Welcome to Alderley, a magnificent mansion in the heart of the West Country where a grand house party is taking place. The preparations have been made, the guests have been invited, and the staff are on hand. What could possibly go wrong? Let the entertainment begin.
The theft of the diamond necklace and the antique pistols might all be explained, but the body in the lake - that really was a puzzle. 'Don't expect me to solve anything,' Inspector Wilkens announced modestly when he arrived to sort out the unpleasantness. And at a gathering that included English aristocracy, foreign agents in disguise, a ravishing baroness, a daring jewel thief, a Texas millionaire and, of course, the imperturbable butler, it was going to take some intricate sleuthing to uncover who killed whom and why.
©1975 James Anderson (P)2013 AudioGO Ltd
trying to see the world with my ears
The novel follows through on its title -- a very funny, campy "manor house" murder mystery set on eve of WWII. The crazy-quilt denouement was, however, too long for my tastes although lovers of convoluted Golden Age homages may like the multiple twists. Cornelius Garret displays virtuosity, but I would have preferred more restrained voices for some of the international accents. I look forward to the subsequent "mangled mink" affair and hope that Audible unearths more from Anderson.
I was expecting a comfortable cosy murder mystery, per other people's reviews. This story starts off alright, but rapidly degenerates into complete implausibility combined with too many characters and not much character development. Maybe it is better in the print version - perhaps there are maps of the murder scene or other visual aids to help the reader enjoy the story.
I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
I was thoroughly enjoying this story until the final wrap up, and then things got so unnecessarily convoluted that I needed a cheat sheet showing where each character was at every moment in connection with every other character. I enjoyed the writing style and the characters and the fact that there was no unnecessary violence. He came so close, I will probably give the author another try. The narrator was good, except that the female voices were a little funky.
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