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Publisher's Summary

In the Spring of 1926, the corpses of three men are found in shallow graves off the beaten path in Epping Forest outside of London - each shot through the heart and bearing no identification. DCI Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, the lead detective, is immediately given two urgent orders by his supervisor at the Yard: solve the murders quickly and keep his wife, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher, away from the case! Thankfully, Daisy's off visiting their daughter at school. But when a teacher is found dead, Daisy is once again in the thick of it.

As Daisy tries to solve one murder, Alec discovers that the three victims in his case were in the same Army company during World War I, that their murders are likely related to specific events that unfolded during that tragic conflict, and that, unless the killer is revealed and stopped, those three might only be the beginning.

©2011 Carola Dunn (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Anthem for Doomed Youth

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful Daisy Mystery

Carola Dunn returns with a particularly strong entry in her Daisy Dalrymple series in Anthem for Doomed Youth. Eight years after the Armistice that brought to a close the First World War, implications from that arise again in one of Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher's more grisly cases. He gets a report that three bodies have been found in Epping Forest, the stereotypical burying ground of murdered bodies from London. They seem to have been buried at separate rules, the most recent a week ago, the middle one a couple months ago, and the oldest one a year ago. And all have pins on their jackets over they heart, with the most recent body's pin holding a piece of paper spelling out "justice." The only good side to this job is that it is far enough removed from the Fletchers' home that Daisy can't find herself involved. Thus Alec is more willing than usual to discuss details of the case with Daisy. And Daisy's friend Sakari, the Indian wife of a highly important official at the India office, wants to know all the details.

Because of the furious rate at which he and all his officers work to find the "Epping Executioner," Alec can't join Daisy and her friends at the sports day at the school of his daughter, Belinda. So Daisy goes to support Belinda, Sakari goes to support Deva, and their neighbor Melanie goes to support Elizabeth without the girls' fathers. The trio go to the girls' Quaker School in Saffron Waldon, a centuries-old community, and the girls do well at the school games day. The next day, after attending the Quaker service in the morning, the mothers take the girls to a park that contains a famous 17th century maze made of yew bushes. While the girls explore the maze, the mothers relax until Daisy hears frantic screaming coming from inside the maze. Lizzy has come across the body of the games master, and Daisy has to locate the gardener to help her find the girls lost in the maze and the dead body, who has clearly been murdered.

Anthem for Doomed Youth shifts back and forth between Alec and his case of three buried bodies and Daisy, along with her friends and their daughters. The cases intersect at the end of the book, but for the most part, they operate separately without feeling a strong disconnect between the two sets of stories. The book's title is based upon a poem of the same title by Wilfred Owen, a famous poet from World War I who wrote about the evils of the war after having experienced them personally as a soldier in the war. With Belinda's going to a Quaker school, she has a teacher who spent the war in prison for being a pacifist, which leads to discussions of conscientious objectors, especially in the light of the animosity shown to him by the games master, who was an officer in the war and a bully. One might be concerned that such a pattern of alternating between the two stories could be confusing, but Dunn does a strong job of making the shifts seamless.

I had a really good time with the characters, especially being reunited with some old friends. I enjoyed getting to see Daisy's twins begin to grow up and play with her, as they begin to speak a few words. I also had fun being reunited with the timid and proper Melanie and the curious and mischievous Zakari. I laughed at the way Zakari used her status as the wife of a high- level government official to tease the incompetent local detective.

Bernadette Dunne continues as the narrator of the latter half of the series. I really enjoy her performance as she brings this book to life. She does good voices for the characters, giving Melanie a nervous- sounding voice and Zakari a voice that positively twinkles!

I have read all of the Daisy Dalrymple books up until this one, and while some are weaker than others, Anthem for Doomed Youth is one of her stronger ones. Though named after a poem famous for lamenting all the young men who lost their lives, both through death and through being maimed, the book does not push the message of the evil of war to the degree of feeling like a political message. It does show a number of people harmed by the war, but I didn't feel like the message was politicized. I really appreciated this book and found it very well- written. I give it five stars.

6 people found this helpful

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Narrator is terrible.

Made it through 3 chapters and couldn’t take it anymore. She’s difficult to understand when she does a male characters voice.

