On a dark night, along a lonely country road, barrister Frank Amberley stops to help a young lady in distress and discovers a sports car with a corpse behind the wheel. The girl protests her innocence, and Amberley believes her - at least until he gets drawn into the mystery and the clues incriminating Shirley Brown begin to add up.
In an English country-house murder mystery with a twist, it's the butler who's the victim, every clue complicates the puzzle, and the bumbling police are well-meaning but completely baffled. Fortunately, in ferreting out a desperate killer, amateur sleuth Amberley is as brilliant as he is arrogant, but this time he's not sure he wants to know the truth.
©1933 Georgette Rougier (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Georgette Heyer is second to none." (The Sunday Times)
"Heyer is an author to read, this means you!" (The New York Herald Tribune)
"Sharp, clear, and witty." (The New Yorker)
I have had this book in my library for almost a year, tried repeatedly to listen and failed miserably. In the end, I have heard the first chapter (really the beginning only) about six or seven times. The voice of the narrator is so hypnotic and slow that listening puts me to sleep in minutes. It does not matter what time of day it is, my intake of coffee or my desire to enjoy the book. It is a recorded knock out drug--both amazing and disappointing. I give up. I will have to read the book in print. I strongly suggest you listen to the sample before buying the book.
Typical of Georgette Heyer, the story was great. The performance was an ordeal. The reader read the story at the speed a glacier migrates. This very slow speed resulted in weird pauses throught out the book and very S L O W, irritating progress. The slow delivery ruined Georgette Heyer's witty style. I finally put my I-pod on faster play mode to listen to this book. Once in a while, the performer would speed up to a more normal, natural speed. This meant that in faster play mode I missed some words and sentences. If there is another audio version of this book, get that one, not this one.
I'm not sure because the narrator's wooden flat dragging delivery spoiled the book for me, but I think there's supposed to be a good amount of witty repartee and funny characterizations in this book. Wish someone like Nadia May had been the narrator. I didn't finish it.
With a different narrator, I would be willing to try another book from this author.
It was as if she believed the listener had very poor comprehension or wasn't a native English speaker. Really, flat, slow dull reading.
If you are a Georgette Heyer fan, skip these new ones until they are released with a different narrator. Ulli Birve is sleepwalking her way through - I am one hour in, and unless the plot can overcome her narration in the next hour, this one is going back.
What is going on? Doesn't anybody at Audible listen to these productions before they are released? Not only is her voice a deadpan monotone, context and punctuation are blithely ignored as she stutters her way through the sentences. Example: "Fountain looked annoyed, and shook his head." The narration: "Fountain. Looked Annoyed. And shook his head."
It's extremely distracting, and definitely not what Georgette Heyer's books deserve!
Georgette Heyer's books are known for their plentiful characters and authentic voices of the time and the witty dialogue. So a really strong narrator is needed who can clearly voice different characters. Also, this plot was rather more convoluted than other mysteries by Heyer, so that made it trickier. I hated the narrator. She sounded bovine and mournful the entire time.
Kate Reading, Ellen Archer, Clifford Norgate, Stephen Thorne, Hugh Fraser
If you like Heyer, try her later mysteries like "Behold, Here's Poison" and "The Unfinished Clue"
Voracious reader since age 2. I give unbiased reviews in all genres: history, mystery, bios, crime, sci-fi - from front to BLACK!
I've listened to 28 of the Georgette Heyer books written in the Georgian and Regency periods. Before reading my first Heyer work, I was not a fan of the Regency romance genre. However, I was hooked after listening to "Frederica" and promptly purchased more than 2 dozen more her audiobooks. But this book isn't nearly as good as Heyer's first work, "The Moth", written while in her teens. This story dragged out for hours with nothing of consequence going on. The characters are uninspiring and flat. The dialogue is boring. Halfway through the book, I still hadn't figured out what the whole thing was about. Maybe if I hadn't started with such great Heyer stories like "Behold", "Here's Poison", "Devil's Cub", "The Nonesuch", "Royal Escape", and "These Old Shades", I'd be more inclined to give "Why Shoot A Butler?" a higher rating. Something is missing here, i.e., the spark and genius that made the other Heyer books so enjoyable.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
I really like Georgette Heyer, and frankly I have listened to and enjoyed a lot of her books in older audio additions created in the UK. The readers were delightful and I listened and relistened to the books with pleasure. This book and Footprints in the Dark were the only two of her mysteries that I did not own in audio form so I was happy to try this book. Now I really wish I hadn't.
One of the things I love about Heyer is the spritely dialog. Ulli Birvé for the most part reads it like it's a chore. She has a very monotonous tone and I really disloke the loss of period accents, class accents and British accents. Let's face it, people did not talk in 1933 Britain than they do now. You wouldn't know it from listening to this book.
So the book is a bit of an action story with dead bodies, car chases and a host of eccentric characters, but you won't really appreciate if you listen to this audiobook. Instead you will probably fall alseep.
This was definitely enjoyable, but the sleuth gets to keep valuable clues from the audience. One of the best parts of a mystery is trying to solve the puzzle along with the sleuth. In this case, the important clue would have given away the whole thing in the beginning so author Georgette Heyer cheats by letting the sleuth know something the audience doesn't that isn't revealed until the end. She surrounds a weak tale with fun, acerbic characters and intrigue and suspense. This makes it fun to listen to, but as a legit mystery, the emperor has no clothes.
the mystery is fine, but the narration really jarred me out of the story.
spoiler - death of one of the main characters
Maybe - it's like a 1930s screwball comedy
"A murder mystery murdered by the narrator"
I may be biased in that I love Georgette Heyer's murder mysteries more than her period novels. However this woman read the novel as if she had never encountered English before. I have never *ever* come across reading out loud as bad as this - and I help out in primary schools listening to under 10s reading books. Please, do not leave her in a recording studio without her carers ever again.
I gave up after an hour. I tried. I love the book so stuck with it as far as I could. I even resorted to a glass of wine after the first half hour but that didn't help either.
My cat would make a better job of it.
The book is brilliant. The audio-book makes diabolical seem positively heavenly.
I want my ears cleaned.
"Good story spoilt by narration"
This is a good story but, was spoilt by the narrator. The local police and residence of the English town all seem to have been born in Australia. The narration is very stilted. The narrator has no idea about punctuation, pausing in the middle of sentences etc. Nor does she know how to pronounce certain words. Data is pronounced darter and pince-nez she pronounced pin snares. This was not a cheap audio book so I would have expected the narration to have been checked by someone before it was offered for sale. The narration really affected the pleasure of listening to this audio book. It was not relaxing to listen to just annoying.
Ulie Birve' is a boring, stilted narrator who destroys any enjoyment of this extremely well written story. Her narration is slow and precise and does not keep up with the flow. Altogether a MOST disappointing listening experience. Poor Georgette must be turning in her grave!!
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