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Publisher's Summary

Eleanor Trewynn is a widow of some years living in Port Mabyn, a small fishing village in Cornwall, England. In her younger days, she traveled the exotic parts of the world with her husband. These days she's retired and founded the local charity shop. Her niece, Megan Pencarrow, transferred nearby and was recently promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant. Perhaps the only downside is that she is now working for a DI who doesn't approve of women on the police force and who really doesn't much approve of Megan's aunt Eleanor, as she is something of a thorn in his rather substantial side.

All of these factors collide when, the day after collecting donations, Eleanor and the vicar's wife find the dead body of a long-haired, scruffy-looking youth hidden in the stockroom of the charity shop. Then they discover that some donated jewelry thought to be fake is actually very real, very expensive, and the haul from a violent robbery in London. Making matters more complex, the corpse found in the storeroom is apparently not one of the robbers.

Carola Dunn's Manna from Hades is a confounding Cornish case of daring theft, double-cross, and a wily older woman confronted by a case of murder most foul.

©2009 Carola Dunn (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    73
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    37
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    93
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

No Thanks

Around 2/3 of the way through, I lost the thread of the story . . . and didn't care. Wanda McCaddon's narration couldn't bring this tedious, dated story to life for me.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

not so much

the main character was ridiculous. the plot was predictable. disappointed in Ms. Dunn, her Daisy Dalrymple stories are much better.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Fun Mystery, 10 minutes too long though

Fun cozy, interesting characters, and a good solution. Definitely worth a listen. Not sure why the author tacked on the part at the end. Seemed pretty pointless.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

A Body in a Thrift Shop

In Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn, set in 1960s Cornwall, Eleanor Trewynn, a widow returned after a lifetime of adventures all over the world on behalf of LonStar (London Save the Starving Council), comes downstairs one morning to discover the murdered body of a young man unknown to anyone in her area. Eleanor had spent the previous day collecting donations for the thrift shop that raises money for LonStar. Upon unloading her car, she found a briefcase anonymously left in her car filled with jewelry that she assumes to be paste. Living above the LonStar shop, Eleanor finds the body amid the new donations piled up in the store room. With her absent-mindedness about locking her doors and using her keys, often forgetting them anywhere, including in the door or car, the young man could have easily entered the building. But why anyone would have even wanted to get into a charity thrift shop confuses the police, which includes Eleanor’s niece, Detective Sergeant Megan Pencarrow.

Eventually Eleanor remembers the jewelry in her safe, which her friends push her to notify the police about, and the police recognize the very valuable jewelry as some pieces stolen from a jeweler in London. This sheds light on the possible motive for someone to break into the shop and maybe for the murder too. But it takes plenty of police work on Megan’s behalf, working with her Scotland Yard detective former boyfriend, to find out the identity of the dead young man.

The book carries plenty of culture, both Cornish and 1960s. We see the rural life that both Megan and Eleanor live in Cornwall, with such details as the views of the countryside, the local citizenry, and the community. The book also illustrates life in the 1960s, such as the difficulties that Megan experiences as a woman in the constabulary and the homeless hippy runaway teens who live together on the streets in Bristol.

The audio version is narrated by Wanda McCaddon. I enjoyed her performance, and I think the book was enhanced by her reading it.

I have long been a fan of Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series, so I was excited to see that Dunn’s Cornish series is now being made available on Audible. This book seems to fit with the mood of the era, though I like the Daisy Dalrymple books better. I give the book four stars.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle customer Patricia
  • 04-28-17

Manna from Hades

This amiable mystery meanders around Cornwall. I wondered if it would ever reach the end. The characters are mainly likeable though not quite believable. It all resolves nicely, though I was left thinking - well I never! The narrator is easy to listen to but some words are pronounced very strangely which made me wonder is she was a native English (UK) speaker. And I never made any sense of the title.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-15-18

More please!

I absolutely love the characters and stories from Port Mabyn! Unfortunately Carola DUNNE will not be writing more because her publisher says they weren't popular.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Renka
  • 09-06-17

Manna from Hades

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not really - the story is OK but the character Eleanor is just too dippy to be believable.

What didn’t you like about Wanda McCaddon’s performance?

Where did this narrator learn to pronounce English? Her pronunciation of some words is very strange - e.g. niche pronounced 'nitch'.

Did Manna from Hades inspire you to do anything?

It only inspired me not to purchase any more books in this series.

Any additional comments?

Eminently forgettable book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-17-17

Only One Chapter.

I bought the book, added the narration and only have the first chapter. This is supposed to Have over 9 Hours narration, I have 10 minutes.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful