I have read (or listened to) three or four of the Royal Spyness books in no particular order, and I have enjoyed each for the light reading that it is. Of greatest interest to me is the author's skill in presenting royalty and aristocrats in very human terms. I like the fact that she has researched the historical period she sets her books in and acknowledges the vast differences in socioeconomic classes. Though I have called this book "light," that is not to discount the very real historical and social value it has. I also appreciate the narrator's skill in performing the different accents essential to make this an enjoyable listening experience.
This is an excellent prequel to the multiple novels about Ian Rutledge and his Scotland Yard cases after World War I ends. This book sets up Rutledge's strong detective skills, establishes the hostility that Chief Inspector Bowles has for him, and shows his pre-war relationship with fiancée Jean and sister Frances. Even though I have read or listened to all the succeeding novels, this one makes me want to go back and start all over again! A good read (or listen, in my case)!
Ian Rankin's books are chock full of references to specific places in and around Edinburgh. For the "Scotophile" who enjoys reading about sites she has been or knows of, this is the book! It is also a complex, carefully plotted story that will keep the listener puzzling about the outcome right up to the end. Detective Inspector John Rebus is wrapping up his career on the police force with a doozy of a case, hence "Exit Music."
Narrator Tom Cotcher does an excellent job with all the different voices that Rankin includes in the novel. I really enjoy his reading!
A great book for long car rides or cold wintry days indoors.
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