If you like hard-boiled, gritty, fast-paced, violent thrillers, DO NOT buy this book. It is a traditional English cozy set in the Cotswolds and full ..Show More »of both typical and quirky English characters. Just the sort of book I love to read or listen to. I liked the main character and amateur sleuth, Thea Osbourne, right from the start. Her adventure begins when she takes on a house-sitting job complete with dogs and sheep to look after. Following an unexpected scream in the night, an even more unexpected body turns up in the little pond on the property. There were several scenes that were laugh out loud funny for me, including all the rules the owner writes down for poor Thea to follow. The reading was well done. I recommend this book and this reading to anyone who loves a more laid-back and less in your face mystery.
Thea Osborne arrives for her second attempt to house-sit for people going on vacation, and steps right into another round of murder. She has a develop..Show More »ing relationship with the same Detective Inspector Hollis who investigated the murder at the previous location where she was house-sitting. First demand of the reader--suspend all belief that this series will be very realistic.
Actually, the mystery itself is not bad. However, the author seems to fill the book with some of the most incredibly dumb moves on the part of Thea (such as insisting she can safely remain in the house after murder and mayhem have occurred...) and other characters. Eg, her sister arrives, after having been badly beaten in a domestic abuse situation, and after having accompanied Thea through part of this stretch of credulity-plot, drives away home, happily (after having been injured--yet again--through a bad accident) in the car of her loving husband (who had committed the abuse in the first place).
Sorry--if the mystery were not decent--and it is fun as the reader to try to figure out the who-dunnit part, I would not feel like giving this book even as much as 3 stars.
Lovely that it takes place in the Cotswalds, but I'm not sure this is a compliment to that beautiful and historically significant area.
Read it if you are not seeking something too tasking and if the characters acting in fairly unbelievable ways does not distract you--but don't expect much more than that. :-( The narrator is good, but even she does not save the story.
This is a fun mystery. Not Tope's finest work, the story nevertheless held my interest and the mystery kept me guessing. Like most of this author's ..Show More »mysteries, the main themes running through the novel center on family and interpersonal relationships. In this book Ms. Tope looks at how moments of careless passion can guide events and bring about tragedy immediately and for decades down the line. Given these strong thematic elements, I must respectfully disagree with another reviewer who found (what I thought to be fairly tame) sexual references superfluous. In this book a moment's unguarded passion whether sexual or angry can have profound and unintended consequences: the frivolity of a sex toy party is contrasted with a young doctor foregoing a medical career to stay home with her children. In another case a new police officer slaps a small child -- a potentially career ending act. Worth a listen!
I wish that I could give this book three and a half stars because I really did think it was better than just three which I tend to think of as just "l..Show More »istenable." I did enjoy this novel, but at the same time, I was never compelled to find more time to listen. I even listened to other books while I finished this one.
The reader did a good job of differentiating characters as she read, although the men tended to all sound similarly gruff. Her voice was pleasant, and she helped move the story along.
If you are looking for a cozy English country mystery, then this novel stands a good chance of satisfying you. If you are looking for an exciting listen, look elsewhere. The pace of this novel is very sedate. I chose it looking for something to listen to after I fell in love with the single Stella Whitelaw novel Audible has. This novel was not as entertaining as that one, but it still provided a nice diversion.