At the end of a meeting in the offices of the British Civil Service, a respected senior civil servant is found murdered. Detective Superintendent James Milton of Scotland Yard is bewildered - who would want Sir Nicholas Clark dead?
©1982 Ruth Dudley Edwards (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
trying to see the world with my ears
I???ve just finished the10 Ruth Dudley Edwards mystery/satires Audible now stocks ??? a great series IF you like a contemporary twists on Golden Age crime writing with broad social satire (academia, politics, literary world, civil service) and IF can laugh at all sides: right, left and tepid centre, with double daggers at all things PC.
The first book, Corridors, seems to be an attempt at more traditional crime fiction --almost a Ruth Rendell wannabe with a touch of satire. A non Comonwealther might find the satire of the British civil service in the introductory chapters tedious. By the middle of the series, murder is back seat to the satire: In one installment, the first corpse isn???t uncovered until 4 hours into the 8 hour listen. By then Edwards (and Baroness Jack Troutbeck) have found their voice. If you dive in to the series midway, you might find the voice ??? literary and those of Bill Wallis ??? harsh or too campy, but if you grow into the characters with the series, you???ll love all. I agree with other reviewers of these instalments that Troutbeck and especially her parrot are not soothing bedtime listening. That said, though, Bill Wallis is brilliant in all 10 books I laughed though ??? just not soothing
Recommendation: You might want to skip book 1, but then listen in chronological order to catch the characters and cumulative subplots. If you are interested in a causal foray into the series, I think to date the highlights are Carnage??? Matricide... and Anglo-Irish Murders.
Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!
Decided to read this, based on another reader's comments, and was not disappointed. It is a mystery in which we are brought into the intricacies of the British government where a murder has occurred following a conference.
Robert Amiss was the private secretary to Sir Nicholas Clark, the victim, who appeared to have been rather hurtful to almost everyone who knew him. Probably several people are secretly relieved that he is now out of their hair. Amiss, who has a very clear alibi, is recruited as a "mole" who secretly works with Inspector Milton, feeding him information about the several main suspects within the complicated political system, since he has worked with them, and knows their various quirks and discontents. This seems a bit strange at first, but one can see the developing teamwork and friendship between Amiss and Milton and it works rather well.
I will say that the beginning was rather a challenge because there was an awkwardness as the author had Amiss explain the titles and functions of the numerous hierarchical levels of secretaries and politicians to Inspector Milton in order (I supposed) for the reader to understand how the system works, and who the characters were within it. It was so tedious, it was almost like listening to the "Begats" in the Bible :-)
I wound up jotting down a few of the names and positions to be able to follow and understand who they all were. I live very near Washington, DC, and it finally dawned on me that this was essentially comparable to listing off some of the politicians I hear about every day, and suddenly it all seemed easier to follow after that. So don't let that relatively brief part of the book throw you, because it is all very well told thereafter and a good listen. And in the end, I realized I now understand some of the British hierarchy of secretaries, etc, that have always seemed sort of obscure to me.
I think the narration was very good, and, but for the short outline of the British political system, the story was also a fun listen. I look forward to more of this author's work, and I hope the same narrator will be reading them.
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