book cover of Nest of Vipers

Nest of Vipers

(1979)
(A book in the Mrs Bradley series)
A novel by

 
 
Chelion Piper has been arrested under suspicion of murder. One of the tenants of his country apartment house, an unsocial and secretive old lady named Miss Minnie, was found by Chelion and two other men in her bungalow, dead in her bed. Suicide or accidental death is quickly ruled out: the woman was drowned in sea water (her clothes and bed were wet), and her face was bludgeoned in.

The police discover that Piper inherited the house from a relative of Miss Minnie's, and she was there to find evidence of a new will that would give her claim to the property. Motive thus provided, the police begins building the case against Chelion. The accused man writes to Dame Beatrice, and she agrees to pay a visit to Weston Pipers on his behalf (while there, she uses the alias of "Mrs. Farintosh" to allay suspicion).

At the house, Dame B. meets Niobe, the quick-to-tears caretaker who was once engaged to Chelion, and the remaining tenants, all of whom are writers - true crime reporters, advice columnists, romance writers and spy novelists among them. The detective soon learns about a wave of sordid anonymous letters addressed to several individuals, as well as a prank that changed the printing of stationery bearing the estates name from "Weston Pipers" to "Nest of Vipers."

The trail of Miss Minnie leads Dame Beatrice and Laura to a run-down junk shop in the village, where they find a duplicitous shop owner, a set of steel fire-irons (which may include a murder weapon), and a cryptic picture with occult origins. When the shopkeeper is found dead in his office, stabbed in the chest, an investigation of the junk shop reveals a private room containing black curtains and carpet, satanic symbols traced upon the floor, and a sacrificial altar. Dame Beatrice must now decide just how many murderers she's looking for: one, two or an entire coven.

Genre: Mystery

Used availability for Gladys Mitchell's Nest of Vipers

Hardback Editions

2005 : UK Hardback
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Title: Nest of Vipers
Author(s): Gladys Mitchell
ISBN: 1-4056-8511-5 / 978-1-4056-8511-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Black Dagger Crime / Chivers
Availability: Amazon   


April 1981 : UK Board book

Title: Nest of Vipers
Author(s): Gladys Mitchell
ISBN: 0-86009-306-9 / 978-0-86009-306-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Magna Large Print Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1979 : UK Hardback
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Title: Nest Of Vipers
Author(s): Gladys Mitchell
ISBN: 0-7181-1759-X / 978-0-7181-1759-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

April 2014 : UK Paperback
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Title: Nest Of Vipers
Author(s): Gladys Mitchell
ISBN: 0-09-958399-2 / 978-0-09-958399-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

April 2014 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: Nest Of Vipers (Mrs Bradley Book 55)
Author(s): Gladys Mitchell
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   


April 2014 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Nest of Vipers (Mrs. Bradley)
Author(s): Gladys Mitchell
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA