Truth is rarely pure and never simple...
Selchester Castle in 1953 sits quiet and near-empty, its corridors echoing with glories of the past.
Or so it seems to intelligence officer Hugo Hawksworth, wounded on a secret mission and now reluctantly assuming an altogether less perilous role at Selchester.
The Castle's faded grandeur hides a web of secrets and scandals - the Earl has been missing for seven years, lost without a trace since the night he left his guests and walked out into a blizzard.
When a skeleton is uncovered beneath the flagstones of the Old Chapel, the police produce a suspect and declare the case closed.
Hugo is not convinced. With the help of the spirited Freya Wryton, the Earl's niece, he is drawn back into active service, and the ancient town of Selchester is dragged into the intrigues and conspiracies of the Cold War era.
With a touch of Downton Abbey, a whisper of Agatha Christie and a nod to Le Carré, A Man of Some Repute is the first book in this delightfully classic and witty murder mystery series.
©2015 Elizabeth Edmondson (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I enjoy the English "Golden Age" mystery, and have read Sayers and Marsh and Heyer and Wentworth and Christie, etc. For an author who grew up outside of England and is modern rather than someone born before WWI, I think Elizabeth Edmondson does a pretty good job of creating a pseudo Golden Age mystery. I don't know enough about upper class Catholics in England during an just after WWII to know if she got those details right, but otherwise I was pretty satisfied with her period detail. Bonus points for remembering that food and other items were still rationed in England for some years after WWII ended.
The mystery itself was good, plenty of red herrings, the actual killer not telegraphed too early, but not appearing out of thin air either. And good, competent writing.
The thing I disliked the most about the story is the pretty obvious set up for the next book. I like a series, but I tend to prefer that each book stand alone. In this case many loose ends have been left, basicly getting ready for the next book, which will really be mainly a continuation of this book, with more family secrets coming to light. If she ties things up in A Question of Inheritance, which comes out soon, I will be satisfied. If she strings things on and on, I think it will get old.
The reader does a good job making an interesting read, and distinguishing the characters well enough so one knows who is speaking.
Over all, a good listen
This book would be a traditional cozy mystery, set in an English village in 1953, except for the twist that it's also a spy novel. The characters are well drawn, if stereotypical; the dialogue is sharp, and there's just enough of a cliffhanger--or maybe two--to hint at a satisfying series to come. I recommend this for cozy fans who are getting a bit tired of the standard whodunit murder puzzle.
I finished listening to this book because I liked the characters and wanted to know whodunit. That said, the book often becomes long scenes with talking heads. Narrative description, setting, and period detail are almost completely missing. In scenes with only two characters, the author uses no taglines, an affectation that can be taken too far. Long stretches of dialogue with no narrative or setting breaks leave the reader floating; much more grounding is required, While I applaud the author for making sure the reader can always tell who is speaking on a page, Michael Page's transitions between characters sometimes make it difficult to tell when a voice changes. I have still given the narrator four stars because I think the issue is often due to the lack of taglines and the writer.
The ending was a bit annoying because a new story line that could change important features of the story is introduced. I don't mind knowing a book is part of a series but cliffhangers on the final pages bother me.
expected the same old same old in post war mysteries. Even though I thought I knew what would happen next, I had to keep listening, just in case the thread was a furphy. Nice to have the little known consequences of the war highlighted, in the orphaned child, the loss of continuity, and the fear continued to be experienced by tenants. What next please!
I have never listened to this author before, but will be looking her up asap. I now have high expectations of what else she may have written
The narrator was new to me, I always listen to the preview before I buy as the narrator is such an important part of the experience
With interesting and believable characters that represent a cross-section of post WW2 England country life, the story kept my interest right up to the final pages. The characters were likable and the plot complicated without being contrived. The narrator did an excellent job of portraying individuals! I am amazed that one person could sound like so many different people-- both male and female. Highly recommended to English mystery fans!
