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The Masterful Mr. Montague: Casebook of Barnaby Adair, Book 2 | [Stephanie Laurens]

The Masterful Mr. Montague: Casebook of Barnaby Adair, Book 2

Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London’s elite, but at a huge cost: A family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally…and personally. Violet, devoted lady-companion to the aging Lady Halstead, turns to Montague to reassure her ladyship that her affairs are in order.
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Publisher's Summary

Numbere-one New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Laurens pulls back the curtain on a world that has been hidden from us…until now.

Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London’s elite, but at a huge cost: A family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally…and personally.

Violet, devoted lady-companion to the aging Lady Halstead, turns to Montague to reassure her ladyship that her affairs are in order. But the famous Montague is not at all what she’d expected - this man is compelling, decisive, supportive, and strong - everything Violet needs in a champion, a position to which Montague rapidly lays claim.

But then Lady Halstead is murdered and Violet and Montague, aided by Barnaby Adair, Inspector Stokes, Penelope, and Griselda, race to expose a cunning and cold-blooded killer who stalks closer and closer. Will Montague and Violet learn the shocking truth too late to seize their chance at enduring love?

©2014 Savdek Management Proprietary Ltd. (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (62 )
5 star
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3.8 (54 )
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Story
3.5 (53 )
5 star
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4 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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  •  
    KJ TUSTIN, CA, United States 04-30-14
    KJ TUSTIN, CA, United States 04-30-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, poor narration."

    I really hope that future books in any if the series I read are not ever narrated by Napolean Ryan. I rarely write poor reviews if I can help it, but this narrator irritates me. His female voices are too wispy and his male voices, other than Montague and Stokes are annoying -- especially Barnaby whom he makes sound like a bored, arrogant fop! I keep having flashbacks to the Scarlet Pimpernel movie with Anthony Andrews and how he portrayed Percy Blakeny as the bored darling of society...

    That said, the story itself is great! As usual, Laurens has written a fantastic story of romance and adventure with some fun plot twists -- just when you think you know what's going on, something happens to change your mind. I do wish there was more development of the romance between Montague and Violet though -- it seems to brake a backseat to the continuing relationship of Barnaby and Penelope throughout the majority of the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne J. Northern Idaho 05-03-14
    Lynne J. Northern Idaho 05-03-14 Member Since 2009

    Lynne

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    "Not one of my favorites."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It needs a different narrator. He made Barnaby sound like a stuffed shirt, and some of the women's parts are not very good either. I don't know why Laurens' books are narrated by men. Why not a woman for the female parts? I didn't particularly like Simon Prebble either.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Masterful Mr. Montague?

    When they discover who the murderer is.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Napoleon Ryan’s performances?

    Not real fond of him. It would have to be a book I really wanted to listen to.


    Did The Masterful Mr. Montague inspire you to do anything?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed reading it to myself more than listening to it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sylvia palmdale, CA, United States 05-11-14
    sylvia palmdale, CA, United States 05-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I hate to say it ....but this was so not good..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No .... Just dragged on I could not finish it... And Stephanie Laurens is my top 5 favorite authors... This is the first of her books I did not really like or enjoyed...


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Totally Nora Roberts


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Napoleon Ryan?

    Napoleon was ok, but my number one narrator is Rosalyn Landor, especially for this kind of Story and time


    Do you think The Masterful Mr. Montague needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes if the story contained a little more action mystery and suspense .. Romance


    Any additional comments?

    Stephanie Laurens is still my favorite...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemary Los Gatos, CA, United States 04-30-14
    Rosemary Los Gatos, CA, United States 04-30-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Good story, disappointing narration"

    Stephanie Laurens is one of my favorite authors and I was really looking forward to this story. In one of her newsletters, she had a link for the first chapter of this book and it was excellent. I preordered this book and grumbled about the delay.

    I know that Ms. Laurens has been trying different narrators. I wouldn't use Napoleon Ryan again. I'm probably reacting a bit more than normal as I recently had the opportunit to listen to the first book in the series (Where the Heart Leads) which was narrated by Simon Prebble (sadly not offered by Audible). Going from Simon Prebble to Napoleon Ryan left me decidedly grumpy. The voice Napoleon Ryan uses for the Barnaby Adair character reminds me of a bad school performance of what a British lord should sound like; very plummy and affected. This is another narrator who treats every comma as a requirement for an overly lengthy pause and adds additional pauses apparently randomly in sentences. Grump.

