The Malcontenta

The Malcontenta Barry Maitland s first mystery The Marx Sisters won fans with its intricate plotting and charming characters Kathy and Brock Now in The Malcontenta Maitland has honed his mystery weaving skills a

  • Title: The Malcontenta
  • Author: Barry Maitland
  • ISBN: 9780752827674
  • Page: 123
  • Format: Paperback
  • Barry Maitland s first mystery, The Marx Sisters, won fans with its intricate plotting and charming characters, Kathy and Brock Now, in The Malcontenta, Maitland has honed his mystery weaving skills and created a nuanced, complex new thriller Kathy has been reassigned to Family and Juvenile Crime and sent by her new boss to investigate an apparent suicide at a local natBarry Maitland s first mystery, The Marx Sisters, won fans with its intricate plotting and charming characters, Kathy and Brock Now, in The Malcontenta, Maitland has honed his mystery weaving skills and created a nuanced, complex new thriller Kathy has been reassigned to Family and Juvenile Crime and sent by her new boss to investigate an apparent suicide at a local naturopath spa She can tell right away that there is a cover up in process and calls on Brock for help When Brock checks himself in as a patient, they both learn that spas are not always beneficial for one s health especially if you re a target for murder.

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    About "Barry Maitland"

    1. Barry Maitland

      Barry Maitland is the author of the acclaimed Brock and Kolla series of crime mystery novels, which are set in London, where Barry grew up after his family moved there.His books have been described as whydunits as much as whodunits, concerned with the devious histories and motivations of their characters Barry s background in architecture drew him to the structured character of the mystery novel, and his books are notable for their ingenious plots as well as for their atmospheric settings, each in a different intriguing corner of London.Barry studied architecture at Cambridge University, and went on to work as an architect in the UK, then took a PhD in urban design at the University of Sheffield, where he also taught and wrote a number of books on architecture and urban design In 1984 he moved to Australia to head the architecture school at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, and held that position until 2000 He now writes fiction full time, and lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia.


    1. DS Kathy Kolla has been seconded to the countryside from the Met. She isn't having an easy time of it as her superior officer doesn't seem to care for her. She is assigned to look into an apparent suicide at a local health resort. She doesn't seem to feel that this was indeed a suicide but her investigation is stopped when her superiors interfer and close the case. In desperation she turns to DCI David Brock and he eventually starts looking into the case on his own time.This is a very good myste [...]

    2. Author Barry Maitland simply possesses too much talent. Thanks to him, I completely neglected so much that I had to accomplish over the two days that it took me to devour the 348 pages of The Malcontenta.The suspense builds from the first few pages. Sergeant Kathy Kolla, physically if not mentally recovered from her experience in The Marx Sisters, visits Detective Chief Inspector David Brock of Scotland Yard at his London home. Kolla, spending a year on special assignment in an unspecified count [...]

    3. The last time I read about a naturopathic spa, it was in Thunderball. I guess naturopathic spas are like a thing in mystery novels? Who knew?In this spa, an employee has been killed and Detective Chief Inspector David Brock goes undercover to the spa where they deprive him of, well, everything in order to release the toxins from his system. There's not as much involving Sergeant Kathy Kolla in this book, which was interesting since the first book, The Marx Sisters, featured her so predominantly. [...]

    4. Rating is rounded up from an actual 2 & 1/2 stars due to good writing which kept me turning the pages, despite many serious flaws in the plot and action. Point #1: No cause of death ever definitively given for physio-trainer, who "officially" committed suicide. (The cause is finally revealed months later, but no reason is given for why the pathologist would have connived at the cover-up.) Point #2: The psychopathic killer would not have left Brock alive while he was in the same room with the [...]

    5. Kathy Kolla was assigned to investigate a suicide at Stanhope Clinic - it when she arrives she realises this suicide may in fact be a murder. The victim, Alex Petrou, was a physiotherapist at the clinic and his character received a mixed review from the patients. But during the investigation Kathy did something which has landed her in trouble and so she seeks David Brock’s advice on how to proceed. This is where this book opens and as always you can never tell how it will end.I like this serie [...]

    6. This very solid police procedural has a pair of likable protagonists and an interesting plot. I highly recommend it, and the only reason I didn't give it a fourth star is that the plot twists aren't quite enough to prevent you from easily guessing who did it based on first impressions and personality types. Although this is #2 in the series, knowledge of the first story isn't needed to enjoy this one. (My local library didn't have #1.)

    7. Deliciously tangled plot, with a surprise ending. I was kept guessing right to the end. I loved it and will be looking for more from Barry Maitland.

    8. [My comments are taken from a mailing list discussion and as such contain spoilers!] [on the characters] I may be forgetting something essential but I don't remember there being any recurring characters other than Kolla and Brock. I thought Brock was better developed in this book because he had a bigger role to play and more of the book was written from his point of view. In _The Marx Sisters_ Brock was quite sketchy and here we learnt more about his past and his home. I think everything here wa [...]

