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Publisher's Summary

A tragic accident or a murder on a mountain? Inspector Drake’s first investigation takes him to the middle of Snowdonia, but can he uncover the truth?

When two bodies are found sprawled at the bottom of the Devil's Kitchen in the mountains of Snowdonia, it looks like a murder-suicide. But something doesn't feel right to Detective Inspector Ian Drake, and his gut instinct has never let him down before.

Drake suspects at least one of the deaths could be suspicious, but who would kill such an ordinary couple, and why? This might be Drake's first murder inquiry, but his years as a detective have taught him one thing - every murder has a motive, and every killer leaves a trace.

If you enjoy crime mysteries, then you’ll love this prequel novella in the eight-book Inspector Drake series. If you enjoy clever, well-plotted mysteries with engaging characters, then don’t miss Stephen Puleston’s Inspector Drake novels.  

©2016 Stephen Puleston (P)2018 Stephen Puleston

What listeners say about Devil's Kitchen

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

An excellent introduction to a new crime series.

I am aware this series started a few years ago and this introduction novella came a couple of years later. For me, it's a whole new start for this detective.
The story: I really enjoyed this police procedural, the dogged determination of Inspector Drake with his neatness OCD. After the case was concluded for his superiors he takes it upon himself to ferret out the real killer, and amidst many red-herrings, he gets his man. None of the plot seemed contrived and he got his man by sheer doggedness and following the clues and his hunches/ experience rather than blind luck.
This is a literary crime drama too, with lovely prose describing the area of Devil's Kitchen and the town. I was entranced as much by this as the following of the crime.
The audio: This was excellent. The narrator was so natural and inflexion perfect. Accents were good, and the fast pace of the story came through in the narration too without being rushed.

All in all a great story and I'd definitely recommend if you're after a new crime series. I will be reading the rest.

3 people found this helpful

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A short, entertaining murder mystery

Devil’s Kitchen is a murder mystery that appears simple at first glance but proves to have more going on under closer inspection. The story is fairly short, but it is a complete mystery.

The narrator fits the story well and does a good job bringing it to life.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook. This is my honest and voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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Short murder mystery brilliantly written and narrated!

Sometimes a short story is a winner. After two losers that I returned, I was delighted to find this gem. Trying to solve a double death scene, officials meet some quirky characters. Well written and narrated, this book had an ending I ever saw coming. Looking for more in this series. Very highly recommended and worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Ian Drake Origin story

This Ian Drake prequel is an excellent introduction to the Inspector and his quirks along with his investigative skills. While I had listened to the first three Ian Drake novels prior to listening to Devil’s Kitchen, I found this story to be very entertaining and quite revealing. While Devil’s Kitchen is a novella it is filled with just as many false leads and twists as Mr. Puleston’s full-length novel. Richard Elfyn’s narration is excellent as always and his ability to pronounce all the Welsh names/words makes the story even better.

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Pretty decent murder mystery

This was a decent police procedural/murder mystery story. It was a short story but gave some background on Inspector Drake and how he goes about trying to solve a case.

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An excellent presentation for Inspector Drake ♥

A short story introducing Inspector Drake and his partner, DS Caren Waits during his first case.

It's really interesting to see this beginning, seeing Drake going to such great lengths, following his instinct that it's telling him that there is something more than a murder-suicide in this case. It's a good presentation, that highlights his sheer determination when it comes to doing what it's right.

We get to see him trying to be a good dad, but too focused on his job. We see his OCD acting and making him uncomfortable around messy places and people.

We see all that has made us love him in the rest of the stories, and that's wonderful.

I really, really liked it.

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Good intro

I liked this enough to want to continue with the rest of the series. It was not predictable and the main characters were developed and interesting for such a short story.

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Inspector Drake’s first case

Devil’s Kitchen is a prequel to the Inspector Drake’s series. Stephen Puleston has written an exciting murder mystery. Richard Elfyn does an outstanding performance and really brings the story to life. Inspector Drake is such a wonderful character. He is smart and the reader forgets that he is fiction. Devil’s Kitchen builds a solid foundation and the story pace is fast and interesting. If you enjoy reading Inspector Drake stories, you don’t want to miss the prequel. I reviewed a code for my honest review. Delphia

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  • JT
  • 06-03-20

Interesting jumping off place

This novella prequel is engaging and flows well. It makes me look forward to experiencing the growth of the characters and Inspector Drake's settling into his new position in the department.There are layers of relationships with multiple issues that just get scratched in this book. The crime involved is a mystery laced with intriguing twists and a healthy dose of angst. I was impressed with Richard Elfyn's ability to narrate this journey. The end of the book was not what I had surmised. I am adding Stephen Puleston's works to my TBR list.

