It failed my test for novels, especially murder mysteries, namely that it keep me curious and the characters have to seem real enough that I care what happens to them. Also the reviews kept talking about atmosphere--well the author kept talking about atmosphere too but Rebecca this is not.
There was never much question about the story-- you knew who did it and why and the big political behind-the-scenes stuff was right out in full view and the only real mystery was why the main character was so excited about her child's father's wedding to someone else. Maybe it was explained and I missed it. My mind wandered a lot.
The most annoying thing was the reader. Not always, but often she made this little gasp just before starting a sentence. You'd think the sound engineer could have caught it. It's the kind of thing that really grates on the nerves after about the 40th pre-sentence gasp.
This was pretty expensive. I was disappointed.
I got about mid-way through the book and I, a mild-mannered former high-school introvert, wanted to give this guy a swirly. What a drip!
Karin Slaughter's stories always draw me in. She's like a mean friend, always luring you into adventures and even though you get tired and the endings are downright nasty, you stay to the end and look forward, guardedly, to the next.
This one is a classic example. The surprises are part of the fun so I won't reveal the story. Had it been longer or more expensive I might not give as favorable a review but as it is-- I enjoyed it.
Charles Paris is my absolute favorite mystery series character. I love all the theatre lore and those wonderfully painful "reviews" inserted whenever one of his performances is mentioned. The characters are recognizable and funny without being characatures or even unsympathetic. There is lots of sly humor but also pathos.
I wish Audible had more of the Charles Paris series. I understand Simon Brett narrated one himself. I enjoy Geoffrey Howard’s narration-- he sounds like Charles Paris-- a seasoned performer who knows his way around all the various accents and personalities.
But why, oh why did they unleash Frederick Davidson on so many of his audiobooks? Am I the only person that thinks he turns every character from Lord Peter Whimsey to Bertie Wooster and God knows who else into a smoke-gasping drag queen? Nothing against drag queens but his manner of speaking is so severe and affected it overwhelms any characterization this side of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and adds a dimension to these beloved old friends I just can't get used to.
I loved this book! Julian Fellowes writes beautifully and Richard Morant has the perfect voice as the long-suffering friend of all the debutantes and the quietly bemused observer of British social history. Fellowes uses a small group of debutantes from the 1960's to demonstrate the huge changes to the British social structure from the last half of the 20th century to the present. But this is not "Sex and the City Goes to England", although it is just as lively and topical in references. I was struck by how much it mirrors The Great Gatsby in theme and characters. This book is every bit as good as that old war horse.
As an ex-video clerk from Sacramento, CA I have no personal experience with British Aristocracy but there's something about authenticity, you can smell it like a ripe peach, and Julian Fellowes writing has all that.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.