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Death at Breakfast

Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
Series: Dr. Priestley, Book 23
Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A classic winter's crime novel by one of the most highly regarded exponents of the genre.

Victor Harleston awoke with uncharacteristic optimism. Today he would be rich at last. Half an hour later, he gulped down his breakfast coffee and pitched to the floor, gasping and twitching. When the doctor arrived, he recognised instantly that it was a fatal case of poisoning and called in Scotland Yard.

Despite an almost complete absence of clues, the circumstances were so suspicious that Inspector Hanslet soon referred the evidence to his friend and mentor, Dr Lancelot Priestley, whose deductions revealed a diabolically ingenious murder that would require equally fiendish ingenuity to solve.

©1936 Estate of John Rhode (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"One always embarks on a John Rhode book with a great feeling of security. One knows that there will be a sound plot, a well-knit process of reasoning and a solidly satisfying solution with no loose ends or careless errors of fact." (Dorothy L. Sayers in The Sunday Times)
" Death at Breakfast is full of John Rhode's specialties: a new and excellently ingenious method of murder, a good story, and a strong chain of deduction." ( Daily Telegraph)
"John Rhode well deserves his reputation as a constructor of almost flawless detective story plots. To read any of his tales is a very agreeable intellectual exercise." ( Daily Mail)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

An almost entirely perfect murder mystery!<br />

An intellectually stimulating British "Whodunnit". It's all about the mystery. No extraneous plot elements. No personal or psychological trauma heaped on the detecting protagonists. No inter-office politics at Scotland Yard. Perfect!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

slow moving story

the narrator did well, but the story was slow, and I had guessed 'whodunut' about halfway through. it seemed to take a long time to wrap the story up

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It Is What It Is

Obviously one reads this book precisely because it is Golden Age of British Mystery writing so one gets what one pays for. In an era when this genre was highly popular this was certainly one of the finer works. It takes a bit of self-discipline to enjoy it as much as one might have done 100 years ago, but once you accept the highly stylised narrative and understand that you as the reader are being teased along and fed bits of the story as tastily as possible it becomes a very enjoyable nine hour listen.

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A bit too long in the toothe

This story could have been a lot shorter. Loved the Narrator but the inspector was made to look a bit stupid and after a while I found that irritating. Like another person’s review, I too got “who did it” way way way before the end, and that was boring.

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  • Roger
  • South Orange, NJ, United States
  • 03-26-18

Humdrum

The plot is intricate, but the solution was obvious at least halfway through the book.

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  • D Suz
  • 12-12-18

Disappointing

It’s nicely read but that’s the only positive. The police are made to look stupid. The plot was so obvious I found myself getting annoyed with the police for not seeing it and as for the assumptions made .... aaarrrgghh!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheila
  • 06-20-19

Ingenious!

Short on characterisation, but long on ingenuity. This is an excellent Golden Age mystery. As with other John Rhode books, it's fairly easy to work out whodunnit, but it's worth sticking with the story for the solution.

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  • Miss AJV
  • 03-30-19

Entertaining cosy murder mystery

The bumbling police officers were a little irritating at times - making heavy weather of the glaringly obvious. lt's not likely that Scotland Yard would entertain such keystone cops. The narration was faultless with each character portrayed very well indeed.Overall, l found this an easygoing and enjoyable audiobook and will probably listen to another title by the author in the future.

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  • Bucks Pedant
  • 11-18-18

Well read, but tedious

Started with an interesting set up but way too long and repetitious. Surely no policeman could ever be quite so dense as to miss the true interpretation of the facts, which became blindingly obvious once all the suspects had appeared.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Transformer Books
  • 08-23-18

Slow and Stupid

This is a slow and tedious listen. The stupidity of the Superintendant is so blatant as to become really annoying. The narrator is fine, not much he can do with this endlessly drawn out story. But we devotees of detective fiction are used to being credited with a modicum of intelligence, and there is a limit to just how much sheer wilful incapacity to perceive the blindingly obvious we can tolerate. No use even as an insomnia cure, as it gets you so aggravated.