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Great novella

If novella's are designed to whet your appetite for the real thing, this one succeeds in spades!! I loved my intro to Inspector Drake. It feels a lot like the series Endeavor, which is the Inspector Morse prequel. You know there is some seasoned cop at the end but how great it is to experience how they got that way!

This was a simple but intricate mystery. I didn't see the ending and I love it when that happens.

The narrator was seriously incredible and made the listen real. This was a great novella.

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  • D. J. Paterson
  • 10-16-18

A great introduction to the series.

Devil’s Kitchen is a 70 page / 2 hour 21 minute novella prequel to Stephen Pulestone’s five Inspector Drake novels, set in fabulous north Wales. I listened to this via Audible, and it just happened to be the perfect length for my weekly drive to Wales. And the perfect setting too! Although this is a relatively short novella, the story is very complete, and never feels rushed, and there are enough twists, turns and dodgy suspects to keep fans of police procedurals very happy. Stephen’s writing is very crisp and clean, and his descriptions, brought to life for me by excellent narration of Richard Elfyn, paint a very vivid picture of the mountainous terrain of north Wales. I think releasing a prequel novella is an excellent idea to give potential readers a decent idea of a writer and their protagonist. And with Devil’s Kitchen, this pays off very well; I for one am keen to read more in the series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • SandraL
  • 10-06-18

Nice introduction to DI Drake

Although this is a short novella Stephen Puleston has packed lots of action into this story. Ian Drake is a newly promoted DI in charge of his first case as SIO when two bodies are found. We learn that Drake is conscientious almost to the point of being OCD. His sidekick, DS Caren Waits, is his opposite - a bit of a slob. The case looks initially like a murder/suicide but Drake isn't convinced.

The story is set in Snowdonia, an area I know from family holidays, and I like books set in familiar locations, which were described well.

I listened to this in one sitting, and although short the story draws you in and there were several twist to keep you guessing. I haven't read anything by Stephen Puleston before but I will definitely try one of the full length Drake novels.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 10-18-18

Great introduction to the series

This is the first book in the DI Drake series that I have read/listened to and it is a brilliant start.

The book follows DI Drake as he investigates a murder in Snowdonia where two hikers have fallen to their death, one of whom as a knife sticking out of their back.

The book is a brilliant read set amongst the mountains of Wales and the way the police investigate the murder makes it a very believable story. I really loved the fact that Drake kept on at it despite being told to stop and the book kept me guessing right to the end as we only find out key facts when he does, making it impossible to guess who did it, why and how

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-09-18

A great listen

We listened to this on one of our frequent trips around Wales. The location of the story was Snowdon which is familiar to us. The book certainly gave a sense of the rugged terrain. This novella is a prequel to the other Drake stories. The crime was interesting with a satisfying denouement. Looking forward to the other Inspector Drake stories after this great start.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lindsay
  • 09-30-18

Exciting short story

Really enjoyed this detective story and especially loved the Welsh setting being a Welsh girl. This story kept me hooked and I devoured it in one sitting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TG
  • 09-26-18

great quick listen

Really enjoyed this police whodunnit. As always, a few red herrings in this type of book and this has a satisfying conclusion.
The narrator was very easy to listen to and the story flowed well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TerryHeth
  • 09-24-18

Fast packed story

A great full packed story. A cop who wants to be thorough and do a good job. Determined to sort this case out. Superiors who would make do. But guess what, this is getting sorted.
Enjoyed the pace and narration. Story was great. Jam packed in a short time.
One to listen to

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris Wells
  • 06-13-21

A Perfect Pairing Of Story & Narrator.

As a fan of the inspector drake series this particular story was of great interest to me as it’s set prior to the novels of the series. We join the action as Ian Drake is given his first murder case as a newly promoted Detective Inspector. All the hallmarks that make the series so good are all present in this story despite it’s relatively shorter length. Drake faces the usual difficulties finding evidence that will lead him in the right direction. It’s a well constructed story with a very plausible cast of characters. I, as is usual for me, did not work out what had happened. Always great writing from Stephen Puleston and this novella maintains his high standards.
Richard Elfyn once again does an absolutely top class job bringing the story to life. His tone and skill have come to represent the Drake series for me. The pairing simply could not be better.

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  • Kul Mahay
  • 06-12-21

Good story but a bit short

Enjoyed listening to this book. My first of the Inspector Drake series. Procedurally it was correct (as an ex police officer this can be frustrating with many police crime dramas) but it was all a bit rushed and consequently a bit short. Perhaps because it was the first book so looking forward to reading the others to see what I really think.

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  • Raymond Andrews
  • 03-02-21

Great listening

I had read the book but was interested to hear the story. It was read extremely well and it was good to hear the correct pronunciation of the Welsh place names. Was disappointed when it ended. Such a relaxing way to hear a story. Well done Stephen Pulleston and Richard Elfyn.