No stranger to sprawling country estates, wealthy Daisy Dalrymple is breaking new ground in having scandalously traded silver spoon for pen and camera to cover a story for Town and Country magazine. But her planned interviews with the inhabitants of Wentwater Court give way to interrogation after suave Lord Stephen Astwick meets a dire fate on the tranquil skating pond.
Armed with evidence that his fate was anything but accidental, Daisy joins forces with Scotland Yard to examine an esteemed collection of suspects and to see that the unlikely culprit doesn't slip through their fingers just as the unfortunate Astwick slipped through the ice.
©1994 Carola Dunn; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
Sorry about this but I'm a Brit. Because of that I have a more informed opinion about some of this production than the expected audience, I suspect.
The reader does not do a good job with accents or pronunciation. Too many US versions (inqury, Fenella, Derby etc.) and some, frankly risible, accents that bear no resemblance to 'English as she is spoke'.
She's not helped by the author who seems to have a less than informed knowledge of usage and abusage of UK English in the early part of the 20th century; ("Spiffin' to hang out with you").
I won't stress the flaws in the plot or the social commentary and observation.
Nonetheless it's a very light time filler and I'd probably listen to another; but I would hope that they are read by a different reader and have a better editing process.
I have been an avid Bibliophile since I learned how to read at 4 years old. I listen to audiobooks every day.
I just discovered this fun series this past winter. I actually started with one of the later ones in the series and fell in love with Daisy Dalrymple! This series, set in the 20's reminds me a bit of the Jeeves and Wooster books, which I also love. The "By Jingo's," "Old Bean" and other such expressions make this a very enjoyable listen! This book is just introducing all the characters and each successive book adds more details, so you keep wanting more of Daisy's exploits. So far Blackstone Audio has agreed to do the first 4 in this series, and I hope they decide to do all of them. For a great change of pace in your listening routine, you won't go wrong with this book! Sit back, relax, and meet the irrepresible Daisy and all her chums.
I enjoyed the book. It's a light and breezy mystery. However, the narrator sounded like a Theater Arts major attempting a British accent. It is not convincing, especially after hearing Barbara Rosenblat's spot on character portrayals in the Amelia Peabody mystery series.
I bought two Daisy Dalrymple books hoping for something as good as Kerry Greenwood;s Phryne Fisher mysteries. I was quite disappointed.
The book cover would have you believe Daisy is similar to Phryne with short, bobbed, black hair. But that is hardly how she is described. And there is none of the decco air shown on the cover. Instead the characters are horribly 19th Century stuffy.
The mystery is convoluted and I found myself not really caring who the murderer was.
But without giving away the plot, I was horribly disappointed with the ending. This is NOT the way an amateur detective is supposed to behave. And it is NOT the way a Scotland Yard inspector would behave.
It was hard for me to start the second book as I couldn't trust Daisy's behavior.
Meanwhile, the narrator's breathy style is unnerving. And she has given Daisy a very little girl voice. With no feeling of being a grownup.
I'm giving up on the series.
A BRITISH narrator. Good heavens, what in the world were they thinking? I suppose there are some non-Brits that could do a creditable job but Bernadette Dunne is not one of them. I'm only a few chapters into the book and am finding the poor pronunciation distracting to the point of making me wonder if I am going to be able to endure this. It's extremely off-putting and so unnecessary.
I would keep an open mind - she could be a wonderful narrator as long the book doesn't require foreign accents.
Narrative makes the world go round.
This probably does not deserve four entire stars -though with a little more social history woven into the story, it might. As it is, it's a relaxing, nontaxing listen. I'd rate the second book in the series (The Winter Garden Mystery) similarly.
This series would appeal to fans of Anne Perry's and Laurie R King's historical mysteries, but both of those writers can entwine more social history unobtrusively into the listen - and King at her best can be a five star listen.
One of my pet peeves is British books read by American narrators who cannot speak with a convincing British accent. Bernadette Dunne sounded like a cross between Australian and Southern. There are plenty of excellent British narrators.
I would like to try her first book in print or ebook format. I was unable to form an opinion on the book due to the horrible narration.
Perhaps, if she was not attempting a British accent.
I enjoyed this. The plot and characters were well developed. I didn't like the ending, but I'll try the next in the series.
This is a fluffy listen, enjoyable if you are in the mood for a light serving and don't mind an improbable resolution at the end. Although well enough done for the genre, I don't recommend this for fans of Michael Connelly, Sue Grafton, Agatha Christie, Stephen Cannell, Tami Hoag, and other such mystery/detective authors. The 3 stars were awarded primarily for the narration - I do enjoy Bernadette Dunn's work!
