Down-on-her-luck Lori learns she's about to inherit a sizable estate - if she can discover the secret hidden in a treasure trove of letters in Dimity's English country cottage. What begins as a fairy tale becomes a mystery - and a ghost story - in an improbably cozy setting, as Aunt Dimity's indominable spirit leads Lori on an otherworldly quest to discover how, in this life, true love can conquer all.
©1992 Nancy T. Atherton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
The main character (Lori) is beyond self-absorbed, overly-sensitive and childish. It's hard to listen to the book when you can't stand the personality of the protagonist.
The narration is about as bad as it gets. It's so robotic and flat. It's like having a robot reading to you, completely unnatural with emphasis in the wrong places and devoid of emotion. Evening speeding it up did not help. If I were the author, I would be furious to have my work ruined by such horrible narration.
The narration may be partially responsible for why I disliked Lori so much. Hearing her talk in such a robotic, unfeeling, sometimes arrogant sounding tone, just added to her already distasteful personality.
If the other books in this series were read by someone else, I would be willing to give another one a try since this is just the first in the series, but the narrator is definitely the deal breaker for me. Definitely can't listen to anymore books read by her.
This WAS me trying another book narrated by Teri Clark Linden. Her reading of The Ladies of Mandrigyn, by Barbara Hambly, was unbearable. However, that's a darker fantasy book, where Linden's Shirley-Temple style was clearly miscast. I hoped that her style would work better with the lighter, cozier Aunt Dimity books.
And it was better--with The Ladies of Mandrigyn I had to quit after the first five minutes, but with Aunt Dimity's Death I didn't have to quit until half-way through the book. True, I had to accept that Linden made Laurie sound like a dingbat (but the text can support that interpretation of Laurie, especially in the beginning), and I had to grit my teeth to get through Linden's voicings of Bill's dad and Laurie's New England friends. Still, I hung in there more than four hours: through the opening in America and Laurie and Bill's initial stay in London. The performance didn't become unbearable until the characters reached Aunt Dimity's cottage and Linden's accent-mangling became an overriding issue.
To be fair, Atherton honestly doesn't write accents very well. (And apparently her editor wasn't able to rescue her.) Using strong regional accents draws attention to Atherton's own errors--some of which are real clunkers. Anyone performing the Aunt Dimity books needs to minimize the accents, hinting at them rather than belaboring them. Unfortunately, Linden chose (or was directed) to exaggerate the accents rather than minimizing them. It didn't work.
I'd like to try another book by Atherton (or this one again), but only with a different reader.
The toy stuffed rabbit and Aunt Dimity's ghost are my favorite characters. They both make me chuckle. I am sad that I had to quit before Aunt Dimity's ghost had any lines.
My short list would include American readers Lorelei King, Bernadette Dunne, and Laurel Merlington, and English readers Jenny Sterlin and Kate Reading.
I'd consider English readers because by the time Laurie is telling this first-person story, she has settled in England and would be acquiring her own English accent.
My overwhelming reaction is disappointment that I can't enjoy listening to what I know to be a charming, cozy book.
I hope that Audible eventually re-releases the Aunt Dimity books (and The Ladies of Mandrigyn, and probably others that Linden read) with more suitable readers, because these are stories that I'd love to listen to repeatedly. Meanwhile, I suppose I need to see if I can return this one.
I have come to enjoy listening to my favorite books on Audible but cannot get past the stilted performance and Siri-esque diction in the Aunt Dimity audio books. sorry, but I will not be purchasing any more in the series.
I love Nancy Atherton and the Aunt Dimity stories but the narrator ruined the story.
I like them all. Great characters.
The performance was wooden, overly precise, and not at all in keeping with the story. I've read the book before and wanted to listen again, but the narrator ruins it.
Nancy Atherton, yes. Teri Calrk Linden - ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
Hard to say since the narration was soooo bad I tuned out to some parts.
She reads like a school teacher teaching her 1st class of 1st graders and she has no clue what to do. I am please she has good diction but there is more to reading a story than diction. Phrasing, emotional conveyance, timing, fluctuation, etc., etc. etc.!!!
GET A NEW NARRATOR! New to this series, READ the book - don't listen! This story might be really good, I'm just not sure due to the audio.
I love this story. It's a "cozy" -- a mystery without murder, without violence, and with a cast of likable characters. I was so excited to see it on Audible. And so sad that I have to grit my teeth to listen to it. To be fair, it's a challange for the narrator -- the accents range from American Midwest, to an elderly Boston brahmah, to English uppercrust, to English cockney -- you get the idea. But Terri Clark Linden does a terrible job. Almost any British actress would do a better job. Please get someone else to record this!!
i tried to give her another chance but couldn't do it the narrator once was too much with the robot pauses after every single word!!!!!
dump her narrator!! the stories were cute but the voice made it impossible to listen for 15 minutes at a time.
Wonderful plot. A bit of romance thrown in to a entertaining mystery. Not exactly a whodunit, but classic & clean fun, nonetheless. My only complaint is the "ghost." I'm not into the supernatural aspect. Due to the great detail and accurate cross-cultural references, I can overlook it!
The story is delightfully different and fun.
I too found she was speaking very slowly and I was annoyed as I so wanted to like this story. So, I experimented and changed the narration speed to 1.25X. Voila! That was it,
I now know the secret and am happily await more in this series, by this same narrator.
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