Never lonely with a good book in hand
All the ingredients of a good series such as an old castle, a disappeared relative, mysterious death and hints of World War II espionage enhanced by a great fleet of characters all done with superb narration made this a most enjoyable story experience. Please put me down for the next in the series!
If you are fan of Agatha Christie style mysteries you will probably really enjoy this book. I was a bit disappointed because I thought it was a "real" vintage mystery--not just vintage style. At times I thought the characters were too flat and undeveloped. I also felt that it was over the top in places when it came to the "vintage" concept.
I will say that I listened at the same time that several friends were listening too. We had the same divide in opinions as those here in the on site reviews. Some loved it, and the rest of us were lukewarm to cool about the story and narration. The reading/voicing made following the characters difficult at times because they all sounded very alike.
I know that the author, Elizabeth Edmondson died in January so as far as I know there are only two more books in the series. Book one ends with a cliff hanger that left us all saying oh no! Really it was more like OH NO!! if I'm being completely honest. Book two is set at Christmas time--so if I continue with the series it won't be until December rolls around again.
Recommended if you enjoy 1950's "very English" mysteries. Pretty good.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
A Man of Some Repute is the first book in what is supposed to become the Very British Mysteries series. It is a fine start.
As good as the book is, Michael Page's magnificant voice and performance in narrating makes listening an even greater pleasure. Some time had passed since I listened to a Michael Page book narration. He is a British (now US) actor and professor. He is perfect for this book, but he would be perfect for most audiobooks. He is one of the few narrators that can make even a boring book enjoyable (this book is not boring!).
Would listen to again enjoyable mystery with a few twists and turns, looking forward to the rest of the book series
Very pleasant to listen to and enjoyable brought to life the characters
"Michael Page Is Perfect Narrator"
I could listen to Michael Page reading his long monthly shopping list, he is perfect for narrating. We have many audible books read by Page of various genre and he never fails to pack in a full dollop of a show. His voice projection may not be for everyone, we love it and listen every evening to some audio by Mr Page and we roar with laughter!
I downloaded A Man of Some Repute as it was a Daily Deal and only a couple of pounds. I read a few pages but I was not particularly enthralled by the material and then I noticed the book is available on audio narrated by page. So pleased I bought this version as I much enjoy this book read to me rather than me read it. Not a story to get excited about, very average and if it was not for liking the narrator, I would not have listened all the way through to the end.
"Poor man's Agatha Christie"
A very pale imitation of a murder mystery set in Christie's era, the story and characters feel wooden. I struggled to finish and was left bored. I was also irritated by the narrator's nasal voice that didn't provide a range of characters. A complete fail in my book.
A well read, entertaining story. Looking forward to the next book.
I was waiting for a romance to blossom, give it time...
I like all of them... Even the precocious child.
Enjoyed it so much that I searched for book two, there isn't one... yet..
"Enjoyable, light and entertaining"
I enjoyed this, a fairly gently-paced mystery. Good characters and a great setting, with some nice touches of life in England in 1953. The relationship between the main male and female characters is nicely developed, from initial distance to a growing friendship, but not a romance in this story.
Thought the performer was perfectly cast and did an excellent job.
"A man of some repute..."
Stylish and nostalgic murder mystery set during the Cold War. Very English with an insight into how the class system worked and reinforcing the fact that "it's not what you know but who you know" if you want to go places. I enjoyed it and did not work out the ending of the interesting and twisty plot.
"An enjoyable read"
A good story line
It's a gentle old fashioned thriller with good characters
Good story, intriguing and well read.
Can't think of any offhand.
Not heard him before but he was very good at the different voices.
I'm now listening to the follow on book ' A Question of Inheritance'.
"Loved the story but narrator a bit annoying"
I really enjoyed the story and would listen to it again. I would prefer a different narrator as Michael Page was a bit dreary to listen to.
This book was not for we, all though Amazon sold me this audio book I could not download it . And try to get in touch with Amazon is hopeless , I would have more chance contacting the Queen.
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