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Publisher's Summary

A storm. A disappearance. A race against time....

Mustique is in a state of breathless calm as tropical storm Cristobal edges towards it across the Atlantic. Most villa owners have escaped the island but a few young socialites remain, unwilling to let summer's partying end. American heiress Amanda Fortini is one such thrill-seeker - until she heads out for a morning swim and doesn't return. 

Detective Sergeant Samuel Wilton is just 28 years old and the island's only fully trained police officer. He quickly realises he needs to contact Lord and Lady Innerleithen, who bought the island decades ago and have invested time, money and love creating a paradise. Jasper is in St Lucia designing a new village of luxury villas but Lady Veronica (Vee to her friends) catches a plane immediately. Her beloved god-daughter, Lily, is on the island, and this disappearance has alarming echoes of what happened to Lily's mother many years ago. Lady Vee would never desert a friend in need, and she can keep a cool head in a crisis. 

When Amanda's body is found, a murder investigation begins. Wilton knows the killer must be an islander because flights and ferry crossings have stopped due to the storm warning, but the local community isn't co-operating. And then the storm hits and someone else disappears.

©2020 Anne Glenconner (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What listeners say about Murder on Mustique

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Good read

I love the way Lady Glenconner writes. Her descriptions are vivid and her storytelling is marvelous. I loved Lady in Waiting too

3 people found this helpful

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Very good mystery, plus unique Mustique atmosphere

I was unsure whether to buy this title, especially after reading some of the negative review comments. However, I had really enjoyed "Lady in Waiting", Lady Anne Glenconner's memoir which covered her decades serving Princess Margeret while she and her husband Colin Tennant bought and developed the island of Mustique as an exclusive paradise of the rich and famous, frequented by celebrities including Mick Jagger, Raquel Welch, and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as numerous members of the royal family from William and Kate to the Queen herself. And since I've always loved good murder mysteries--and the royal family--I took a chance on this book, and was not disappointed.

Murder on Mustique is actually quite a good quality murder mystery--not a classic, but well-crafted and suspenseful, with enough hints and false leads to keep the reader guessing until the surprising reveal. I would not classify it as a cozy; the quality of writing and depth of characterization lift it above that level.

What makes this murder mystery different from others, and therefore a bit tricky to review, is that it hasn't quite decided whether it is memoir or fiction. "Lady Veronica's" voice is indistinquishable from Lady Anne's in "Lady in Waiting", and they share the same history of developing Mustique while taking care of Princess Margaret. (And yes, she does mention the Princess several times, especially while establishing the characters, but then only occasionally in the rest of the book.)

I just decided not to let this bother me, and was quickly engrossed in the story. Clearly, Lady Vee is Lady Anne, and her background of upper-class privilege--including her closeness with the royal family--might rankle some, especially when contrasted with the poverty of many of the islanders. Yet she is also clearly a loving, caring woman who, while a product of her time and place, respects people from all walks of life.

I thoroughly enjoyed the narrators and I was sorry when I got to the end. I will definitely get the next book, if this is a series.

3 people found this helpful

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Ridiculous

I am not sure if this is the start of a 'cosy' detective series - the 'detective' being a wealthy Lady and landowner, or a tourist guide for Mustique. But what did drive me nuts is the mention of Princess Margaret in every 3rd sentence to start, and towards the end about every 7th sentence. (I wonder if the author had to ask permission from the Queen). Then there is the mention of every good deed she and her husband did for the Islanders. The narration was good but the whole story was quite ridiculous!

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  • LM
  • 08-25-21

Narration ruined it

How hard could it be to have consistent volume?? Apparently impossible. Harriet Walter is an amazing actress, but not narrator; her reading is too low pitched and quiet, and her lisp seems more pronounced than usual. The other narrators are much louder, which makes for jarring transitions and the constant need to adjust the volume on my speakers. The male narrator is hard to understand and drops the ends of his words. The mystery has promise and the setting is intriguing; perhaps I'll read it to find out what happens. But this is one I'll be returning.

1 person found this helpful

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Greater than the sun of its parts

My favorite part of the audiobook was also my least favorite part: Ben Bailey Smith. Incredibly talented as he breezes from Creole to American to British accents, Bailey Smith deserved better producers. At the halfway mark, he gets a serious case of dry mouth, as though he’d been reading for three hours without stopping or taking water. Let the man go home! Suddenly his beautiful voice cannot get through a single sentence without at least twice featuring the sharp clicking of his dry tongue attempting to move within his mouth. I do not want mouth sounds—it’s absolute distracting and unprofessional, and should never have been allowed, much less to carry on for painful hours.

The other narrators are fine, the British aristocrat accents warm, round, and soothing where you would want them to be—not sharp and harsh at all. The other female accents are... mistaken. I had to be told a character was purely Canadian, and not some exotic Eastern European. The Americanisms are utter fails: Americans do not say, for example, “Monday, Eighteenth June.” That is simply incorrect in American English.

The native culture is treated respectfully and from a distance, which is appreciated. There isn’t appropriation or fetishization. The one character born on the islands who is in a narrative position was raised in London, which neatly prevents Lady Glenconner from stepping into territory beyond her. The themes the islanders are seen as experiencing are either universal or location-specific, and a delicate line is toed: the author does want to write an inclusive book with local characters, but doesn’t want to explicitly speak for any real-world sentiments that might be felt by them, and this is accomplished with little awkwardness. Time will tell whether it was handled satisfactorily.

The plot is just fine for what I’d like on a cozy murder mystery. This is a fun take on that subgenre, because we have the beautiful islands as a backdrop. There are times when the reader does struggle to empathize with the lavishness of the island’s guests, but the author is aware of this, and it’s mentioned. A bit of escapism is fine, and the main protagonist is lovable, in my opinion, and again, self-aware of her white savior potential, and trying to avoid it. The writing is speedy, clean, and enjoyable, with the exception of a few blue lines like, “the moon looked down with apathy.”

More difficult to empathize with is the protagonist’s adoration of Princess Margaret. We are told such factoids as Margaret hating the sensation of sand. It is explained how much joy it brought our protagonist to keep linens available to immediately wash Margaret’s feet for her after every dip. This is supposed to be a sunny and sweet recollection, but it comes across just as horrifying as learning that Prince Charles has his toothpaste put on his brush for him every morning by a butler who uses a paste-squeezing silver key bearing the Prince of Wales feathers. It’s truly nothing short of disgusting, Royal or not, as opposed to being something special, of note. While absurd privilege is called out in the book, it is also celebrated as something that might one day unfortunately pass and must be remembered for posterity. Yikes.

I would 100% recommend the book and read her next book. I hope she writes one.

1 person found this helpful

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Exciting, mystery on Mustique!

I loved this book! I read her first, book, 'Lady I'm Waiting" and was so happy she had written a fiction book. I am sure some of the characters are modeled after people she knew and knows in Mustique! I really enjoyed it!

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  • BeatrixBalazar
  • 11-25-20

Great little tale

Lots of fun to be had on this Caribbean Island. A twist at every turn who dunnit adventure. So much fun.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-13-21

Murder on Mustique

I enjoyed this murder mystery and its an interesting insight into the lifestyles of the rich and famous on an idyllic island where all is not what it seems!

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  • Iwbar
  • 04-04-21

Very entertaining, great narration

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and narration. I enjoyed hearing about life on the island and the integration with what I suspect is feelings, thoughts and way of life of the author. Would get another book again if available

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  • Debra Marshall
  • 02-17-21

Fab story

Excellent book, loved it. Do hope she writes more of a similar type. Highly recommended.