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Bad reader

The reader must have been different because she made Daisy sound like an airhead.the book was as always great.

5 people found this helpful

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I wish Alec would stop being such a boor!!

Daisy's husband is a whiny little boor & a bore. "Great scot, Daisy, stop meddling!" is a phrase Ms. Dunn really needs to lose in these stories! Meddling?! Please!

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interesting

liked to see how Daisy was involved with this case bit still staying in the shadows. The child's involvement was protected. Love these stories.

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Un-ethical behavior??

This story differs profoundly from the others in that Daisy concealed important information from Alec. Not in line with her actions, motives, or ethics in all the other stories.

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a slight shift in genre

alec and Daisy break their usual rhythm to do a slightly different story. I enjoyed this story a lot as I like all sorts of mysteries but this one is a little more on the tragic and dark side in this series. Considering the previous book was a borderline comedy that is interesting in itself. Anthem felt like a meditation on procedural thrillers using the characters the series has built.

as the book description itself describes the story is a parallel mystery with alec and his team working on a complex and disturbing crime while daisy trips into her own crime with her friends in tow. Both mysteries, and how they connect, are solid stories. That said I would have enjoyed seeing the school story as its own adventure. i still liek belinda as a character and I like that she and her friends are distinct characters.

as usual the author's strenght in writing characters and how they play against each other remains the strong part of this series and this story. she has built a truly strong cast of characters and I like that the characters grow and change in this series. Ernie Piper in particular does a lot more then he usually gets in other books and its good to see why Alec is nurtuting his career.

solid voice acting as usual and I enioy the character voices. good production values.

still unless youve read other books in this series and enjoy this series I dont think this is the one to start on.

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Heart rending and suspenseful!

This is my favorite book by Carola Dunn yet! Well written, complex plot, and superb character development. This story also combines historical elements with a general question of the morality of war and forcing someone to be a soldier. Great! And as always, Lucy Rayner does an excellent job!

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One of the best stories yet

Always appreciate stories that explore the true costs of war. Thank you . Audible wants more words so here they are.

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Many emotions - enjoy all so far

Many emotions, will be sad when I complete series. Hope their will be another series

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  • Mrs. J. Bretherton
  • 01-27-18

dreadful

A terrible performance . The reader used a variety of almost comic voices to express characterisations. completely dreadul.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jacqui
  • 09-21-21

Gentle escapism

Very much enjoy the gentle twists of Carola Dunn but really do wish someone would pick Lucy Rayner up on her pronunciation. Her epic gaffs are like fingers down a blackboard and seem to get worse the further through the series I go

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chobe
  • 01-27-20

Pronunciation

Love these stories harking for a different, quainter time but I do wish your lovely reader would check English pronunciation of place names e.g. Harwich. Generally, the pronunciation had been improving.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Heather Cawte
  • 08-19-21

Ruined by poor narration

This is quite a slow-paced story, which was struggling to grip my attention, but I would probably have persevered. What made it impossible to do so is the appalling narration. The over-acting and shrill tone make it impossible to enjoy the book. The accents the narrator attempts are atrocious, bordering on racist. I just couldn’t put up with the silly, giggly tone of the narration one minute longer.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ellie Rose
  • 11-16-21

More serious content than most of the series

Enjoyable, but less fluffy than the other novels in this series, which is a good thing. She touches on the immediate effect war can have on young men and the long-reaching results of their actions and axperiences. This is the first book in the series that made me actually feel something. The narrator is okay, but not brilliant.

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  • Mrs. C. Hunt
  • 10-31-21

Anthem for Doomed Youth

This is another terrific mystery, within a mystery. With lots of fun and laughs along the way as Daisy out wits the local police. Read brilliantly again by Lucy Rayner.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-20-21

5 star story and narration

I continue to enjoy these stories and the narration. I recommend this series of cozy mysteries

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  • Anna Elizabeth Butler
  • 10-18-21

I really enjoyed this one.

I really enjoyed this one, but found the subject matter very moving and a little difficult at times. I was particularly pleased to see the historical note included at the end.
As with other Daisy Dalrymple audiobooks though, I found the narration far too slow. This was solved very easily by speeding it up. I listened to it at 1.4.