on a farm in Illinois and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. A former professor of English and a university administrator and vice president, she now lives with her husband, Bill, in the country outside of Austin, Texas. In addition to the China Bayles mysteries, she writes the Victorian Mysteries series, along with her husband, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books, LTD.

Good To Know

In our exclusive interview with Albert, she revealed some fun facts about herself:

"My first job was selling ladies' undies at Woolworth's for 35 cents an hour in Danville, Illinois."

I learned to garden from my mother, who thought that the most important thing you did every spring was to plant the potatoes. I learned to read from my father, who never planted a potato in his life. Somehow, I managed to create a life and make a living between these two extremes. Happily, I haven't had to go back to selling undies. Not yet, anyway."

"I love living in the country with Bill, two black Labs, and a black cat. I'd rather read a book or write one than do just about anything else in the world, except maybe for gardening and sitting in a bathtub full of hot, hot water and bubbles. Or knitting, spinning, weaving, dyeing -- I'm a fiber-arts fanatic."

"You can find out what I'm doing today (or what I did yesterday) by checking out my web log, at susanalbert.typepad.com/lifescapes (but there's no web cam, so don't look for me in the bathtub)."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Robin Paige
    1. Date of Birth:
      1940
    2. Place of Birth:
      Danville, Illinois
    1. Education:
      Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Beatrix Potter solves mysteries.

    Susan Wittig Albert takes her writing to a new high with her Beatrix Potter Cottage Series. I grew up reading Beatrix Potter's stories and now I can enjoy meeting the author in this delightful series which tells of the life she loved on her farm in the country. True to Miss Potter's tales, the animals play a large part in these stories; Beatrix seems able to communicate with the animals which adds to the charm of the tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Relaxing read!

    Its a story. There are no crazy chases across continents. No secret socities are unearthed. Not a political twist to be found. Its simply a story. An enjoyable relaxing read. Perfect when the day has been too crazy. A tale to fall into and for a short time live in a quieter era. I find it ironic that Im enjoying this wonderful book about yester year on my nook tablet! It really is a book I would enjoy to hold. See some illustrations. But since I may not have read this author again if not for my nook recommending her I will forget the medium and simply get reaquainted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Cute little cozy mystery

    This was a cute tale! I loved how they switched from the townsfolk and then to the animals. I really enjoyed how the animals got themselves "involved" in solving some of mysteries in the book. Mind you, the death of Mrs Tolliver was just one of the mysteries in this tale, there's also a few other little mysteries within the big one that need to be solved and although not necessary it does add more substance to the book. The description and feel of rural village life is well done and beautifully written. I absolutely loved it and it really did feel as if you were there in the town with these people. Naturally, what isn't a town without the endless drivel of gossip? you have your stereotypical characters: a gossip, a priest, the "liberated" woman who poses as a danger to society (OMG she rides a bike everybody! and wears pants!!), the pair of spinster sisters that live together, the list is endless.

    The characters are very likable each in their own little way. I don't think I have a particular favorite yet. Although I really do love the part where Beatrix defends someone, and comes out of her shell to say what's on her mind. It shows Beatrix developing on her own without her parents following her every step with disapproval. I admire her independence and her steps to get away from her parents, and her new skill on how to say "no". The animals are likeable as well I love Mrs Tiggy, she's cute and lovable (especially when she curls up in a ball to sleep, with her little handkerchief covering her face) they each have their own personalities and again, I'd have to say, I don't have a favorite, I like all of them.

    The downside of this book; there's no thrills or chills. When you get to the bottom of the mysterie(s) they're not filled with that pack and punch as you find in regular ones. Although my favorite was the one in which the animals had solved one of the mysteries featured in this book. Since this is my first cozy one, I'm not sure if that's the standard with these mysteries, is the finale always low key? so I wish there was a little more excitement in the end. It was all right though. I loved the description of village life enough that it kept me interested until the end. I admit there was a little bit of intrigue and mystery throughout the story but it wasn't much and not what I quite expected. Again, I'll let that pass considering it was my first cozy mystery.

