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Deadmistress  By  cover art

Deadmistress

By: Carole B. Shmurak
Narrated by: Barbara Benjamin-Creel
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Publisher's Summary

The headmistress of an exclusive private school for girls has been found murdered in her office. When professor Susan Lombardi learns that her friend John is the prime suspect, she sets out to clear his name, but her research uncovers some troubling secrets about the school's faculty and students. And soon it becomes clear that John is not the only one with a motive for murder.

©2004, 2011 Carole B. Shmurak (P)2014 Carole B. Shmurak

What listeners say about Deadmistress

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great mystery!

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It is a clean listen with a great ending. My review is not a synopsis of the book, but rather my opinion of it. I have listened to other books by this author and narrator before and enjoy their style. This book is original and has some humor. It is a standalone listen and part of a series. I was provided with this review copy audiobook at no charge and have voluntarily written this review.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This is a very interesting mytery novel

Would you consider the audio edition of Deadmistress to be better than the print version?

This was a really interesting quick listen little mystery. It felt like it wasn't the first book in the series. It kept my interest from beginning to end.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel. I can honestly say she does a great job keeping the energy of the character and makes the story move. She has a great feel for Susan, with a nice pace and tone throughout the book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Deadmistress - Promising But Lacking

The premise of this story was promising but the execution left me saying too frequently "What the heck?" Although there was no real reason for the protagonist to play investigator and although everyone told her to leave it to the police, she continued to investigate the murder of the headmistress at the girl's boarding school where she had worked several years ago.

There were a number of suspects (some of whom were surprising...at one point the protagonist suspects a good friend for little reason). Some of the "suspects" appear to be thrown in with little regard to actual reasoning. The ending left a lot to be desired with a considerable amount of liberty taken as to what the local police would and would not allow.

The narrator was good although when the story reads "she sipped her tea" or "he chuckled" the narrator mimicked the sound which I found a little irritating.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A quick, fun mystery

What did you love best about Deadmistress?

While being vague to avoid spoilers, I would say the way the confession of the killer was got. It was quite novel and actual fit well with the setting of the story.

The books itself reminded me so many of your mystery novels or shows - Miss Marple, Murder She Wrote, etc., mixed in with a boarding school movie/book - like Dead Poets Society etc.

The mystery itself was good, although not edge-of-your-seat engaging but it was something different.

Would you be willing to try another book from Carole B. Shmurak? Why or why not?

I certainly wouldn't be opposed to it. I'm not going to rush out and get book 2 in the series but I might pick it up eventually.

What about Barbara Benjamin-Creel’s performance did you like?

I really enjoyed it, for the most part. She does a variety of accents throughout the book (including a brooklyn accent and something I would describe as Fargo-esque) as well as giving each individual character a different voice. A very good range and very consistent. Certainly helped engage the story.

One minor thing I disliked was the occasional sound effect. At one point the book reads "she took a sip of her drink" and Barbara added in a taking a sip sound effect. I know some people like htis sort of stuff but I generally don't. So one small mark against an otherwise really well done narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great little cozy mystery.

Any additional comments?

Nearly the definition of a cozy mystery. A smart, intuitive woman sticks her nose where is doesn't belong to solve the murder of her ex-boss. For the most part, this was a really good book. Easy reading and a nice ending. Kind of clunky dialogue, though.

I really liked the narration. I usually don't like female narrators because the pitch of their voice can bring me out of the story, but Barbara Benjamin-Creel did a fantastic job keeping it low key and bringing some nice characters to the party.

Great little cozy mystery.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Dead Mistress review

What was one of the most memorable moments of Deadmistress?

The very first few sentences.

What does Barbara Benjamin-Creel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Unique, interesting voices to the characters - it's something you wouldn't get by just reading it

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It didn't make me laugh or cry, but I felt deep interest to listen to what would happened next.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyable story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DK
  • 03-03-15

In the Style of Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plumb

What was one of the most memorable moments of Deadmistress?


One of the teachers at a private boarding school for girls has been murdered. An alumni, Susan, is out to investigate on her own and find out who done it.

This is a well-written, chick light book. It was delectable and a great nice, funny (not that murder is funny) ride that keeps the attention of the reader and I was guessing until the end.

The narration by Barbra Benjamin-Creel was charming and enchanting among a wide variety of characters.

While this was a nice book, I doubt that I will continue with this category of book only because my taste tends to run a bit darker.

Notes: nothing to worry about here.

Credit worthy/$: This is a tough one, it is sharp and entertaining but not anything I would use a credit or my cash on it as it is only 4+ hours. *However, I received free copy off this book in exchange for my thoughts and the review.* I really enjoyed it.

If you found this review helpful please select yes immediately underneath this text. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining traditional mystery

When a much disliked headmistress of a posh girls school is murdered, teaching alumna Susan Lombardi is on the case (with the aid of her supportive husband - and some interesting others). This won't set the world on fire, but it's a good solid traditional mystery, and a pleasant way to pass some time. I will look for more in this series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A good start to a series

Publishers' Summary

The headmistress of an exclusive private school for girls has been found murdered in her office. When professor Susan Lombardi learns that her friend John is the prime suspect, she sets out to clear his name, but her research uncovers some troubling secrets about the school's faculty and students. And soon it becomes clear that John is not the only one with a motive for murder.
©2004, 2011 Carole B. Shmurak (P)2014 Carole B. Shmurak
Series: Susan Lombardi, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Length 4 hours 4 minutes

My review,

The Dead Mistress is the awful Sabina, whose rule over her exclusive little empire came to a nasty end, but ........... Who did it? Is the wrong man being lined up ready to take the blame? Susan thinks so which is good enough reason, she believes, to poke her perky little nose in everywhere it's not really wanted.
This is a short listen, and, despite a precarious plot is entertaining enough, I look forward to discovering how Susan polishes up her sleuthing skills by consuming more of the series.
This was first published as a book a few years ago, and it certainly translates well to audio.

Narrator

It takes but a few moments to realise that Barbara Benjamin- Cole is a well trained and experienced narrator, she did, in fact, enhance the story for me no end. Through her voice I enjoyed it so much more than I would have by only reading it. I'll certainly be looking out for her name.
I received a free copy of this audiobook in return for my honest review




1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Smart Campus Mystery

I really enjoyed this semi-short campus mystery and the series as well. I listened to Book 2 first so I was already familiar and comfortable with the main characters. It was a little like becoming reaquainted with old friends.

Susan is a very likeable, fun character and it made it all the more enjoyable to listen to with fresh ears. This was a light story, not too heavy which was relaxing. It delves into campus politics a little and leads up to Susan having tenure at Metroplitan University in Book 2. I loved the part of the story where she and the girls have the tribunal. That was a neat twist.

So overall this is shaping up to be a great series and I look forward to Book 3. Another thing that makes this extra fun for me is that I live very close to a large university steeped in school spirit. Great work by Carole Shmurak. And again wonderfully narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel.

I received this audiobook foc in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 person found this helpful