The Tale of Castle Cottage

Written by Susan Wittig Albert
Review by Susan Cook

In the final installment of The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, it is 1913 and Beatrix is busy trying to renovate Castle Cottage as a future home for her and Will Heelis. However, with both families opposing their marriage and her brother about to drop a bombshell of his own, Beatrix sees no happily ever after in her future. Add to this discrepancies on several construction sites run by her contractor, a gang of thieving rats, and a suspect suicide, and both Beatrix and her animal friends have much to do to restore harmony to the Land Between the Lakes.

As a Beatrix Potter fan, I have read the entire series of Cottage Tales, gentle mysteries aimed at readers of all ages, each with one of Beatrix’s “little books” as a central theme. I enjoyed the earlier books a little more than the later ones, where the mysteries are downplayed and the narrator’s voice becomes more intrusive. Even so, I was sorry to see the series come to an end. Fans will of course wish to round out the series; new readers intrigued by the premise should go back to The Tale of Hill Top Farm to enjoy the story from the beginning.