The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery Audiobook | Catherine Bailey | Audible.com
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The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery | [Catherine Bailey]

The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery

In April 1940, the ninth Duke of Rutland died in mysterious circumstances in one of the rooms of his family estate, Belvoir Castle. The mystery surrounding these rooms holds the key to a tragic story that is played out on the brutal battlefields of the Western Front and in the exclusive salons of Mayfair and Belgravia in the dying years of la belle époque. Uncovered is a dark and disturbing period in the history of the Rutland family, and one which they were determined to keep hidden for over 60 years. Sixty years on, The Secret Rooms is the true story of family secrets and one man’s determination to keep the past hidden at any cost.
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Publisher's Summary

In April 1940, the ninth Duke of Rutland died in mysterious circumstances in one of the rooms of his family estate, Belvoir Castle. The mystery surrounding these rooms holds the key to a tragic story that is played out on the brutal battlefields of the Western Front and in the exclusive salons of Mayfair and Belgravia in the dying years of la belle époque. Uncovered is a dark and disturbing period in the history of the Rutland family, and one which they were determined to keep hidden for over 60 years. Sixty years on, The Secret Rooms is the true story of family secrets and one man’s determination to keep the past hidden at any cost.

©2012 Catherine Bailey (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (56 )
5 star
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Overall
3.7 (51 )
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Story
4.0 (52 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    EJJ Russellville, AR 06-13-13
    EJJ Russellville, AR 06-13-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    10
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    "Well Worth A Listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A riveting book. I am not entirely certain that I agree with all of the author's conclusions, but she has done a fabulous job of detective work (a major part of the story), and this is particularly fascinating for anyone who is familiar with the era or the characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No one comes out looking very admirable.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The boxes of old letters the duke did not manage to destroy.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent and absorbing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn Modbury, Australia 03-07-13
    Robyn Modbury, Australia 03-07-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "gripping!"

    This is on my list of best-ever reads. The author's tracking down of documents and other clues to solve the mystery of the title is beautifully paced. As she follows the trail, the two principal settings, life of the privileged upper classes and the trenches of the Western Front, are excellently depicted. She writes well and maintains the suspense throughout. Stephen Rashbrook's narration is perfect - his voice, his accent, foreign pronunciations, pace, evocation of mood - wonderful! This book and the reader are highly recommended.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Brampton, ON, Canada 04-28-13
    Alan Brampton, ON, Canada 04-28-13 Member Since 2005

    Tell us about yourself! Physcian in Brampton. Stong belief in the importance of books on History.If we do not learn from the past we will make the same mistakes

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Too long and detailed to be entertaining."

    This is well researched book ,more like a PhD thesis than a story.It refects well the era of the First World War and the power of the nobility.
    The detail like the names and size of each picture in inches listed in sales catalogue sold to raise money for the estate is truly boring and annoying.,the same can be said of other lists.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Fairmont, WV, United States 04-27-13
    Sharon Fairmont, WV, United States 04-27-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Very interesting"
    Where does The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Great story, occasionally choppy but overall very interesting story that I knew nothing about prior to reading this book.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Walnut Creek, CA, United States 12-02-12
    Jennifer Walnut Creek, CA, United States 12-02-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Northanger Abbey comes to live"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The performance was in the spirit of the book but the book was so slight that the mysterious reading was just silly.


    What was most disappointing about Catherine Bailey’s story?

    There was nothing at its core. There was no story and no secret. It was like Northanger Abbey without the wit. The author made up a mystery about a frankly very unpleasant and unappealing aristocrat. There was nothing interesting about him except his title.


    What does Stephen Rashbrook bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I learned how the English pronounce Belvoir, Drogheda and Buccleuch.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery?

    I wouldn't have written the book! It wasn't substantive in any way.


    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moonglotexas South Africa 09-12-13
    Moonglotexas South Africa 09-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gently paced, historical journey"
    If you could sum up The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery in three words, what would they be?

    Not Gothic Mystry


    What other book might you compare The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery to and why?

    The Suspicions of Mr Whitcher, The Secrets of a Victorian Lady


    What does Stephen Rashbrook bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As a paper novel, I probably would have been distracted, but the phrasing and his characters brought the story to life


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I felt enlightened and ever grateful to be living in this century and not last


    Any additional comments?

    Despite not being a "fast-pasted, haunted mystery", as a historical journey , it unfolds the truth in an intriguing and enjoyable manner. I felt I was being told a story by a fire for my amusement, as such I tried to listen to it in as near as one go as my schedule allowed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Waco, TX, United States 04-14-13
    Roger Waco, TX, United States 04-14-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Disappointing"
    What disappointed you about The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery?

