Inspector Hemingway has his work cut out for him when a seemingly civilised game of Duplicate Bridge leads to a double murder.
The crimes seem identical, but were they carried out by the same hand? Things become even more complicated when the fiancée of the inspector's young friend, Timothy Kane, becomes Hemingway's prime suspect. Kane is determined to prove the lady's innocence – but when he begins digging into her past, he finds it's more than a little bit shady.
©1951 Georgette Rougier (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Georgette Heyer is second to none in her ability to make detective stories entertaining." (Sunday Times)
"The wittiest of detective story writers." (The Daily Mail)
"A writer of great wit and style." (The Daily Telegraph)
While I don't find them quite up to the standards of her Regency novels, I do enjoy Heyer's mysteries, which were "modern" at the time she wrote them, in the 1930's - 1940's. Now they are period pieces, and interesting as such as well. Ulli Birve has now narrated most of Heyer's mysteries, and I have found all that I have listened to so far to be very enjoyable. I think that she "gets" the personalities of the various characters very well and conveys the spirit of the story, and the time period. And yet is easy to understand and follow the plot, which is important in a mystery.
One thing I find very helpful is that this book is "wispersync" ready, so I can go back and forth between my Kindle version and the audio version, or even read along with the narration. I enjoy "wispersync" and hope that Audible will make more of Heyer's mysteries available in this treatment, especially They Found Him Dead, which has many of the same characters as Duplicate Death.
I hope that Audible/Ulli Birve will soon release the two of Heyer's mysteries not yet available, Detection Unlimited and Penhallow.
This is not my favorite Heyer mystery, however it's a reasonable way to pass the time overall with a surprise ending that I did not see coming. If you like classic golden age mysteries, you'll probably enjoy the story pretty well. The reader is not overall horrible, she does opposite sex characters quite well, has a pleasant voice, and is able to differentiate between characters reasonably well. However, I bought this book in spite of the fact that one of the reviews on the U.K. website warned against the horrible attempt at a Scottish accent given to one of the secondary characters , because I thought they were probably being over sensitive. I was wrong. The butchering of this accent is so bad, it's really impossible to tell what accent the reader is trying to portray, and sometimes even what she is saying at all. She sounds like she's actually choking sometimes, and sometimes more like she's had a major stroke. I mean, the badness of this accent is so epic words can't describe it. This accent belongs to a secondary character, but he does have far too much to say (at least as read by this reader) towards the latter half of the book. I would recommend against this book based on that fact alone because it is very disturbing and unpleasant to listen to.
This is the third book I've listened to by Birve, and I do manage to get used to her delivery, after sticking with it, but her reading style does detract from the way Heyer writes.
Try one of the other narrators on a Heyer who-dunnit before starting with this one.
And for those that also like to know things like this; the book does contain some swear words and using God's titles as curse words.
I love this story and have read it several times and now I've listened twice. The narrator does a great job differentiating the voices which I enjoy.
Not many of whom are very likable, and an ingenious set of murders.
It's a very good Heyer thriller. A period piece certainly, but that it is one of its primary appeals. It's also refreshing to hearth rollers and alas an author's viewpoint seeping or sometimes blaring through that isn't the reflexive unthinking political correctness that has progressively infected writers nowadays.
I think I've now worked my way through her vintage thrillers and so as do all others this good things come to an end.
I think Ms. Birve's readings are well suited to the Heyer works and I'll miss gearing her read as well.
I honestly can't figure out how Ulli Birve gets work at all. Her accents would even be adequate for a friend telling a joke at a bar. She really ruins the experience. It's a shame.
classic film addict
This book was just okay. The story wasn't that exciting and it seemed to drag on - didn't keep my interest as most other of Heyer's mysteries do. Ulli Birve shouldn't narrate ALL of Heyer's mysteries as she's not that good. She doesn't always get the voices right and makes all the men sound the same so that it's difficult to distinguish who is speaking. I wish they do some of these books again with another narrator. A good one.
Having listened to all of the Agatha Christie audible books available I have been searching for similar authors. I had seen recommendations for Georgette Heyer mysteries. However I found her characters completely unengaging, the story was hard to follow, and by the end of the book I really couldn't care less who had committed the murders and even when the murderer was revealed I couldn't quite follow. I will not recommend this author or any of her audiobooks. Also the narrator's voice got on my nerves really bad.
"Accents, pronunciation and Scottish"
I've listened to a few Georgette Heyer books, they are always well written. UNFORTUNATELY, read by Ulli Birvé. I think I'm started to get used to her, but it's hard work.
The Hemingway books are a little like Christie or Marsh, nice mysteries padded out with OTT characters.
It would be nice if Ulli Birvé could act at all, or mimic any accents at all. Her scottish accent here is painful and nearly incomprehensible. Her monotonous delivery is tolerable with time. Also bear in mind that she often doesn't know how to pronounce a word and guesses blindly, which is off-putting. The humour of the characterizations is often lost trying to extract meaning from her mangled English.
I find myself inspired to imaginatively criticise Ulli Birvé. Sorry Ulli. I'm sure you tried.
It would be lovely to get these great fun mysteries read by someone who can. Like William Gaminara. Please.
"A wonderful plot ruined by an illiterate narrator."
The plot of this is one of my favourite of Heyer's murder mysteries - and reintroduces us to several characters we have met before, in addition to Inspector Hemingway. It was worth listening to again, whilst getting on with the housework simply because it is a Georgette Heyer.
The narrator's appalling - off the scale incompetent - attempt at a Scottish accent. Nicola Sturgeon should do something about it.
No. Never, not ever. Not even if I were struck blind and she was the only narrator of audio books.
Yes - only because I was doing something else at the same time and love the book.
"Ruined by the reader"
The book yes...the audio book no purely because of the dire reading...the scots accent.....unintelligible and the word guineas had obviously never been heard of by the reader
The actual story and the characters.
Totally destroyed it by a stilted reading as though a child was reading aloud,,, i could bear that ,......but the attempt at a scots accent ..truly terrible and I am not a scot!
For the story .....I guess so but putting up with the reader I really don't think so.I have heard better reader on the free audio book offerings...a real let down...I was driving a long journey on my own so had little choice other than to listen to a murder story being murdered by the narrator.
Has any one at audible actually listened to this reader...and if I had paid the full amount of over £20.00 rather than through the monthly credit I would have been very cross.
Terrible reading. Basic words mispronounced. No feeling. Poor accents. Spoiled it for me.
Bad reading overall
Unfortunately, the performance fails at times, which is a shame as, overall, the narration is very good - worth persevering.
"Chief Inspector Hemingway Does it Again!"
Again, a beautiful tale - simple yet complex - a genuine brain teaser! I love the personable way these novels are written and, they are all narrated superbly! My favourite Hemingway!
"A good story, somewhat spoiled by the narration"
Unfortunately one of the major characters in this story is a Scottish police inspector, given to Gaelic exclamations and this was totally beyond the talents of the narrator which spoilt large parts of the story for me though otherwise her narration was quite acceptable.
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