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Publisher's Summary

The start of a brand-new series from the global best-selling author of the DI Hillary Greene series.

Oxford, 1960. There's a murderer on the loose, and two unlikely heroes are poised to solve the case.

 Meet Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday - smart, enthusiastic and always underestimated.

 In the hope of getting her out of the way, Trudy’s senior officer assigns her to help coroner Clement Ryder as he re-opens the case of a young woman's death. She can't believe her luck – she is actually going to be working on a real murder case. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the police force are busy investigating a series of threats and murders in the local community, and Clement can't help but feel it's all linked.

As Trudy and Clement form an unlikely partnership, are they going to be the ones to solve these crimes before the murderer strikes again?

A gripping, twisty crime novel that you won't be able to pause. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton.

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton.  

The Ryder and Loveday Series

Book 1: A Fatal Obsession

Book 2: A Fatal Mistake

Book 3: A Fatal Flaw

Book 4: A Fatal Secret

Book 5: A Fatal Truth

Book 6: A Fatal Affair

©2018 Faith Martin (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"A beautifully crafted crime mystery..." (Anita Davison, author of the Flora Maguire series)

What listeners say about A Fatal Obsession

Average Customer Ratings
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Just didn't buy it

Clement Ryder, s retire surgeon turned Coroner, who we are reminded is "old" in every other sentence in the scenes in which he appears, teams up with WPC Trudy Loveday, a wet behind the ears 19 year old Probationary WPC who thinks she should be a detective, are paired up to reinvestigate an old death and its connection to a current murder. If Trudy had been on the force for a number of years and had been held back because she was a woman, I might have been more sympathetic with her constant internal complaining. Obviously she doesn't understand about paying your dues. I was also perplexed because she never mentions any other women in the police force or the status of women during the time period.

The story is told by a narrator who skips from character to character so fast in some scenes it is hard to follow who is acting or speaking. We are told at the beginning that the story is in the 1960, which is good because the lack of setting and description could set this story in many different decades. There are no references to 1960 culture, music, politics or literature to ground the reader. Though we do know Trudy's mother has a bakelite radio.

I might have considered a two star because the mystery is interesting until the ending. The buildup for a terrible revelation from the victims mother falls flat. Not only was the solution to the murders a stretch and a bit ridiculous, the fact that Trudy and the "old man" elicited a confession from the murderer without informing him/her of his/her rights, was unacceptable behavior on both their parts.

I can't see myself joining Ryder and Loveday for further adventures.

7 people found this helpful

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The first entry in a challenging series

Faith Martin knows how to weave a tale. A little bit police procedural, a little bit cozy mystery and filled with interesting characters. This is the first in a series and I look forward to the team of one young female newbie policewoman and a dapper but crotchety former heart surgeon turned coroner. Fascinating pairing isn’t it!

3 people found this helpful

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Great new series

Enjoyed it. Would recommend it. Would listen to another. Not too corny and the ending is possibly which a lot of books don't have these days.

3 people found this helpful

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So Glad I Bought This Book

Faith Martin is a new author to me ,.. and I am so very glad to have found this book .. I am looking forward to her other series,.. and hope that Audible will purchase the other book in this very short ,.. but satisfying series.

6 people found this helpful

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Really good

What a good classic mystery. A little disappointed at the end but, the ride was worth it!

2 people found this helpful

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A fantastic murder mystery!!!!

A must read, different way of writing and brings the reader in wondering what the ending will be. 100% recommend!

4 people found this helpful

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Another good read by Faith Martin!

I miss my Hillary Greene and Jenny Starling series, but maybe this series woul end up being just a good. This book is definitely not a bad start to a new set of mysteries!

1 person found this helpful

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Could not stop listening!

I became a Faith Martin’s fan. Awesome story (I will not say what I liked about the story to not give away any spoilers) with a great style. Enough detail to give color on characters and not too much to be boring. Great hints of humor. Perfect narration.

1 person found this helpful

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very good

An excellent story, interesting and has twists and turns. I look forward to another story by this author, one for woman's lib in the beginning days.

1 person found this helpful

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Welp, that was a wasted credit

I was enjoying this book and looking forward to the fact it was only the first in a substantial series -- my favorite read -- until I hit the last 25% when the denouement begins. Melodrama, verbosity and an incredibly unsympathetic portrayal of mental illness absolutely kill any credibility the author had created, and also any further interest on my part in the remaining books.

I am always amazed when authors take on the role of armchair psychologist and use mental illness or childhood abuse as the springboard for their villains' villainy, with clearly no real research into either topic. Do they think that people for whom these things are reality don't read for pleasure? Talk about tone deaf. It's also the worst kind of lazy writing: Why did the perpetrator do it? Well, because they're crazy, of course!

I really disliked this book.

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  • Kerry Howard
  • 11-17-19

Excellent listen

I thoroughly enjoyed this. it kept me company during a day of painting the kitchen (and afterwards, listening into the night). The narration was good so am surprised by other reviews berating it, but I suppose everyone has different preferences.

