I would recommend this book to a friend. It's a wonderful listen...enough to keep you pleasantly interested but still relaxed.
Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers
Cumberbatch's performance supported the story. His charcters were recognizabeth without being cartoons. Emotions and attitutes were there without being distracting.
I'm not a fan of Ngaio Marsh but I was drawn to this audio book because of Benedict Cumberbatch. Normally, I avoid abridged editions altogether. The story was alright, but nothing to write home about.
Cumberbatch really is a one-man band in this performance, doing a multiplicity of roles and voices.But I can listen to him read anything, really. He's that good.
I listened to this book in one sitting and was pretty disappointed when it was all over.
Everything. I would start with this one if you want to "read" the Inspector Alleyn series: it comes before A Man Lay Dead and Death in a White Tie. The dialogue is sparkling and the narrator really knows his craft. Even the plot of the murder is well-done. I had several theories about the murderer but in the end I was surprised by who it was.
I loved hearing the language of the time, especially spoken by someone as talented as the narrator. "Oh dear me, what a bore."
I rather like the descriptions of Alleyn's attraction to the artist Troy in this book, without giving too much away. It doesn't weigh down the crime plot at all.
Agatha Christie, I suppose. I haven't read a ton of mysteries, and have only seen some in adaptations, so I'm not as qualified to answer this.
What really bugs me about other mysteries (and of course TV and movie mysteries) is the detectives often skip the obvious legwork real policemen would do, and Marsh adds this immediately. (for example, checking for fingerprints, tire tracks, alibis, etc. And the detective asks the right questions. It's delicately interwoven into the story so you don't feel like the author is beating you over the head with foreshadowing, just doing his job properly.
I liked this one doubly because not only was there an interesting cast of well-fleshed-out characters, the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch had a distinct voice for each (my favorite was a thoughtful, world-weary one Alleyn had) really made it worth getting in audio form.
Well...his voice for American women is a little laughable (more so in Death in a White Tie)...but he's perfect with the others and the American women don't figure much into the stories, so I forgive him. He can do Australian and cockney accents, as well as a charming RP.
Death Imitates Art
If Benedict Cumberbatch ever tires of movies, the stage, and voiceover work, he seems to have the ear for direction. His pacing was spot on -- as others have said, it was like watching a dramatization. I've listened to it several times already, something I don't usually desire when it comes to a mystery.
Enjoyed the mystery very much. The narrator was very good. Thought the shortened version well done and just the right length to spend the afternoon listening.
As a devoted, not to say compulsive, fan of Ngaio Marsh's Roderick Alleyn stories, I was delighted not to find a few on Audible, including two of my three favorites. ("Death of a Peer" is my personal favorite, if only for the characters, but "Death in a White Tie" is a very close second, and "Artists in Crime" a competitive third.) When I saw that they were narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch I couldn't believe how perfectly my stars had aligned. Like millions of others who discovered Cumberbatch through the Sherlock series, I'm going through a fairly craven withdrawal period just now while waiting for Series 3. Cumberbatch is wonderfully versatile and natural in all the parts, especially the male ones, and is perfect as Alleyn. His voice is rich and expressive and he has excellent control -- even minor hesitations help make a character's personality clearer. And as Alleyn he captures the character's combination of aristocratic gentility, urbanity, masculinity and keen, wry intelligence, mixed with just the right amount of diffidence and insecurity for this story. I wouldn't have trusted this sleuth to any less capable tonsils. (And I guessed right on how the name is pronounced! Close but not quite on Dame Marsh's first name! What a joy to hear them spoken them aloud.) The original story is well-plotted, the characters satisfying in the "English country house murder" style, and the budding love interest WOULD have been poignant, had the story not been abridged! These are such short novels to begin with that the abridgment cheats us a little of time to savor the building plot, characterizations and subplot. Given that these classic mysteries ARE short to begin with, abridging them is a real shame, and I think a missed opportunity. I'd love to hear Cumberbatch perform the other two Marshes available, but I hesitate to pay to hear an abridged version of books that I own and love in their entirety, just for the pleasure of hearing Cumberbatch's voice. (But it's tempting. Very.)
Margery Allingham's "The Estate of the Beckoning Lady" or other Campion stories, Sayers's "Strong Poison" (but a simpler story).
I would have liked to, but didn't.
I would be very grateful for more titles narrated by Cumberbatch. He would do a wonderful job with Allingham's Albert Campion, and could bring a new sexiness to Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey. He really should consider taking on the Conan Doyle cannon. More Marsh stories would be great, especially if unabridged.
Yes, I bought it because it was Benedict Cumberbatch reading it. He is wonderful with the different voices and accents. He didn't just read. It truly was a performance. Good job Benedict! I am hooked on this series. Beautifully written and rich detail and feeling. I love the gentle humor as well. You truly enjoy these characters. I've bought several more in the series although he has only read two others. One word of warning on this series. Do not buy the ones that Nadia May reads. Dull and flat and she sounds like she needs to blow her nose. Pick another performer. Ben! Read some more please!
makes up for it. I enjoyed it tremendously
I think I will get the other Cumberbatch recordings of March's work
The book, even though abridged, was of course superbly written. The best moments were the conversations between inspector Allyn and his mother.
Benedict Cumberbatch is beyond superb in his narration. Please, please, more of him reading Ngaio Marsh unabridged.
No, I would not. I was very disappointed in the narration...I expected more from Benedict Cumberbatch. Nagio Marsh, along with Josephine Tey, is on my list of really gifted women mystery writers who have been rather overlooked. I have read "Artists in Crime" many times and this version is like listening a Cliff Notes synopsis. A better narration could have made this much ore interesting.
i have been reading her books since I was a teenager. I wouldn't, however, read or listen to an abridged version.
He turned in a lifeless performance. His voice was bland, monotonous and flat.
Please do not judge Nagio Marsh's work by this particular audiobook. Either read the print versions or choose another unabridged title with a better narrator.
Yes, It is exciting and the characters are very interesting.
Not really but it did keep me wondering who did it. It was a surprise at who did it.
The characters all had some grudge against each other
When Inspector Alleyn meets Troy and says her painting is perfect the way it is and not to spoil it.
Not sure I could do it in one sitting.
Good plot, kept moving along and changing directions which makes it interesting. and meeting the new character the Reporter and of course Inspector Fox