    9. Maitland, Barry. THE MALCONTENTA. (2000). ****. This is a new author for me, but one I will surely read more of. He was born in Scotland, raised in London, and now lives in Australia. He was the recipient of the Ned Kelly Prize for Crime Fiction (Australia’s Edgar equivalent), and was short-listed for the John Creasy Award for Best First Crime Novel. This work features the pair of his series characters, Inspector Brock and Detective Kathy Kolla. This is their second adventure, their first bein [...]

    10. This was a light, fun, absorbing mystery. The crime takes place in a large estate that has been converted to an alternative medicine center that patrons check into for weeks or months at a time. The author admits it's the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie story, though in this case the butler did not do it. I enjoyed reading about detectives whose work is thwarted by their superiors because they're involved in the crime. It seems fitting given my current situation, working for gasbags who d [...]

    11. Somewhat odd approach in this book considering where the series eventually goes. The book is in three parts, with the first being Kathy narrating to Brock the difficulties encountered in the murder case so far, the second Brock alone going undercover (with only mixed success) while another crime is committed, and finally Part III is Brock and Kathy working together to tie things up. You can tell in this book (#2 in the series) the author is still trying to figure out his characters and their rel [...]

    12. What a great read! This is my second Brock & Kolla (after the Marx Sisters) and it's just as good as the first.Barry Maitland is one of Australia's best crime writers. The characters are so well drawn and the plots are riveting.Most other reviewers will give you an indication of the story line so I won't bother with that except to say that many authors have problems with "the ending"; not in this case! Maitland holds your attention right to the very end of the book.I would recommend "The Mal [...]

    13. This is the second novel I've read in the Kathy and Brock series. I'm so impressed with this writer's ability to make me care about his characters and draw me into the story. Add to that a puzzling murder or two with plenty of twists and turns and I'm hooked. As a former architect, Maitland brings much architectural interest to his books. The Malcontenta has a double meaning of course. But it refers on the surface to a mansion turned naturopathic spa outside of London and modeled after the villa [...]

    14. Kolla has been loaned out to a village police dept. Her captain there doesn't give her much to do, but sends her out to take care of what seems to be a suicide at a nearby health resort. It turns out to be a homicide and the investigation begins, but then people in law enforcement leadership seem to be impeding the investigation. She appeals to Brock who ends up checking himself in for treatment.Interesting. A few graphic descriptions, but overall a good police procedural.

    15. It's hard not to love the mysteries of Barry Maitland with his unfailing attention to detail and making an intricate mystery the center of attention, but with enough problems in the detectives' lives to keep me rooting for them. I didn't enjoy the dated attitudes towards homosexuality, but being as this was written in the mid 90s, perhaps it's a product of the times. This book was impossible to put down.

    16. I found Maitland's follow up an enjoyable success. He brings Kolla to a county department on loan for a nice change of scenery, but manages to incorporate Brock into the story in an essential way. Their relationship is endearing, the story was tense and twisty without being unbelievable, and the setting--though not London--was interesting and full of character. I'm anxious to read the rest of the series (and I'm happy to see that there are at least four more).

    17. good mystery. Kolla and Brock are a likable pair of sleuths. There are a lot of twists and turns, some of them probably unnecessary but still enjoyable to read. Will Continue to follow Kolla and Brock later. In reading reviews of the next books in the series it seems that the Kindle versions of the books do not make for good reading, full of errors, etc

    18. Maitland is such a fine mystery writer. His characters grow and learn, and the plots are so tightly structured.In this one, the culprit seems so obvious--until he isn't. But it's a kind of Murder on the Orient Express deal, too. That part is not entirely untangled, but one can piece it together. Taut writing and solid characters. This is a really good series.

    19. Thoroughly enjoyed this one - murders in a naturopathic clinic run by a strong minded autocrat. As with other Maitlands, the architecture is an important aspect - the Malcontenta being a classic Italian building copied as a folly in the English landscape. Plenty of twists and turns, but all perfectly reasonable.

    20. I really must pay more attention to what I download on to my Kindle. I didn't realise that this book is almost 18 years old until I was into it and wondering why the technology seemed so archaic. Things have changed a lot in 18 years.Nevertheless, it was a very satisfying, if a little dated, mystery with plenty of red herrings and plot twists. I can't work out how I hadn't read it before!

    21. Kathy has been loaned out to a local agency who's boss is a sexist pig and doesn't believe she's capable of anything. She, of course, becomes involved in a mysterious death at a local health spa. The story is complicated and odd at times but the resolution is well worth the wait.

    22. The Brits have always been big on alternative medicine, and several mystery writers have used the clinic/spa arrangement as a setting for a mystery. I'm not sure why I wasn't engrossed by this particular Brock/Kolla outing, but somehow I didn't enjoy it as much as others in the series.

    23. I enjoyed this second book in the series more than The Marx Sisters. I felt it has a much better plot design and better character development. Now, on to The Chalon Heads which I started months ago but stopped wanting to read these in order.

    24. This is the first Kathy and Brock book that I have read. Actually the second book in the series. I liked the book, good characters, good descriptions and a good story. I will continue reading the books.

    25. I never really got into this book - the main characters seemed flat and the premise didn't seem real. I'll try the next book in the series and then decide if I want to continue reading Mr. Maitland's police procedurals.

    26. Skipped half and read the last chapter. I could still maybe see reading the next one, but I prefer the classic style.

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