Mary Wimbush stars as unconventional psychoanalyst sleuth Mrs Bradley in these two full-cast dramatisations of stories by Gladys Mitchell. Colourful, cynical, intimidating and extremely intelligent, Mrs Bradley is one of the most unorthodox detectives in the history of Golden Age crime fiction. The heroine of 66 novels by Gladys Mitchell, she has also appeared in several radio adaptations and a BBC TV series starring Diana Rigg.
In these two dramas, she puts her extraordinary mind to work investigating cases of disguise, dismemberment, mayhem and murder. In Speedy Death, a country house in the 1920s is rocked by a murder which takes place in a room which is first locked, then later unlocked. A startling secret is uncovered, and as fingers point and the suspects begin to turn on each other, another death occurs... The Mystery of a Butcher's Shop sees Mrs Bradley probing some alarming events in the village of Wandles Parva, as Rupert Sethleigh goes missing and a headless body is found jointed in the butcher's shop.
These entertaining dramatisations, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1990 and 1991, star Mary Wimbush as Mrs Bradley, with Leslie Phillips as Carstairs.
Classic Radio Crime: presenting vintage detectives for your investigation!
Duration: 2 hours 55 mins approx.
Gladys Maude Winifred Mitchell - or `The Great Gladys' as Philip Larkin called her - was born in 1901, in Cowley in Oxfordshire. She graduated in history from University College London and in 1921 began her long career as a teacher. Her hobbies included architecture and writing poetry. She studied the works of Sigmund Freud and her interest in witchcraft was encouraged by her friend, the detective novelist Helen Simpson. Her first novel, Speedy Death, was published in 1929 and introduced readers to Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley, the detective heroine of a further sixty six crime novels. She wrote at least one novel a year throughout her career and was an early member of the Detection Club, alongside Agatha Christie, G.K Chesterton and Dorothy Sayers. In 1961 she retired from teaching and, from her home in Dorset, continued to write, receiving the Crime Writers' Association Silver Dagger in 1976. Gladys Mitchell died in 1983.