trying to see the world with my ears
I started Rendell with her later Wexford mysteries, but hesitated to spend a credit on this one because it was both older and shorter. I'm glad I finally tired it since it proved a well-wriiten and absorbing mystery made more enjoyable by Rendell's knack for capturing the setting and Wexford's dry wit. The narrator (not favorites Bailey or Anthony) delivers a different but apt voice for Wexford.
* very cozy formula: village murder with RCMP inspector teamed with local amateur sleuth on both an investigation and blossoming romance. You can guess easily who the killer is, but that's not the point of the listen! --more of a traditional village cozy than whodunit
* captures the rural anglophone New Brunswick setting well -- although an outsider, I lived there around that period (1980s) and I "recognized' the characters and voice
*good, gentle humour; decent writing, especially the dialogue
* Dufris hits the right notes with all the characters - no over-the-top Canucks, but there is some regional inflection respectfully attempted
*another gift from the publishing world of e- and audiobooks - I hadn't come across MacLeod/Craig before. I look forward to more of her audiobooks. This first of a series has me hooked.
Why can't more "gentle" contemporary detective novels like this series be created? I usually avoid U.S. contemporaries because of the
*poor quality of prose
*even more over-the-top action heroes and Barbie heroines who can run in designer shoes
*even campier formulaic gratuitous sex and violence scenes and
*overall dumbness factor
This series avoids the above and has the strength of quirky characters (but not TOO quirky) and a strong city setting. Lippman almost does for Baltimore what Rankin does for Edinburgh. Tess usually takes on a social issue (secondary to the plot), which may put off some readers. Except for #2 in the series (Charm City), I think Lippman grows stronger in her craft in each.
As for the narrator, Barabara Rosenblatt, who is much criticized in reviews of this series - I am among the minority who don't like her as the voice of Amelia Peabody, but I love her as Tess Monaghan I don't get the criticisms voicied here--- She doesn't slobber over the vowels -- I think her delivery is part of her fresh take on impulsive Tess. She reads as if speaking, so - yes - there are some human sounds. She is not Microsoft Anna!
So - if you seek a listen to relax, to be engrossed (and not grossed out or blood pressure raised), try this.
I listen while I paint- classic or modern mysteries, true adventure, & books that inspire or motivate
You will feel detached from reality off and on, and unable to tell what is real and what isn't. This is the brilliance of this writer--to keep you as off balance as the characters in the novel. No matter if you love the story or not, there is no question that Marisha Pessl is a superbly talented writer. I loved it.
The review by Linda does an excellent job of summing up the story without giving anything away. She wrote what I was feeling.
I will look up other works by this author as time goes by, hoping she comes up with another gem like this one. In the meantime, I plan on listening to this one again.