    So what's the good news? It's a mystery with characters you know and a bit of romance. And, best of all, it's written by Stephanie Laurenss and is a good read. It was nice to meet the character Montague as she visualized. Overall I'm giving it four stars -- but that's because I'm pathetically happy to get any new book by Ms. Laurens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luna Silverdale, WA 04-29-14
    Luna Silverdale, WA 04-29-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Great Story but narrator is lacking"

    I love all Stephanie Laurens book. But i am not sure why she can't hire "Simon Prebble" or "Rosalyn Landor" to read her books.
    I'm half way in listening to this book and its really disappointing on the narrator's part.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KJO IL United States 06-28-14
    KJO IL United States 06-28-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Where's Barnaby?"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character should have been Barnaby Adair but due to the narrator's performance there was a stranger taking Barnaby's role. The affected drawl this narrator used had no resemblance to the character who was so entertaining in several other of Laurens' books.


    What didn’t you like about Napoleon Ryan’s performance?

    SLOW and monotone. I zoned out several times and had to go back to find plot points that I missed.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm probably done buying Laurens' audio books after this experience. I tolerated Mathew Brenher and Steven Crossley's mispronounced words, characters gaining or losing accents (Helena IS French, Scandal is not a Scot, Dalziel's name change in the last 3 Bastion novels). I'll stick to print or Kindle editions and replaying the Simon Prebble and Rosalyn Landor books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jsteinbis bad axe, MI, United States 06-03-14
    Jsteinbis bad axe, MI, United States 06-03-14 Member Since 2010

    I have 2 hobbies Audible and knitting. I have earbuds growing out of my ears.

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    "ouch!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    the narrator I had visions of captain Kirk from Star Trek I struggled through the voices but the awkward pauses in inappropriate place almost made me turn it off. I love ms. Lauren 's stories but this one is ruined by mr. Ryan . he has a wonderful voice but is over acting both the men and the women's voices. I understand it is difficult for a man to voice a women but he also struggle with the men.


    What didn’t you like about Napoleon Ryan’s performance?

    most of it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen C Thomas 05-27-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Stephanie Laurens scores again!! But"
    Would you listen to The Masterful Mr. Montague again? Why?

    Yes, I always listen to Ms. Laurens books at least twice, often more


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Masterful Mr. Montague?

    It is always when the main character's openly acknowledge their love. Since this is often at the end I only get a few moments of that level of interaction. But I can always listen to that part more than once.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I really did not like the narrator. I hate to speak negative about any performer as I have several members of my family who have or do make their living in theater. I know how much effort goes into preparation and the performance of any kind but I was disappointed at the basic monotone of the performer. This story deserved a lot more enthusiasm and would have been great to listen to. I have to say that I stayed with it because I defiantly had to see who the true villain was and I always enjoy Stephanie Laurens style of writing


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Adair and Stokes on the trail of new villains as Mr. Montague joins the intrepid band as he seeks love and justice.


    Any additional comments?

    I love romance books because the ones I read always have a happy ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Rooks Charlotte, NC 05-10-14
    Sheila Rooks Charlotte, NC 05-10-14 Member Since 2007

    Sheila

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    "Not up to snuff"
    What disappointed you about The Masterful Mr. Montague?

    The verve to Laurens' writing appears to be diminishing over time. This book was fairly formulaic. I had looked forward to a book dedicated to the fabulous man of business, so my expectations were high. This definitely did not meet them.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephanie Laurens again?

    I have multiple of her works on audio and find them a relaxing get-away. Many of the early Cynster books are a treat. Laurens' works are not high literature, but a respite from reality.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Napoleon Ryan?

    Simon Prebble is the definitive Cynster series narrator. While his narration can be over-the- top, so are the books. His tongue in cheek style compliments the material to perfection.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Masterful Mr. Montague?

    While enjoying the interactions of the Adair and Stokes couples, both mingling and as partners, I really wasn't interested in their repeated bedroom scenes. They were not the focus of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Laurens appears to need fresh inspiration to return to her former writing success.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany KENNEWICK, WA, United States 05-05-14
    Tiffany KENNEWICK, WA, United States 05-05-14 Member Since 2010
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    "SL - What Happened?"

    I have read all of Stephanie Laurens' books, and I am never dissappointed. However, this one was so boring! The story iteself was OK, and I could have gotten over how slow it dragged on if the characters would have actually interacted romatically, more often. The h/h don't actually spark a love interest until the very end of the book! The entire book focus is on the mystery, not the romance. I read SL for the romance, and the "relationship chase" and even the secret "hook ups" - but there just really wasn't any of that in this book. So dissappointed. Narrorator was not bad. He had a good separation of voices for each character, if the book iteself would have been better than I would probably be giving the narrator raving reviews.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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