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Publisher's Summary

March 1934. Revered mystery writer Josephine Tey is traveling from Scotland to London for the final week of her play Richard of Bordeaux, the surprise hit of the season, with pacifist themes that resonate in a world still haunted by war. But joy turns to horror when her arrival coincides with the murder of a young woman she had befriended on the train ride - and Tey is plunged into a mystery as puzzling as any in her own works. Detective Inspector Archie Penrose is convinced that the killing is connected to the play, and that Tey herself is in danger of becoming a victim of her own success. In the aftermath of a second murder, the writer and the policeman must join together to stop a ruthless killer who will apparently stop at nothing.

©2008 Nicola Upson. All rights reserved. (P)2011 AudioGo

What members say

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Story

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  • Story

Quite good!

This is a tough review to write. I liked it a lot. Truly! But there were a few plot points that had me in tears. I guess emotion is what the author hopes to evoke. This is a good mystery story with many suspects and excellent development. The characters are well written and interesting. I read another review that said the author over-used the word "lover." I tend to agree but the term fit.

Davina Porter is one of my favorite narrators and I loved listening to her read this. I'm looking forward to starting Book 2.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Laurie
  • Arlington, VA, United States
  • 01-12-13

Loved this book!

I usually find books that take real individuals and make them the protagonist in a mystery series pretentious and ultimately boring...square peg, round hole...but this...this was so good. The story was not overdone, nor were the characters (including Miss Tey) placed in unbelievable situations. The narration was excellent, not overly theatrical. I will definately be listening to more in the series.

37 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan
  • United States
  • 03-15-16

This one will grab you by the ears and hold on!

Purchased as Whispersync on the cheap courtesy of BookGorilla.
Set in time not long before WW 2 in Europe, Josephine Tey is the protagonist in this mystery of cruel, calculated murder. I found it as engaging as any good murder mystery and it refused to allow me to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. The writing is solid, smooth, and the plot has some very interesting twists.
Davina Porter gives an excellent performance with no undue dramaticism.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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I agree with Nicola Upson, Josephine Tay was extraordinary.

Author Elizabeth Mackintosh, who wrote novels as "Josephine Tay" and plays as "Gordon Daviot" was both an exceptional talent and a fascinating woman. That Nicola Upson has been clever enough to actually use Tay as her main character was all I needed to know to take a chance on, "An Expert in Murder," and I'm glad I did. Across class and social constructs Upson presents fully formed female characters who share with the reader/listener more than just the plot of the story. "An Expert in Murder" is about women, war and the men who come home. Tay's "Brat Farrar" and "A a Daughter in Time" are masterworks which appear time and time again on lists of top mystery novels and well they should be. Upson isn't Tay but "An Expert in Murder" brings us along on an intricate tale, well told, centered around a woman we all know better for having read Upson. Tay was a woman at the top of her profession. Upson gives us a glimpse as to why. I have already downloaded Upson's next book.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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A real find

If you like any of the female writers of detection in the same class as Josephine Tey & Elizabeth George
This book will delight you. Very skillfully done!

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Narrator and Author - Excellent

What made the experience of listening to An Expert in Murder the most enjoyable?

Davina Porter made the listening experience marvellous. She has a tremendous repertoire of voices and accents. When the characters were in Scotland I felt like we were on the streets of Edinburgh.

What was one of the most memorable moments of An Expert in Murder?

A memorable moment is when the female victim returns to the train to collect her belongings. I won't say more because I don't want to spoil the experience or the scene.

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

As I said above, I liked everything about her performance but I especially like the accents.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I don't know if "moved" is the right term but there are many, many exciting scenes.

Any additional comments?

Superbly written and superbly delivered. If you like crime mystery you will not go wrong with this book.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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I Really Love a Good Narrator

What made the experience of listening to An Expert in Murder the most enjoyable?

The story was really good, but Davina Porter made it terrific. The lady is one of the most talented narrators out there.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Rachel, definitely Rachel. She is a multi-faceted character and commanded my attention regardless of the state she was in.

Which scene was your favorite?

Near the end, but I don't want to spoil it for someone else.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, but again, it would be a spoiler.

Any additional comments?

This was a really clever plot and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I loved the fact that there were three narrators - one for each woman. It made the women really come alive. There were two voices that were not as good as the others. The psychologist seemed to have a French accent in some sections, and an Indian/Pakistani accent in others. And the voices of the two male leads were quite similar. Fortunately or unfortunately, the two men each formed a picture of David Beckham in my mind, so I would get momentarily side-tracked (no pun intended) when they spoke.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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A well written book about an expert writer

Josephine Tey's mystery/detective stories are extremely well written, with interesting plots. This new series, which uses Tey as a fictional character, are also well written and plotted, and quite enjoyable as the reader imagines the real Tey involved in these fictional situations.

The books are narrated by the always excellent Davina Porter. I have listened to only the first book in the series so far, and am looking forward to the next two (I believe another has been written but not yet recorded). I am also eager for more of Tey's books to be presented on audio, as right now there are only two available ("Brat Farrar" and "The Daughter of Time.")

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Sadly, doesn't live up to intriguing potentials

This is the only book in this series that I've listened to and I won't be going on. I love the narrator and I've really enjoyed the mysteries written by the actual Josephine Tey but I struggled to get through this book. I wanted to like the story, but there was just so much sitting around and talking. And I say that as a lover of classic golden age mysteries. I usually love details and setting and deep background but in this book it all seemed to be superfluous padding and an unnecessary and unwelcome extension of a surprisingly boring premise. I wouldn't waste a credit on this book. Instead, listen to some of Ngaio March's classic theater mysteries like Enter a Murderer or Night at the Vulcan.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Flamboyant theatrical murder mystery!

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

Maybe, maybe not it would depend on their familiarity with Josephine Tay's novels.

Which scene was your favorite?

The reveal of course! Like good old fashioned mysteries it comes fast at the end & evil gets its comeuppance.

Could you see An Expert in Murder being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

A movie, yes. For Josephine Tey--Emma Thompson, the murder victim--Taylor Swift, the aging lead actress and her female lover--Helen DeGeneres & your pick. As for the male lead for Archie Penrose I see Colin Firth.

Any additional comments?

Bought this novel on the use of Josephine Tey as a character & a previous good review. I still think it is a good gimmick. This is light reading/listening, nothing serious.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful