When George Abbershaw is invited to Black Dudley Manor for the weekend, he has only one thing on his mind - proposing to Meggie Oliphant. Unfortunately for George, things don't quite go according to plan. A harmless game turns decidedly deadly and suspicions of murder take precedence over matrimony. Trapped in a remote country house with a murderer, George can see no way out. But Albert Campion can.
About the author: Margery Allingham was born in London in 1904. Her first novel was published when she was 17. In 1929 she published The Crime at Black Dudley and introduced the character who was to become the hallmark of her writing - Albert Campion.
©2013 Margery Allingham (P)2013 Audible Ltd
As always the story and the characters hold you completely in thrall, but the new narrator, David Thorpe, makes virtually everyone sound like a complete idiot. Once you screen out the voices, the book comes through fine, but the previous narrator, Francis Matthews, did an infinitely better job.
A surprise, as I'd read several later books. Here Campion is really just a bit player, with others doing the detecting and solving of the crimes. Campion comes across as far too silly for my tastes and it's hard to take him seriously given the voice used for him, despite the fact he does a good job doing the few things we know about.
I'll continue listening to the series, though, because I know he matures and grows to become the detective I know of old.
The sound quality of this recording was superb.
The narrator left a lot to be desired in my opinion. I will not be purchasing more books by this narrator if it can be avoided. Some of his voice work was fabulous, but a lot of it was less than appealing. His tone was often wrong in terms of matching what was happening in the story and many of his character voices were so annoying I lost track of what he was actually saying. Ironically there were moments when his character voices were also extremely good. It made me very conflicted through the first half of the story as to whether or not I liked his narration but by the end of the book I simply could not wait for it to be over so I would not have to listen to him any more.
The characters in the story were not very fleshed out. Even the main characters, Dr. Abernathy, Albert Campion, and Meggie were not overly developed. Most of Dr. Abernathy's character development was centered on how amazed he was to have human-like feelings for Meggie. Not exactly riveting revelations of his character or personality. Albert Campion was really more of a side character in this one, but since this is the book that started his series I would have expected a bit more development there, but perhaps it was not written with the intent to make a new story star. The villains in this piece were almost like random bit parts that would appear and then disappear for long stretches. This is not uncommon for this type of mystery, however, the fact the villains were just a bit too over the top to be believed did not help the story keep reader interest.
The story itself was very typical of the genre and time period. A house party where sinister activity happens resulting in a mysterious death is tried and true plot for this type of book. There were several aspects of this particular story which made it slightly different, some of them were good and some not so much. I try not to spoil the story, so I will not say much except there were true moments of brilliance in my opinion (I love the mad cook scenes) and many moments of boredom as I listened to it as well. Anytime the characters as a group were involved it became almost farcical to a point where I again felt myself being annoyed. I felt the ending was very disappointing and when the murderer and reason behind it were revealed I almost wanted to reach out and smack the author. I saw the true murderer coming for a long time, but I was appalled and the flimsy backstory on why the murder happened.
It was an interesting book and I am glad to have listened to it once, but it will never be a classic in terms of books I enjoy listening to again and again.
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