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Death at the President's Lodging: An Inspector Appleby Mystery | [Michael Innes]

Death at the President's Lodging: An Inspector Appleby Mystery

Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the president has been murdered in his lodging. Scandal abounds when it becomes clear that the only people with any motive to murder him are the only people who had the opportunity - because the President's Lodging opens off Orchard Ground, which is locked at night, and only the Fellows of the College have keys.
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Publisher's Summary

Available to download for the very first time, the first instalment of the fantastic Inspector Appleby series by celebrated crime writer Michael Innes.

Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the president has been murdered in his lodging. Scandal abounds when it becomes clear that the only people with any motive to murder him are the only people who had the opportunity - because the President's Lodging opens off Orchard Ground, which is locked at night, and only the Fellows of the College have keys.

Legendary character Inspector John Appleby of Scotland Yard inspired a lasting vogue for donnish detective fiction. Innes's detective novels are playfully highbrow and rich in allusions to English literature and to Renaissance art.

©1936 Michael Innes (P)2010 Audible Ltd

What the Critics Say

"It is quite the most accomplished first crime novel that I have read...all first-rate entertainment." (Cecil Day Lewis, Daily Telegraph)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (98 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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3.5 (48 )
5 star
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3.9 (48 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 09-07-11
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 09-07-11

    trying to see the world with my ears

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3535
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    397
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    "must love brit academe 'tween the wars"

    A Whodunnit with a capital W - if you like (or like satires of) Brit academe, The author seemed to have fun writing this, the wonderful narrator has fun relating it, and if you give it some time to get into the world of the story, it can be a fun listen, even to contemporary ears.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clarice Borio 03-20-11

    Bookworm2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    291
    4
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    "Tedious Muddle"

    The first novel by Michael Innes, set in an Oxbridge-type college. The characters, mostly college faculty, are very similar to one another. The plot is slow-moving and confused. I didn't care much about the victim or the cast of possible killers, and the ending is entirely unbelievable.

    Fortunately, Innes became a better writer and devised much better plots. Skip this one.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Massachusetts 03-12-11
    Carol Massachusetts 03-12-11 Member Since 2010

    Classical history buff, but find most of history fascinating. Love books, ballet, and basketball.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    ""Snore""

    This is the first of Innes's Inspector John Appleby mysteries, the 1937 introduction of a character whose sleuthing continued through the mid-1980s (by which time he was Sir John Appleby).

    This book, published in England as "Seven Suspects," is a mystery of the Golden Age Locked Door genre; circumstances dictate that the bizarre crime must have been committed by one (or more) of a limited group of suspects. Innes spends an inordinate amount of verbiage setting up the premise and describing the scene (a walled garden in a fictitious British university), and in introducing the suspects (academic dons who in the 1930s were already living in an outdated fantasy world-- "They teach outmoded subjects using exploded methods" may be the best line in the book).

    Once the tedious setup is finally in place, the plot unfolds as a kind of French farce (minus any sex) of mistaken motives and inadvertent eavesdroppers. I could envision a stage set with doors and windows constantly being opened and closed as the foppish participants bumble about. Unfortunately, the dry and subtle British intellectual humor that is the hallmark of Innes's novels is less successful in this book than in some of his others, and in this rendition what humor exists is almost completely obscured by an uninspired reader who simply Does Not Get It.

    In short, I found this story, prose style, and reader combined to produce a great soporific. I'm still waiting for the Perfect Reader and production of "Hamlet Revenge," the second (1938) and truly great Appleby novel.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mo Brien Kettering, OH United States 03-06-11
    Mo Brien Kettering, OH United States 03-06-11 Listener Since 2009

    Banshee

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    6
    3
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    "Witty, intelligent, insightful mystery, well read."

    This English mystery novel pretends to be quiet and sedate, while unleashing a complicated puzzle of murder in a locked-up college full of people too smart for their own good. The author is obviously fond of all his characters, and the narrator has a different voice for all of them. There's even some Chestertonian wild chases across the countryside. What else can I say? Innes writes winners.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen 06-04-12
    Eileen 06-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, Classic, English Closed Room Mystery"
    What did you love best about Death at the President's Lodging?

    I like that it was written in the Golden Age of detective fiction - the age of Sayers and Christie - and that it takes place at a University. The characters were well thought out, all the clues were there, but I found it challenging to figure out whodunnit.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked the detective.


    What about Stephen Hogan’s performance did you like?

    Beautiful voice and phrasing, excellent characterizations


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It wasn't that kind of story


    Any additional comments?

    Escapism at its best!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie 09-23-14
    Marie 09-23-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tedious and odd"

    I listen to audio books before I go to sleep. This one put me to sleep rapidly. It was all talking heads. Almost nothing happens. There was almost no setting are description. The characters were flat. And there was not one single woman in the entire book.

    The narrator was excellent. I only gave him four stars because he didn't have any women's voices to to do so I can't tell if he would be good at them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bodiccea 06-28-14
    Bodiccea 06-28-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thankfully the series improves"
    Any additional comments?

    The most convoluted runaround I have waded through in a long time. Yes, I love the classic British mystery but by the end, I was ready to give Mr. Innes a good sound smack. As I said though, the series gets better. I heartily recommend skipping this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelvin phoenix 05-01-14 Member Since 2013

    I wont go in to the plots too much mainly if it 3 - 5 stars you may want to try it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good mystery"
    Any additional comments?

    I like the story a murder in a locked room type. I guess the killer half way through but still enjoyed it. Its an older book and the reader was a little dry. but over all a decent read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail V. Barnes 01-02-13 Member Since 2012

    Gail B

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    4
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    "Bought this for the narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not--very hard to follow all the characters in audio format. I haven't reached the end of the first download and I still don't know any of the secondary characters.


    What about Stephen Hogan’s performance did you like?

    I think his accents are incredible--I loved his narration of Broken Harbor.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • John
    londonUnited Kingdom
    7/7/10
    Overall
    "More from this author, please"

    Hats off to Audible for their enterprise in resurrecting one of the great figures from the 'Golden Age' of detective fiction. The jackets of his books were endorsed with the quotation 'the phantasmagoric Mr. Innes' which may explain why he was never a bestseller like many of his contemporaries. Although he may use the common plots of the genre (there aren't many, after all) his developments of them was utterly unlike those of any other mystery writer. And, of course, given his daytime job as a Professor of English Literature, the quality of the writing is far above the dull, off-the shelf prose of most current practitioners.
    If you enjoy this book, I recommend (to you and Audible) 'Stop Press', 'From London Far', and 'Operation Pax'
    As for the reader, he has a pleasant voice, clear diction and sensible pacing, and wisely does not attempt an upper-middle class 1930's voice. A 5 star production.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Marlies
    DurenGermany
    7/11/10
    Overall
    "more from this author, too"

    I'm of the same opinion as listener John. Those 'Golden Age' detectiv fictions have so much to give and - honestly - they do it without leaving the landscape strewn with scattered corpses and spilled gust like some modern writers whose stile of writing isn't even above average.
    'Death of a President's Lodging' is not for the hasty. It is to be savoured, reclining in a comfortable chair and sipping great tea. Like in the good old times. More please.


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Annie
    Todmorden, United Kingdom
    5/29/11
    Overall
    "A good old-fashioned, intelligent Whodunnit."

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. A murder in academia is always intriguing and it doesn't get better than this. The story has all the right ingredients: a murder committed in a room from which no-one has left or entered; a bizarre set of objects scattered around the body; a list of suspects all with opportunity and motive...all good stuff. And couched in the most beautiful language, narrated excellently by Stephen Hogan. The erudition of the author and his wonderful gift for prose writing make this an even richer experience for the listener. Eleven out of ten.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Braintree, United Kingdom
    11/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lost the Plot (More than once)"
    What would have made Death at the President's Lodging better?

    I believe that this was the first outing for this detective character. I can't say I was draw to him as he just appeared in the text en-route from the "Yard" to the scene travelling in Yellow Rolls Royce. The Met were obviously doing well in those days!. There was no back story to the character he was just there. A lot less over long descriptive text which didn't really add to the narrative and or a faster moving plot line would have been helpful. The plot line was good but it was masked by the verbose interaction between characters. At times I forgot what the plot point was and why the scene was taking place. Very confusing at times.


    What was most disappointing about Michael Innes’s story?

    I obviously expected too much in a book from the golden age of crime fiction.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Any part of the storyline that brought the plot back into focus.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed; certainly won't be getting another audio book by this author without checking out a paper copy first.


    Any additional comments?

    Stephen Hogan gave a first class reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • nigel
    Kidderminster, United Kingdom
    6/19/11
    Overall
    "Don't bother!"

    This was dreadful. Very pedantic, obsessed with detail rather than getting you interested in the characters. I hoped the conclusion would make it all worthwhile but it was even worse than I expected.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Fibri
    Belgium
    7/31/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing and dull"

    I've been working my way through a load of Agatha Christie's novels recently (again....) and enjoying each and every one. So I thought I'd try something different from one of the classics, and picked out Innes largely based on the great reviews here. But I was very disappointed in this one.

    I found it plodding, tedious and insular. Soon I was mixing up the different characters (none of them stood out in any memorable way) and losing track of the plot (I think I may have dozed off while listening once or twice) and by half way through the second part none of it was making any sense anymore. I struggled to get to the end - and then wondered why I'd bothered. I won't be reading more of Innes' books. What I will be reading is more from Edmund Crispin. Check out Glimpses of the Moon. This was another classic I also tried and it was a delight from start to finish.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    GERRARDS CROSS, United Kingdom
    6/29/12
    Overall
    "Dull"

    The first book from Audible that I gave up with. I thought this was going to be a good 'who dunnit' , but it was long winded, full of unnecessary detail, dull, and the plot took so long to develop that I lost interest about halfway through

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    Coromandel Valley, Australia
    6/3/12
    Overall
    "Too verbose"

    I am an experienced reader, but found this book to be way too verbose. I really had no idea what was being said half the time!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results

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