A grand estate. Ten unsuspecting guests. A diabolical game of life and death.
A companion to the upcoming show Whodunnit? on ABC.
Ten excited guests arrive at the Westlake Estate, expecting a lavish retreat. They are the winners of a sweepstakes to "Live Like a Billionaire for a Week." But what was supposed to be a promising escape soon turns into a horrific nightmare. Within hours of arrival, the guests sit down for an extravagant dinner. When they pull their party poppers as instructed, a loud chorus of bangs resounds, followed by earsplitting screams as the guest seated at the head of the table bursts into flames and slumps to the floor. The others are told they must solve the crime or be the next victim. The killer, their diabolical host, is hiding among the frightened guests. Is the murderer the well-toned trophy wife, the retired deputy sheriff, the stoned college dropout, or perhaps the sweet, homely grandmother? The killer toys with them, inviting the guests to explore the lavish estate, from the stables to the hedge maze, in an effort to uncover the gory details of how the murderer pulled off such a gruesome murder. Alliances are forged carefully and information is shared warily, since none of the remaining guests knows whom to trust. The next to die a hideous death will be the one with the least accurate solution to the latest murder. In the end, only three guests will remain: the winner, the loser, and the killer.
Full of tricky plot twists and over-the-top schemes, Whodunnit? Murder in Mystery Manner is riveting required listening for mystery fans. Listeners are treated to an edge-of-their-seat thriller as they participate in solving the crime. It's Clue meets Ten Little Indians.
Anthony E. Zuiker is the creator and executive producer of the CSI franchise, which includes CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY. His mystery reality show, Whodunnit?, is his first foray into unscripted television. He lives in Los Angeles with his three children and his wife, Michelle.
Whodunnit is performed by the show's host/butler, accomplished narrator Gildart Jackson.
©2013 Anthony Zuiker (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Though my husband and I love the TV series which is kooky but not actually lethal, we did not like the book. The book has the butler still cracking his terrible punny jokes, but the people are actually dying. There is not saving grace for any of the characters. The end is abrupt and, again, has no saving grace. Frankly, it creeped me out!
Say something about yourself!
This Whodunnit starts out very promising. A Butler, Giles, is offered a job he can't refuse at a huge estate for a salary he could only dream of. He never meets his employer until the end, as all communication is done in writing. He is to greet 10 guests at the Westlake Manor and be their butler as well as their guide through the rules of the murder games.
Don't expect any great character development, as the guests backgrounds and personalities are brushed over quickly--the focus is to get to those murders as fast as we can. We are rushed through each murder at breakneck speed, and then the guests must solve each one--or be the next head on the chopping block. The riddles, clues, and challenges each guest must decipher are fun, and it's challenging to figure it out with them. Some are a pretty far fetched, but if you stretch your imagination just a little- - - -
I was listening non-stop as I wanted to race to the end to see who the murderer was--so the time went by quickly. Even though this is not a not notch mystery/thriller, it is well worth the price --which is FREE. Hard to complain about that--but I was slightly disappointed in the very end after the murderer is revealed---unless this little add-on is setting up more murder mysteries to come.
This book is by Anthony E. Zuiker, who is also the producer of the made for TV show of the same name. Similar layout, but the murders are not the same, and the people are different. The book does give you an idea about what to expect from the TV production, but only in a general way.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
From the beginning this is a game for the reader to discover who is the killer. In fact, it is a self described primer for a television series upcoming on ABC. I give it 2 stars simply for keeping me guessing till the end.
Another reason for 2 stars is the five star performance of actor Gildart Jackson. I am confident his reading made me feel like I was listening to something worthwhile. Sadly this was not the case.
The story begins with the introduction to Jeeves. He is of all things a modern day butler. He is lured into employment by money and a mysterious, anonomous employer who answers to the name of X. However, no sooner does he arrive on the California estate, than he discovers he is imprisoned along with the entire staff.
Of course he is to direct 10 duped guests in a deadly game of whodunit? Nine of the guests think they've won a contest where they will spend a week living like a billionaire. They are told immediately the killer is one of the 10 guests. Only they are not to discover who did it, but only how the murder was accomplished. Those who come to false conclusions are slated to die next. Thus, one by one each guest is murdered in the most gruesome and imaginative way.
The story is simply a made for TV farce. There is no character building. We know almost nothing about Jeeves in the introduction and though the story revolves around him, we learn little else. The guests are truly innocent people who get slaughtered for no reason whatsoever. In the end we learn nothing at all about the killer. Nothing about his/her background or why he/she chose his/her victims or even why play the game at all.
So here is a story with no hero, weak characters, a game instead of a plot, and full of innocent people being murdered in preposterous ways. It's a setup for a weekly show full of guest stars much like Fantasy Island or Love Boat. Or maybe it will be set up like Lost and 24. Regardless, this book is more like a TV show than literature.
This was seven hours of my life I will never get back. The ending was silly and anticlimactic. At least with the tv version, you can use the DVR fast forwarding features to watch it in a third of the time. Do yourself a favor and download an Agatha Christie selection.
While you found out WHO-dun-it, you never found out WHY, and that is a critical piece for this genre. I am disappointed in the author. None of his crime series would have lasted a year if the view didn't discover the motive.
The performance was very good and really carried the story.
I won't be downloading any others in this series, free or not.
I am 36 years old. Married with 3 kids - 2, 4, 13. I work at night, my wife during the day. I don't have time to read, so I listen at work.
Yes and yes and yes! Besides its always fun to go back and try to find the missed clues and hints. I would listen to this book again because it was just a fantastic book. Everything about it including the actor, were just amazing.
Besides the butler and his dry sense of humor, something I can relate to. I liked the cop. I forget his name but he is a real world example of what happens when under extreme pressure and stress.
No, I have not. But I will tell you. When his voice came through and I heard it the first time, I fully expected the English accent to be used throughout. Not so, he has very tight control over this own voice. Loved his performance.
Yeah, there was a part in the book that was an obvious distraction. I was screaming in my head, "Stop looking at ***** and pay attention to your surroundings." Very frustrating but in a good way.
I still can't believe this book is free.
Father of three
I couldn't pass up the free book but wish that I had. It was a collection of puzzles tied together by a completely unbelievable and unrealistic story. There was very little character development and no attempt to explain why the game was put together nor why these contestants were chosen. I'm embarrassed that I kept listening to it--somehow I hoped that it would make sense. It never did.
At least the narration was well done...
Didn't read print version.
Finding out who's scared or spared!
From chapter 52 on and any scene with Frank LOL
I noticed there was a second book in the series, also free. Based upon the first book I'm not interested even at the price of free. The book started out with interesting possibilities but never came close to fulfilling them. There were some interesting puzzles to solve but the story which these puzzles were in was poorly constructed, had virtually no character development, there was zero explanation of motivation, especially for the killer and the story just didn't make sense. In general it felt like I was trapped in a bad game of Clue.
Professional librarian type, amateur historian.
I could not finish this audio book, and since it was free I felt free to delete it and never consider going back to it.
The problem was I didn't care about any of the characters, save Giles the butler, but even he couldn't carry this. I understand that this is in relation to a reality game show, which apparently excuses poor character development. It was when the 2nd murder occurred, it was clear that these people weren't going to get any more interesting, and found it hard to believe that people would react that way if there was a chance that most of them will die. They behaved, at least as far as I got, like people on a second rate reality tv game show. The people, except Giles, all seemed shallow and petty or one dimensional and I wouldn't want to have a drink or spend time with any of them, so why would I care if they died?
So I cut my losses.
The narration is good, but, still a poor story is a poor story.
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