    Frankly, it was boring. There was no great secret involved and the one secret that interested me was never explained. And there was nothing gothic about it. It's just the story of a dysfunctional aristocratic family told mostly through letters.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something truly gothic, not like this.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was fine.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None--unless the listener is an avid fan of World War I history.


    Any additional comments?

    I seriously wanted my money back on this one. It was a waste of money and time. I kept waiting for something to happen and it didn't. There was nothing very mysterious about the story and certainly nothing gothic about it.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    whcrafter Shah Alam, Malaysia 12-04-12
    whcrafter Shah Alam, Malaysia 12-04-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Very enjoyable but light on story ."
    What made the experience of listening to The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery the most enjoyable?

    Great reader , most interestingly written


    What was most disappointing about Catherine Bailey’s story?

    The end of the great build up was not so impressive , the facts of the story were not too strong .


    What about Stephen Rashbrook’s performance did you like?

    Very good indeed .


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No .


    Any additional comments?

    no

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MickeyMarie Narnia 05-03-13
    MickeyMarie Narnia 05-03-13 Member Since 2003

    I read so I can write

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NOT IMPRESSED"

    This was written in such a boring way that it ruined any interest there might have been.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Gale
    Fordingbridge, United Kingdom
    11/11/12
    Overall
    "Great read. Great narration."

    I have to admit to a strong partiality to Catherine Bailey's writing (I loved Black Diamonds) and this book didn't disappoint. Listening to this over the weekend of the Remembrance Sunday gave it added poignancy. The narrator was excellent! Great read!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Loz
    JERSEY, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Fascinating family mystery/history"

    I really enjoyed this book - it has intrigue, a love story, tragedy and history. Beautifully narrated at a good pace.

    The only reason I haven't given it 5 is because at times it could be long-winded and there was repetition, which confused me!

    I think I preferred Black Diamonds.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kathy
    Cornwall
    8/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It might be true but it isn't Gothic"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A historian might enjoy the book but there was no suspense and no real mystery. There wasn't really a hidden room or anything that was worth hiding.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Catherine Bailey again?

    No


    What about Stephen Rashbrook’s performance did you like?

    Fine, he has a good voice and managed to read it without falling asleep.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed.


    Any additional comments?

    The very worst part of the book was (I assume) half an hour reading the names if every single man who died in WW1 who had been born in, lived in or even visited Leicester. I say assume because I managed 2 minutes then fast forwarded 28 minutes and it was still going on!!!! Well done to the reader. He must have been at his wits end by then.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Janice
    Ashby-de-la-Zouch, United Kingdom
    2/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange but true !!!!"
    Would you listen to The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery again? Why?

    Yes I would listen to this book again because I found it a more compelling listen then many fiction novels. In fact at times I had to remind myself that it was not a novel.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That is was true, that the hero/villain of the plot had actually existed, and also the way in which the writer had set out to research one subject but uncovered the initial information which led to this book being written. I also found the methodology of the research interesting. Also, the book is not written like many non-fiction or biographical books. The prose is lively and perfectly read.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    No particular scene but overall the relationships between the different individuals was quite fascinating.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, not particularly, but neither was it a book that I did not want to finish.


    Any additional comments?

    I shall never visit Belvoir again without remembering this book and the secret rooms !!!!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chantal
    Netherlands
    1/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It does get better if you persevere"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The first half of the book is intended to sound like a mystery thriller, the intrepid search for the truth behind certain gaps in the record left behind by John, the 9th Duke of Rutland. Catherine Bailey does not succeed in making it sound anything more than an expose of how tedious it can be to research a novel. Nevertheless, the second half of the novel is given more to the subject of the book than her own investigations and here the book becomes interesting. If the book had been written as a biography of this Duke instead of trying to make the writer sound like a rather boring character in a spy novel I think the pace of the book would have been much faster and the general impression less irritating.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The descriptions of life at the front with the gruesome casualty records make for mind-boggling reading even though the scale of killing in the Second World War is obviously even more horrific.


    Could you see The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    If the writers left out the part played by Catherine Bailey and stuck to the history of the family I think this would make for a reasonable costume drama.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christina Croft
    England
    1/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping"
    What did you like most about The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery?

    The story was gripping and the complex family relationships absorbing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The 'cliffhangers' and the atmospheric detail made me eager to hear more.


    What about Stephen Rashbrook’s performance did you like?

    The performance was excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    Although there was some repetition in the narrative, I found it helpful in reminding me important details which I might otherwise have forgotten.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

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