Vegetables can be hazardous to your health!
Old Agatha Treadway baked her own bread, canned her own vegetables - and died of botulism in her very own kitchen. Accident, says Dr. Druffitt. Murder, says neighbor Janet Wadman. And says it again when she finds the doctor dead, too. Detective Inspector Madoc Rhys, of the royal Canadian Mounted Police, agrees. But who's the killer...? The town miser, who wants the one thing only Mrs. Treadway could have given him? The miser's son who's panting for the doctor's daughter? Widow Druffitt, who's holding secret meetings with unlikely people? The hired girl who listens at keyholes? The hired man who hides in haylofts? It's an awful mess...and when Rhys gets it sorted out, he faces an even tougher problem of his own.
This is number one in Madoc & Janet Rhys Series.
©1980 Charlotte McLeod (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Narrative makes the world go round.
* very cozy formula: village murder with RCMP inspector teamed with local amateur sleuth on both an investigation and blossoming romance. You can guess easily who the killer is, but that's not the point of the listen! --more of a traditional village cozy than whodunit
* captures the rural anglophone New Brunswick setting well -- although an outsider, I lived there around that period (1980s) and I "recognized' the characters and voice
*good, gentle humour; decent writing, especially the dialogue
* Dufris hits the right notes with all the characters - no over-the-top Canucks, but there is some regional inflection respectfully attempted
*another gift from the publishing world of e- and audiobooks - I hadn't come across MacLeod/Craig before. I look forward to more of her audiobooks. This first of a series has me hooked.
This is a great cozy mystery written in Charlotte MacLeod's gently humerous way. She wrote around three dozen intelligent, funny, carefully crafted mystery novels in her lifetime, in more than one series, and some stand-alones. I have been hoping for years that Audible would get some of them, and they finally have one. I enjoyed it immensely, and I really hope that the rest of this series (Madoc & Janet Rhys series) will be recorded & be made available on Audible, too. William Dufris did a great job as reader!
And please, Audible, try to acquire Charlotte MacLeod's "Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn" series. It was recorded by Books On Tape, and read by Mary Peiffer. (I requested them a few years ago, but no luck so far.)
If a book is to be performed rather than read, it's essential to choose a narrator whose voice sounds something like that of the main character. In most cases, the narrator should be the same gender as the protagonist. Mr. Dufris is unable to make Janet sound anything like an sweet young woman. He does better with the male characters.
I have read this book before, so I knew what to expect: a good story, a cozy atmosphere, reasonably gore-free murders, good characters. It's not remotely suspenseful, it's essentially good macaroni and cheese for those days when you yearn for just that. Charlotte MacLeod is always gently funny; this series is set in Canada, in a small community that seems real but not realistic. Other series are different. Her "Grub and Stakers" series is practically slapstick, sometimes silly; her Sarah Kelling series starts darker and gets progressively lighter; the Balaclava series is kind of a mixture of all. This series, with Janet and Madoc, is like those Balaclava ones.
The reader is okay; I would have preferred a woman's voice, given a female protagonist, but he's pretty good, and his pronunciation is fine.
A nice blend of gentle humour / action and detection
Anyone who had the vaguest idea about Welsh pronunciation or accent.
I can't blame the narrator for the somewhat odd view of Wales and the Welsh ( I am Welsh, I live here and I speak the language) but his bizarre Irish / Egyptian accent is hardly bearable. ... BUT the biggest thing .. Rhys is pronounced REES NOT RISS.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
Maybe. If I'm looking for something extra-lite to listen to.
Possibly a woman. This narrator left me wincing a little with female voices.
Well, depends on what you're looking for. It was not written to be deep (or I assume/hope not.) If you just want something uncomplicated, light, that requires little effort to listen to, this would be it.
Clever series introducing a Royal Canadian Mountie as the detective. The people were the sort of two-dimensional characters that tend to inhabit cozy mysteries. Well-developed, as far as they go, but you always pretty well know the good guys from the baddies :-) I have nothing really negative to say about this. A fairly predictable, lightly humorous mystery, that you could listen to easily while doing other things.
This tale starts out rather slow and I nearly gave it up. The cast of characters was confusing until I went back to the print edition. and made myself a list. Once I did that, the story started to roll along nicely and now I am looking for the next in the series.
I love all of Charlotte MacLeod's books. Mr. Dufris gives life to the characters, despite the handicap that many of the characters are feminine. When I reread the book, I now think of the characters in Mr. Dufris' voice.
Retired, Diesel Mechanic, System Administrator, scale modeler, motorcycle collector, gardener, Historian, father. on the coast of California.
probably, it would depend on their literary sophistication. this is not a Dorothy Sayers.
"an early story?"
I was very pleased when it occurred to me to look for Charlotte MacLeod books on Audible and found several I'd not read together, with this whole series I'd not heard of, as they written under a different name.
My impression was that this might have been written earlier than the Kelling/Bittersohn series, as it didn't feel as strongly written, particularly initially. The first part is seen from Janet's view point and she keeps casting through her list of suspects with what felt like multiple choice questions on why they might be the killer. I've since looked at publication dates and see this was published a year after The Family Vault, so the difference in style may be deliberate.
Once the characters were set up I think the story became much more interesting and the stereotypes began to have a little depth.
The story line itself was somewhat absurd (particularly the red herring elements), but I think no-one is looking for gritty reality in this type of book. As with her other books there is plenty of wry humour and poking fun at characters.
The narrator was generally good, but was apparently trying to play Rhys with a Welsh accent. [I'm not sure if the character is Welsh or of Welsh heritage]. The accent was nearer to Irish, but overall,-odd. There were also one or two strange mispronunciations where the emphasis in a word was wrong eg proVENder.
I'll certainly try the next in the series
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