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A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia Audiobook

A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia: A Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventure, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

It's 1929, and Ticky Maltravers is the toast of London high society, adored by everyone - or so it seems, until somebody poisons him over dinner. Now it turns out that numerous people with secrets to hide had every reason to wish him dead. But which of them murdered him? For Freddy Pilkington-Soames, newspaper reporter and man-about-town, the question hits a little too close to home, thanks to an unfortunate drunken encounter with Ticky's corpse which he'd much rather the police didn't find out about - and thanks also to his exasperating mother Cynthia's seeming determination to get herself arrested by tampering with the evidence. But a pretty girl with big blue eyes is demanding his help in solving the mystery, so what can he do but agree? Now all he has to do is hide the wrong clues, find the right ones, and unmask the murderer before the police discover what's really been going on. That ought to be easy enough. If only people didn't keep getting killed....

©2016 Clara Benson (P)2017 Clara Benson

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (71 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kathi 06-12-17
    Kathi 06-12-17 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wodehouse meets Christie--a treat to listen to!"

    Don't be put off by the fun in this book--where Clara Benson writes, and Gethyn Edwards reads--- a perfect capturing of the parody of the upper class in Britain, while also weaving in a very good mystery. Freddy Pilkington-Soames, journalist and son of one of the suspects, starts out more like Bertie Wooster, but winds up sounding a great deal more intelligent and capable. An interesting transition that takes place very gradually through the story, but not until loads of episodes ensue, as Benson does the Wodehouse-like poking of fun at the stilted manners and customs of the privileged folks.

    Tricky Maltravers is a man people don't seem to like, but strangely everyone treats him like royalty. Until they don't--and very quickly in the story, he is murdered. The early part of the book is like a madcap, laugh-aloud farce, but as the story evolves, and Freddy decides he needs to get serious about solving the mystery, it becomes more traditional, though without ever losing that slightly amusing look at the gentry of between-the-wars Britain.

    I really liked this book. Never having heard of either the author or narrator before, I hesitated before purchasing it. Now, I hope there are more! This seemed a special treat to find. I highly recommend it for a light, but delightful, listen.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-07-17
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    "Freddy is Back"

    I read and enjoyed the entire 10 book series Clara Benson wrote about Angela Marchmont. Freddy was a reoccurring character in that series. It was fun to see him again in an adventure of his own. Gethyn Edwards does a fine job of narrating the story. Clear and understandable and easy to distinguish which character is speaking. He also conveys the mood of each scene.

    I admit the story isn't "great literature", but it is a fun vintage feeling mystery. Those who have run out of Agatha Christie mysteries will probably enjoy reading about Freddy.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice V. Edwards 05-11-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Very enjoyable!"
    Any additional comments?

    I've read all of Clara Benson's books and I like them all. This audio version of the first Freddie book stands out. The narrative and the reader together are exceptional- reminiscent of PG Wodehouse.. I like mysteries to be light and funny and this fills the bill.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Oswego, IL, United States 07-08-17
    James Oswego, IL, United States 07-08-17 Member Since 2008
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    "Enjoyable light reading"

    If you are looking for War and Peace this is not your book. However, if you're looking for a good English procedural mystery you're come to the right place. I really thought the plot was clever and I truly liked the characters. Definitely worth a credit.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MyTapestry Victoria, MS 05-11-17
    MyTapestry Victoria, MS 05-11-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Clara Benson's New Protagonist is a Hit!"

    I have been an avid follower of the exploits of Clara Benson's Angela Marchmont. I must admit that I was a little leary about her starting a new series, as I have seen other authors attempt this with limited success. I should have had more faith!! Clara Benson brings the same wit and charm to Freddy Pilkington-Soames as she did to Angela. I won't list any spoilers here, but I will say that there is a most satisfactory corpse. Freddy, his mother and the varied cast are subjects of both humor and pity severally. Although I spotted the murderer fairly quickly, it was well worth the read to see the characters and clues unfold. If you're a fan of Clara's protagonist Angela Marchmont, fear not and read on! If you are totally new to Clara Benson, you are in for a treat...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Peach Houston 05-02-17
    Ms Peach Houston 05-02-17

    Ms Peach

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    "Light listening"

    Humorous characters and a good mystery! The narrator was wonderful and the story moved along well

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Klett Houston, TX USA 06-29-17
    Elizabeth Klett Houston, TX USA 06-29-17
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    "Delightful British period mystery"
    Any additional comments?

    Clara Benson writes British period mysteries that are very fun to read - and narrator Gethyn Edwards makes this novel great fun to listen to. He's the perfect choice to voice louche dilettante Freddy Pilkington-Soames, and he does a great job with the daffy array of characters in this entertaining mystery.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ijw Cochise, AZ, United States 05-31-17
    Ijw Cochise, AZ, United States 05-31-17 Member Since 2012

    Aging hippie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable light listen"

    Plot is interesting, corpse deserves it, silly upper class entertains without too much eye rolling. Hero's motivations are reasonable, if a little far fetched. But this is not serious literature that drags reader into reality. Grabs and holds attention; the plot does not stagnate with filler diversions. Even has a plot twist at the end to head off darkness.

    The actor/reader is excellent. Wonderful to experience someone who can convey individual voices as well as inflection to sell the story. To these American ears the accents sounded believable (excepting the Australian and Indian - but that only served to highlight the overall excellence.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Brody The Theatre School, Chicago, IL 08-12-17
    Jane Brody The Theatre School, Chicago, IL 08-12-17 Member Since 2015
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    "A trip back in a time that probably never was"
    If you could sum up A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia in three words, what would they be?

    Charming, fun, and clever with lots of interesting characters and a surprising depth. The narration is superb. If you are an anglophile and want to get away from the day to day, this trip into supposed upper class British life between the wars is first rate.


    What about Gethyn Edwards’s performance did you like?

    Gethyn Edward's performance is so strong that my husband asked if there were two narrators, a woman and a man. Top notch.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslea Shreveport, LA, United States 07-25-17
    Leslea Shreveport, LA, United States 07-25-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Full"

    This book was very dull. The story was simple, the characters voices ran together and it was just nothing special.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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