I loved the premise of a young probationary Wpc in a 60s police force tackling sexism and social expectations and the contrast with a more mature and experienced male coroner fighting a developing illness.

I would have liked Truly to have made more contributions to the reveal stages of the investigation towards the end, instead her role is mostly note taker. I also would have liked the discovery of the killer to have been revealed differently. It was too convenient. Can't say more without spoilers. These minor points did nothing to diminish my overall enjoyment of this excellent story.

I've downloaded the next audiobook in the series as company for today's painting.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dewdrop
  • 06-23-20

A truly glorious story

My Mam recommended this series of books, she loves them. And now so do I.
The narration was tantalising and I am so pleased the same narrator has read all the series, so far.
The main characters are magnificent and so likeable.
The story seemed simple and quaint and then took a twist and a turn into being sinister...thrilling.
I'm off to download the second on in the series now!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rod Smith
  • 05-05-19

Thoroughly enjoyable read.

Lovely for a wet and cold Sunday curled up in front a fire. great characters and a well developed plot make it a book you can't put down. can't wait to read the next one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • VP
  • 03-02-19

Throughly enjoyable.

Very pleasant characters who are portrayed in detail making the reader want to to get to know them more! An exciting story which is beautifully read.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Omri
  • 01-16-19

Oxford Blue

Whimsical and intriguing period murder mystery. Sympathetic protagonists, each with a cross to bear. Most enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Helen
  • 08-13-18

Dull, boring, slow.

This should have been edited to a third of its length. I didn't finish it.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-12-18

An amazing book

At first I was a bit hesitant, thinking that the pairing of two very different characters would never work, but I was wrong.
A very good storyline whilst in the background these two characters just seemed to become real and they did work well together.

Now on to book 2

2 people found this helpful

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  • Caroline Adams
  • 08-24-18

Wonderful partnership!

Loved this! So clever to introduce another female police officer having already given us Hilary Greene.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sparks
  • 08-13-18

Slow and concise narrator very tiring

I enjoy Faith Martin novels this should have been a good book but it was not. The detail of the memorabilia of the decade did make me smile. Sadly the narrator was very slow and precise making it difficult to enjoy and I found it hard to finish. The storyline was weak and very longwinded. Sadly not for me.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Teresa Harwood
  • 06-27-20

Great new series

A great start to a new series set in the early 1960s. Trudie Loveday has a pretty boring existence as a WPC, making tea and typing reports, the real policing is left to the men. When the Coroner asks for assistance on a case no one realises how this will change Trudie’s career, least of all Trudie herself. A great story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mari
  • 02-05-21

Enjoyable Cozy

I really enjoyed this first instalment in this mystery series. Set in 1960s it has a unusual pairing of sleuths and a very good mystery. More cozy in style than the author’s other series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • beatat
  • 06-16-21

Unconvincing

The story was not totally convincing nor very gripping. Narration seemed very girly. Constant self deprecation of the young police woman was annoying.

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  • Bonita N. Jones
  • 01-09-21

Great book.

Thoroughly enjoyable story, and fabulous narration. Looking forward to listening to the next installment (s) of the Ryder and Loveday series by this great Author.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Melle
  • 01-05-21

A strong series debut

I'm much the same as other reviews I read - I enjoyed this story without being blown away by it. The character is established well and she makes an appealing protagonist, the plot is fine and moves along well. Ultimately not overly thrilling but totally fine and enough to make me consider reading more from the series. As an establishing story, it works well without being a total "home run".

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  • Leso59
  • 10-24-20

Great story

Easy listening and a story with a few twists and turns. Kept me listening all the way through.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sally RW
  • 07-22-20

Satisfying

A nice little read. Not too long & enjoyable to listen to. I was a bit disappointed with the ending but the journey was good & I liked the characters. I’ll probably check out more by the same author.

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  • Olea Nel
  • 07-10-20

Gripping and most enjoyable

This well plotted story kept me engaged throughout. I loved it. I even got used to all the unnecessary adverbs at the end of every second speech line. At first it grated, but after a while it seemed to add to the charm of the story.

The reader was excellent. Her voice mirrored (in one's imagination) the voice of the main character exactly.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-22-20

Classic Clean Crime

First book by Faith Martin I have listened to, throughly enjoyed the easy listen and classic crime. A nice change from all the other crime novels that seem to be full of confronting and nonessential deaths of children that I feel has infiltrated this genre lately.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-19-20

well done

The reading was spot on. The story was intriguing and kept me engaged the whole time.
The plot and the paths it took were not obvious, so it was a real pleasure listening to this.

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  • Jane Bennett
  • 06-17-20

Couldn’t read it

I know people like this writer. I know she is highly rated by many. I found the writing pedestrian and the narration over done. I only paid a few dollars for it, but it wasn’t worth that to me. I had to stop after a couple of chapters, just had no desire to keep listening at all. Not my taste at all.