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)
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!
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.
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"
Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton. In-depth fair reviews - 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 enjoyed Why Shoot A Butler so much I believe I have to rank it near the top of my list. Ulli Birve is perfect for the period and style.
I loved the chase to the sea. Being a fan of Georgette Heyer for many years and having read her historical fiction of the Regency period, there seemed to be an intentional reminder of the races to the rescue in the past. She even makes a reference that to Frank Amberley's urging the Bentley forward like springing the horses.
This was my first experience listening to Ulli Birve. I will want to check out other books she's read, especially if they are by Georgette Heyer.
I was surprised that Frank Amberley's aunt became such a wonderful addition in the audio book. There were several lines that made me laugh with delight. Of course, I had read the book and knew that he valued her uncanny ability to zero in on the critical points while maintaining a perfect lady's demeanor. But Ullie Birve brought that quality to sparkling clarity.
And the Sergeant also had lines that made me laugh. He gave voice to a lot my own reactions to Frank Amberley's often annoying lack of transparency. Amberley kept his thoughts to himself and I was drawn into the story wondering as one of the characters "what was he thinking? And why would he do that?" The Sergeant's responses were wonderfully human.
This story and the reader are a pleasure to listen to. Georgette Heyer had the ability to paint the scene and create atmosphere with her words. If you enjoy movies and novels from the 30's and 40's, you will enjoy this story. There are undercurrents going on that require the reader to pay attention. No red herrings here. Just sinister and dangerous going-ons, murder, a damsel in distress who isn't sure who can be trusted and a hero whose calm arrogance is quite off-putting, especially at the beginning. I loved this mystery more than any Agatha Christie story I've read. More complex and more satisfying in the end.
"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.
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