    Overall, a cute little tale of village life, their dramas and how the inhabitants of a little town deal with scandal, newcomers, and their mysteries. I definitely recommend this to fans of Beatrix Potter, and her tales. Definitely worth your time, especially to those cozy mystery fans out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Be Warned ; Talking animals

    Not my cup of tea - An endless parade of babbling two-dimentional characters who talk to their dogs and cats - and the animals talk back - Ugh!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    Great!

    This was an easy, breezy, fun read! The longer you read it, the better it gets!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    Nice littj Nice little story

    Although it was not in the league with gritty, nail-biting crime stories, it was a nice little story. The animals were cute, and characterizations were accurate for a small town during that era.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    I love the author's other works, but just cannot get into this one......

    L

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  • Posted September 17, 2009

    Mark of a good series

    After reading the first of the Potter series, I was 'so so', I thought I might get around to reading the other books 'sometime', but the book was different and a bit off-putting to me. The 2nd book I liked, I thought I 'would probably' read the series, and then read the third promptly. I then immediately bought the fourth book and didn't put down, then bought the 5th book in hardback as soon as it came out. So, that's all an indication of a good series to me.

    These books are unique, and so fun to read once you let yourself slip into the style of them. Give them a chance!! Yes, the series has some fantasy to it, but that suits a Beatrix Potter mystery just fine. As you get to know the characters, both animal and human, the Potter world will become very real and endearing to you. Highly recommend!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2004

    Slightly disappointing

    I was so looking forward to reading this book because I love Beatrix Potter ever so much, but when it came I found that the author has little talent for evoking the magical world of Miss Potter. However she is skilled in other ways so it's up to you, you can spend your money on this one or perhaps you can go another route. Either way, The Cottage Tales will go on because there is another book coming out soon. The mystery is cleverly solved and some of the little animals who help solve the case are appealingly portrayed. Could make a good Walt Disney film, think of the way the birds and mice helped Cinderella sew up her ballgown for the Big Night at the Castle! Weep a tear for Beatrix Potter, who lost her betrothed under mysterious circumstances some few weeks before they were to have been joined in matrimony under the eyes of the Lord.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2004

    Magical

    Susan Wittig Albert has deftly and delightfully evoked the magical world of Beatrix Potter and the beauties of the English Lake District. The various village plots and mysteries were interlaced with skill. I loved the deliciously foreign expressions and vocabulary. And I was utterly smitten with the animals! As an Anglophile, a frequent visitor to England, and an enthusiastic reader of historical mysteries, I greatly appreciate the research that went into this book--the language, the geographic descriptions, the beautiful pictures of the Lake Country. A wonderful book by a talented author who works as easily with historical settings as she does with modern. Can't wait for the next in the series!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A 6. As good as it gets

    The inhabitants of Near Sawrey in England¿s Lake District are agog because outsider Beatrix Potter has bought Hill Top Farm out of royalties she received for her popular books. Beatrix seeks a new start in life because her believed recently died one month after their engagement. While recovering, she also needs to hide from her overbearing parents who see her as a servant and lady of the manor when her mom is ill, which is often............................. Her first impression of the village is that it is quiet and its residents seem contented. As she becomes acquainted with the villagers, Beatrix realizes gossip spreads faster than the wind so that a newspaper is unnecessary to keep up with the day¿s happenings. The longer she stays in Near Sawrey, the more Beatrix gets caught up in the daily flow of life here. Soon she tries to figure out where a missing painting, The Parish Register and the School, could have gone and who purloined them............................ THE TALE OF HILL TOP FARM enables readers to obtain a deep look at the early twentieth century author who wrote the whimsical hopping The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. Ms. Potter¿s works are similar to that of Rita Mae Brown with animals talking to one another and influencing human behavior. There is a historical essence to the tale so that fans feel they are in a quaint English village circa 1905 with a star breaking the taboo of a woman alone moving in with the locals. Susan Wittig Albert provides a fabulous historical fictional mystery tale........................... Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 2, 2011

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    Posted December 24, 2013

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    Posted May 13, 2011

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    Posted July 16, 2009

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    Posted July 16, 2011

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    Posted January 19, 2014

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    Posted January 9, 2011

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    Posted October 5, 2011

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    Posted March 27, 2011

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