The first novel by Michael Innes, set in an Oxbridge-type college. The characters, mostly college faculty, are very similar to one another. The plot is slow-moving and confused. I didn't care much about the victim or the cast of possible killers, and the ending is entirely unbelievable.
Fortunately, Innes became a better writer and devised much better plots. Skip this one.
This was my introduction to the work of John D. MacDonald, and I can't believe I've been unaware of this man's work all these years. I liked this first novel enough that, long before I'd finished it, I'd ordered the six other McGee books released to date.
I think Robert Petkoff is a perfect narrator for this book. I particularly like his range of voices for female characters. He avoids the common pitfall of many male readers of resorting to high-pitched squeaky voices for the women.
Other reviewers, some very familiar with the Travis McGee series, have mentioned being disappointed in Petkoff's reading. Perhaps because I'm new to MacDonald and McGee, I've no preconceived idea of what McGee should sound like, and Petkoff's treatment is now the perfect voice for McGee in my head.
There are 14 more Travis McGee books, and I hope Audible is recording them with Robert Petkoff as the narrator and an imminent release date. When that's done, there are 50 additional MacDonald books to look forward to. Get a move on, Audible: summer is coming and I want to vacation with as much MacDonald as possible!
It's hard to ruin the Sherlock Holmes stories, but this reader has managed it. He gallops through the text with barely a pause. His attempts to differentiate one character from another are ineffective. And in case this wasn't sufficiently annoying, every once in a while brief passages are rendered with the hollow, echoing sound of someone yelling down a pipe.
Don't waste your money.
Fifteen often-intriguing stories are marred by a poor reading. Although Andrew Timothy has a good voice, he stumbles through the text. Sometimes he corrects himself, and sometimes he doesn't. It's puzzling that none of this was fixed in the recording studio. If you prefer a smooth delivery by a trained actor, this book is not for you. If you'll put up with anything just for more Appleby stories, well, you've been warned.
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