Nestled in the hills of the Cotswolds, the village of Duntisbourne Abbots is a well-kept secret. When Joel Jennison is found slaughtered in the same field where his brother’s corpse had lain ten weeks previously, a whole community falls under suspicion. Was it a family feud? An act of revenge? As a forty-something woman with no previous experience of detective work, Thea Osborne knows she shouldn’t be getting involved but as she calls on her neighbours to get some answers, she uncovers more tragedy and intrigue that she thought possible behind the chocolate-box façade of a peaceful Gloucestershire village.
©2004 Rebecca Tope (P)2005 Soundings
First, I liked the book-- it had the English police detectives, pretty country village with its secrets and twists and turns required for a mystery. It kept me engaged and in the last few hours took on an almost creepy atmosphere. The author explores pain--all types--in what is essentially a running monologue. It can be a little saddening with all the discussion of loss, coping or coping in unusual ways in many cases,
The narration was a slight disappointment as the reader had a clipped style and just read the book with almost no attempt to alter voices with each character. I have gotten to expect the acting out of the book many narrators do so beautifully on audible. It is very entertaining to have the characters have their own voices. There were only two or three characters that I remotely cared about in the story and I wonder if the reading in voices would have changed that. It was all about the main character and everything in the storyline revolved around her--what she thought and did. Not a bad thing just limited to one person's point of view--first person narrative--not a multi character exploration. I guess that is where the mystery comes in as the story unfolds based on what one person perceives, ponders, and then in the end solves.
Given the chance I would listen again and I didn't feel that I had wasted a credit. If you like British crime/mystery stories and don't mind the lack of varied voices it's worth a try.
If you like hard-boiled, gritty, fast-paced, violent thrillers, DO NOT buy this book. It is a traditional English cozy set in the Cotswolds and full of both typical and quirky English characters. Just the sort of book I love to read or listen to.
I liked the main character and amateur sleuth, Thea Osbourne, right from the start. Her adventure begins when she takes on a house-sitting job complete with dogs and sheep to look after. Following an unexpected scream in the night, an even more unexpected body turns up in the little pond on the property.
There were several scenes that were laugh out loud funny for me, including all the rules the owner writes down for poor Thea to follow.
The reading was well done.
I recommend this book and this reading to anyone who loves a more laid-back and less in your face mystery.
The thoughts and actions of the main character in this book seemed disorganized and indecisive to me. She has been recently widowed at a relatively young age. She is embarking on a new experience - house sitting.
I can understand she might dither a little given her situation. I listened to the entire book thinking at some point her thoughts and actions might become a little more purposeful. They never did. I never empathized with her, I just became annoyed.
About the middle - I enjoyed it wile I listened but it wasn't really memorable.
This reads a little like Charles Todd mysteries - lots of local color. I didn't find the characters as interesting, however.
She does a good job of bringing the characters to life.
Not really. I was caught up in the mystery but didn't find it as consuming as some books. Maybe I'm getting jaded on British village mysteries.
Mystery told from another point of view, from the view point of a house sitter, although how many times can a house sitter go to different homes and not be the prime suspect in the matter at hand.
not really, just well paced.
Firstly the narration was good but beyond that it didn't improve. I think this is a badly constructed crime story with no substance. There was hardly any plot and no detection. A very irritating and unlikable main character if ever there was one. Self centred, full of her own self importance, under the impression that ever male must want to get to know her better. I'm not suggesting main characters should always be likeable but with this particular series you would expect her to have some good points, approachability, friendliness, someone who draws confidences and if the plots for the stories surround her job of house sitting and solving crimes at various locations around the county she will need to warm herself to those she needs to get close to. Without 'spoiling' it for the reader her other 'issue' doesn't ring true, it appears to be have been added for effect. I found this book irritating. It won't take a detective to work out I won't be reading any further books in this series.
"MidSummer Murder meets Miss Marple"
The initial introduction to characters was pleasing but they then failed to develop. Details such as a hole in the hedge did not ring true.
Make the end more memorable.. It fizzled out.
Yes, to sell to a foreign market who like English quaintness. It could star Sue Perkins
Starts better than it ends.
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