I downloaded this audiobook last week. The site states the narrator is Ellen Archer, who narrated the first book in the series. However, buyer beware, the narrator is Jennifer Van Dyke and it is quite a different listening experience. I have called and emailed Audible regarding the erroneous information but have rec'd no reply and I see the site has not yet been corrected. Love the book, dislike the narrator.
Deanna Raybourn has created a rather unlikely but very successful duo in half-gypsy Nicholas Brisbane, a private inquiry agent [or as Sherlock Holmes preferred to call himself, a consulting detective] and the aristocratic Lady Julia Grey, one of a delightfully eccentric Victorian family. In a situation reminiscent of Agatha Christie's murder mysteries set in an isolated country house, two overlapping plots with a few red herrings occur at the March family seat of Belmont Abbey a few days before Christmas. And of course there is the recurring story of Nicholas and Lady Julia themselves. Raybourn writes with verve and a deft touch.
I simply cannot understand why the three books in the series are read by an American reader. Ellen Archer does all right with some accents, most notably Scottish ones, but since the books are in Lady Julia's voice, and it is obvious that Archer has occasional difficulty with a proper British accent (at times she sounds strangled; at others her vowels are wildly off) anyone who is either British, or who has lived in the UK, will find the reading at times irritating. For that reason, I'll only give it 4 stars, but I do recommend it.
I may have to read the rest in print. I have a sensitive ear to accents and I just can't enjoy Archer's reading. I know this must be very difficult work - having to speak for many people in different voices - so I try to be patient when I'm uncomfortable with a reader and eventually I will be immersed into the story - but it isn't working in this case. Her British accent just doesn't ring true. Also I don't like the "voice" she chooses for one of the characters. Out of curiosity I listened to samples of her work with other books, and I think she does much better when she doesn't have to assume a British accent.
But, the story is a good one, Lady Gray is still her indomitable self, Brisbane is still an enigma, and their relationship is moved forward a bit more; so if you aren't particularly sensitive to the sound of a British accent, I think you will enjoy this installment in the series.
I love regency romances and also like so-called "cozy mysteries." This book fits my needs perfectly. I was a bit tired of regency novels with too much sex and easy resolution to the romance, but this has none of that. In fact, while the murder/mystery gets solved in this book, the conflict between the main characters does not and continues on to the next book. Even though I made a mistake and bought the 2nd book in the series, I had no problem enjoying it independently. Some people might find the character a bit stereotypical and their descriptions repetitive in some places and the story a bit dragging in the middle. However, I enjoyed listening to it very much, so much so that now I am listening to the next novel.
I had trouble getting through the first book, but the reader of the first one was good. This book has a different narrator - very annoying voice.
I enjoyed the narrator Ellen Archer's versions more. Ellen Archer narrates the 1st and the 3rd.
MUST listen to Silent in the Grave first. I've loved both of these and look forward to listening to the next one.
I have decided that I like the book series, but wish to comment on Ellen Archer's interpretation. I think she is excellent, however a bit precious when doing the voice of the main character. I realize she's meant to be high born -- but must each syllable be so exact? The accent of all the other characters are brilliant! But as Julia does most of the talking, it's a voice one must get past to enjoy the show. Softening this one voice would be a great improvement. She sounds like a prig.
Extremely disappointing. If you have any brains at all you will know who the murderer is before the murder is even committed. The characters are painfully stupid and inept. I couldn't finish it.
I read the previous Raybourn-Silent novel and enjoyed it, and this one as well. I waited until it came out narrated by Ellen Archer, who does an excellent job narrating (listening to it narrated in an American accent would be irritating, I think). These are light, fun novels that keep your attention while you read them and provide a fun time.