Available to download for the very first time, the fantastic Inspector Appleby series by celebrated crime writer Michael Innes.
Appleby's End was the name of the station where Detective Inspector John Appleby got off the train from Scotland Yard. But that was not the only coincidence. Everything that happened from then on related back to stories by Ranulph Raven, Victorian novelist - animals were replaced by marble effigies, someone received a tombstone telling him when he would die, and a servant was found buried up to his neck in snow, dead. Why did Ranulph Raven's mysterious descendants make such a point of inviting Appleby to spend the night at their house?
Legendary character Inspector John Appleby of Scotland Yard inspired a lasting vogue for donnish detective fiction. Innes's detective novels are playfully highbrow and rich in allusions to English literature and to Renaissance art.
©1945 Michael Innes (P)2010 Audible Ltd
It is true that I know only what I have read in books. But I have read a great many books. ("Venetia" by Georgette Heyer)
Michael Innes's writing style is unique, British in the extreme, and not to every taste or mood, but when he's good he's fun to listen to. He wrote one spectacularly good book (Hamlet Revenge, which I hope comes to audio interpreted by a great reader like Simon Jones or Sir Ian McKellen and with high production values), a few quirky and enjoyable books, and a lot of books that seem to have been written mostly to show off how erudite Innes is. Appleby's End falls into the quirky and enjoyable category, and is more of the first than some people might like. The dry and subtle humor make for a good listen, and it's certainly a change from the modern mystery.
A very enjoyable and definitely quirky English country house mystery. Not exactly a crime novel, as there is no crime, just a chain of very weird events going at and around a crumbling country house. First part of the novel, where we are introduced to the characters and Appleby travels from the station to his host's home is wonderfully written. The happenings at a house itself and around are of rather bizarre kind, however still captivating. Highly recommended to all who like British Golden Age crime novels. The writing itself is very clever with lots of allusions to classical literature and art. It is also very well narrated. This was a first book by this author I have read and I was not dissapointed - a credit well spent.
The book begins dark and slow, and the narrator doesn't hit a rhythm for a few minutes but my recommendation is don/t miss this one. Delightfully funny and fun to listen to again.
Appleby meets Judith, who is featured as his wife in Appleby at Allington, and the dialogue with her is the Innes style that I love. The narrator does a good job at keeping the characters distinct and capturing their strangely amusing wierdness. The plot is just clever and certainly not intended to be anything but a fun story.
I would recommend this book with the caveat that the narrator must be forgiven much.
This book is complex and sophisticated, on a par with the author's earlier book, Hamlet Revenge. It is a mystery, but more concerned with characters and motivation than with solving a puzzle.
The narrator stumbled over words, mispronounced and garbled words, and made no effort to distinguish voices during conversations between characters. It is a cringe-worthy performance.
The plot, the characters, and the quality of the writing all make this worth listening to.
Not what was expected, but one of the most fun mysteries I've ever encountered. This writer can meander around a little, but then right in the middle of it all are these sly little zings. You have to have the right sense of humor to get this writer, but the wit is outstanding. If a person needs a protagonist with a lot of drama in their personal life and gory crime scene descriptions to be happy, this book is decidedly not for them. It also helped to have read another of this author's books beforehand as there are a few surreal moments in this one. This is probably the best one of those already recorded, and I do hope they make more. I gave it a 5 because for those of us who really enjoy Innes' dry sense of humor it is a gem!
Appleby's End is a favorite -- I listened to it twice and plan to listen again.
It wasn't the plot that kept me on the edge of my seat; it was the multiple wry scenes and twists in the story. There's not so much a crime as a series of eccentric characters and bizarre episodes that kept me laughing along the way.
british mid-series delight
Appleby is always great, especially if you are tired of authors who use only a 2000 word vocabulary. However, one should know that this title is in the middle of the series and represents somewhat of a transition for the lead character, and so should not be read first.
Make friends with the inspector first then read this one. Innes's Appleby will give you many hours of happy reading with sophistocated language not to be found in more recent entries to the genre. So, have fun and you will probably learn some "new" words to impress your friends and influence your life.
I would love to sit down to dinner with the inspector as he seems to be the most educated copper ever written.
Buy them! Buy them all!
Tell us about yourself! Attorney/Rancher - eclectic taste in books in both fiction and non-fiction. Preference for British authors in mysteries, love well written dialogue and hate historical fiction.
No, I never listen to a book more than once, unless very unique.
No, but it did make me want to hear it to the end.
The dead never leave.
I find that some of the plot a bit troubling, that a Scotland Yard detective is such a lone wolf, but, perhaps in the agency's early years, this behavior was acceptable.
I abandoned this book after 20 minutes because of the stilted and deplorable narration. I would have quit sooner, but I was driving. Even with a better narrator, I am not sure I would have finished the book. The style was archaic - I felt as if I was listening to a poorly written book dating to the early 19th century.
Australian, living in beautiful central Victoria. Audio book addict otherwise fairly well balanced.
I enjoy period police and detective novels as much as the next person but this writer makes you feel you are listening to your Great Great Great Aunt Edna wittering on about everything except the plot. It's a ridiculous story and Michael Innes seems more eager to convince us he learnt a lot at his very good English public school than advance the mystery. Seriously not recommended.
"Leaden mock Gothic"
Could not get past the first 3 chapters - even though I did try playing at double speed!! Suspect there is some wit in this leaden mock Gothic tale - with references to Carroll etc but the narration is so very very slow the hole thing becomes just TOO heavy and leaden.
"A pedantic masterpiece"
This book is great fun, if you like a very literary, dry wit. The family at the heart of the story is beautifully eccentric and Inspector Appleby is a highly intelligent, rather pedantic and, ultimately, an unexpectedly romantic hero. If you like fast paced thrillers, don't listen to this book. But if you enjoy the slower pace and humour more in the style of Cold Comfort Farm, this is a great listen.
This is by no means the best of Michael Innes: as previous reviewers have indicated, it is hard to warm to any of the characters and the plotting is decidedly odd. But one might forgive these weakness if the narrator moved the story on at a lively pace. Unfortunately the reading is both slow and monotonous. Not a book for a long journey!
"Appleby's End doesn't end soon enough"
Very much an acquired taste, this. A sequence of eccentric characters and occasions for quips that display a knowledge of Classical and literary minutia that would have tested (and bored) many an Oxbridge don. Innes' works, whatever their literary merit, must try the patience of the bulk of any passers by who try them out. I have read a number of Innes' books, but this is not one of his best. It's hard to care about any of the characters.
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