I thought the narrator did a pretty good job. She has a lovely voice. The story itself is a tad unbelievable in places, and the "solution" is quite a stretch, but I still enjoyed listening to this book.
"good book, terrible reader"
I enjoyed this book very much, but found the narrator to be difficult to listen to. She has a repetitive inflection at the end of each sentence, and her character voices were rather dodgy. It spoiled the book for me, I'm afraid.
"The narrator really can make or break a story."
This story was ruined by the truly awful accents produced by the narrator. It's such a shame because it is just the sort of story that in other circumstances I would have enjoyed. I read the other reviews and listened to a sample first and thought it would be ok, but after a while I found I was concentrating on the strange accents and wierd pronunciation. I actually think the narrator would be good reading a book set in America, but she mangled this so that it was at times hard to understand. I was disappointed to find that it is the same narrator reading all of the books in the 'Daisy Dalrymple' set and I certainly won't be downloading any more.
"Not quite as bad as reviews say"
No single event seems to spring to mind that may not spoil the story for others
The narration was dire. Quite a good voice, very "listenable" BUT the pronunciation was laughable, in fact my husband spent the entire book in stitches, most annoying!
Once again - get a better narrator.
"Death at Wentwater Court"
Lighthearted, Sweet, Well-written
The story is set in the Twenties and has no bad language. Lovely!
Anyone with a "Posh" English accent as Daisy is of aristocratic birth.
"A nice little mystery"
This was a pleasant listen, with an interesting cast of suspects, most of them more honourable than the victim. The set up is standard; period drama in country house with dastardly deeds afoot and a whisper of romance. What gives it a little extra is the moral grey areas and the question as to whether or not murder has been committed.
The character of Daisy, being a natural confidante to police chiefs and suspects alike makes an interesting plot device. Her sympathies with almost all the characters underline the tensions between wanting to know the outcome and fearing it.
Dunne's voice is a good one and her characterization is fair. However, she seems to have some trouble with the accents in this series.
The 1920's between the wars setting in a country house lends itself to film or TV dramatization.
I really enjoy the typical english murder mysteries, this series is very entertaining and I can wholeheartedly recommend it, I was a bit hesitant since many reviewers here mention the appalling accent of the reader, but I have to say it did not bother me too much after a while, although it really is very odd!
All in all, buy it, you will have a good time listening to it. I will get the other ones as well. :)
"Good book, narrator not so good"
Jolly Good Fun
Accent is annoying. It switches from old fashioned well spoken English to something between South African and Australian and American. Most Annoying!
A good story, the first in the series but spoilt by a Reader with an American accent who cannot pronounce English words correctly. Her characterization of some parts was exaggerated and unbelievable and their accents were not consistent. Her attempt in portraying a retired country Policeman was frankly, embarrassing.
Overall a very disappointing purchase , the reader did not do justice to the book. I shall stick to book shops and libraries in the future!
"Story O.K. Narration painful."
The story is what I'd call an easy read. The writing and plot aren't great but the setting and period are a nice change. Unfortunately, because much of the appeal comes from the period, it is essential that the basic narration is in a very English upper class voice, with a clear difference between the classes in the individual characters. The narrator does none of these things and generally lacks expression as well. Apart from the complete loss of interest in the story that this means, the mistakes in pronunciation are painful. Was it that difficult to find someone English to tell the Narrator how to say these things? I started to make a list of all mispronounced words but couldn't be bothered after the first few chapters....
The story, is like most of her earlier books, an easy read, despite inaccuracies. The ending is silly but I like the Daisy Dalrymple character and period. However, until there is a new Narrator all the audio books will get 1 star because she's incapable of recreating that period.
The Narrator needs to put more expression into her reading and distinguish between the different characters' voices. Most important, and absolutely crucial, she needs to learn how to do a period, upper-class voice and how to pronounce English names and, in some cases, basic English.
I think it would film quite well and I would go to see it. You'd lose the weaknesses in the writing and be able to portray the strength of setting and develop the characters and .humour.
PLEASE lose the Narrator!
Jarring,sloppy pronunciation of far too many things. The odd thing can be forgiven, but this was regularly thought-out the whole book.
The central character
The reading is generally very good, but Bernadette Dunne so often mispronounces words that it completely destroys the book for me. The correct pronunciation of words and names is such an important part of a narrator’s job, practically in period pieces, that I am frankly shocked that such an otherwise fine narrator, has made such a lazy job.
A pleasant book spoiled by lazy narration.
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