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Chains of Folly Audiobook

Chains of Folly: A Magdalene la Batarde Mystery, Book 4

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Publisher's Summary

That Nelda Roundheels had been murdered would have been of little interest to anyone - except that her body turned up in the bishop of Winchester's bedchamber with a letter to the bishop, from the king's most important enemy, rolled up in her breastband. The bishop and his knight, Sir Bellamy of Itchen, realize immediately that the purpose of putting the body in Winchester's bedchamber is to embarrass and discredit the bishop. And the reason for this attack on Winchester is his calling of a convocation to chastise the king for acting high-handedly against the bishop of Salisbury. Had the king himself ordered this outrage? Had the king's favorite, Waleran de Meulan, ordered it? Unfortunately the answer is not so simple to find; there are many other noblemen who want the king's favor and might attack Winchester to get it.

To save Winchester's reputation it is urgently necessary to discover who killed the woman and who placed her in Winchester's bedchamber. Bell, to his mingled joy and distress, is ordered to ask Magdalene la Batarde, whoremistress of the Old Priory Guesthouse, once his lover but now estranged, to help him solve the mystery.

©2006 Roberta Gellis (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (62 )
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3.3 (56 )
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Performance
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  •  
    S. Williams 11-29-14
    S. Williams 11-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book. A real shame about the narrator."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Chains of Folly to be better than the print version?

    Sadly, no, the print edition is much better. This is a wonderful story - much more involving that the first three books. (As hard as that is to believe! The first three were amazing!) The narrator made this recording painful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Chains of Folly?

    I would have to re-read the book. Thinking back at the recording I've just finished, I keep grinding my teeth at the painful "personality" the reader tried to give the characters, and can't get past them. I think perhaps the early battle scene where Bel protects the Bishop?


    What didn’t you like about Susan Duerden’s performance?

    Her narration was sing-song. Her characterizations were massively irritating. The Bishop always snarled. Bel always hissed and drawled. Magdalene sounded continuously air-headed. Diot sounded like a back alley tough. Although everyone was "speaking" French, one character had an affected French accent. Right up until the narrator forgot who was talking, then the wrong painful "voice" said the next line which didn't belong to them.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A lighthearted bit of slap and tickle is a lot of fun - right up until someone steals the state secrets.


    Any additional comments?

    Re-Record? Please?

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lisa 02-26-13
    lisa 02-26-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    34
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    "My First Audible Return...."
    What disappointed you about Chains of Folly?

    The narrator was horrible - I don't believe she had read/listened to any of the earlier works. She made Madelaine sound simpering and stupid. I couldn't get past the first few chapters.


    What was most disappointing about Roberta Gellis’s story?

    The narrator


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Didn't understand the characters - completely distracting


    Any additional comments?

    Miss May did a wonderful job with the earlier books - I encourage the publisher to record this one again...

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 05-21-15
    Sarah 05-21-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I miss Nadia May's reading"

    Good story but this narrator is too sing-song-y for my taste. Every sentence seems to have the same rhythm, the same inflection. It's soporific and makes it very hard to follow the actual story line.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Wright 10-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story engaging; Performance Horrible!!!"
    Where does Chains of Folly rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In terms of the story, among the better ones. I have long enjoyed this series. But the performance was terrible! The only reason I listened to the end was because I am a Roberta Gellis fan.


    What didn’t you like about Susan Duerden’s performance?

    Characterization of different voices, different genders. At points I actually muted because I simply could not stand her reading and characterizations.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Don't employ Susan Duerden!


    Any additional comments?

    I will NOT ever listen to another book by this reader....

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    myztrybuff Strawberry, AZ, US 07-31-16
    myztrybuff Strawberry, AZ, US 07-31-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Narration spoiled the enjoyment of the book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not. The narration was very poor and detracted from the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The mystery was well crafted and the outcome was not immediately evident. I am tiring of the angst filled relationship between the Bell and Magdalene. The series is becoming a bit too much of a romance for my tastes.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    She has very little range in her characterizations. Magdalene sounds breathy and simpering rather than the strong, confident character that is written. Also, she and Diot sound so much alike it is difficult to tell them apart. Although written as childlike, her Ella is a caricature of a little girl voice and it is actually disturbing to listen to her delight in her profession. The Bishop of Winchester sounds like Snidely Whiplash. Suffice it to say, I will not listen to any more books with this narrator.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy 06-09-13
    Joy 06-09-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Deserves more credit than it's getting"

    I grabbed CHAINS OF FOLLY as soon as I saw it was available, in spite of the beating the new reader was taking from listeners. The Magdalene la Batarde series is a delight for medieval mystery lovers, and CHAINS OF FOLLY is no exception. I wish Gellis had continued the series after this.

    It is the rare reader who can produce both male and female voices faithfully, and this reader's voice is especially high. She shouldn't even try to sound male. The more successful strategy is to create the character by temperament, not timbre. However, her comprehension of the author's intention seems superior.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Rochester, NY, United States 03-12-13
    Karen Rochester, NY, United States 03-12-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Still worth the listen."

    I do love Roberta Gellis, so I bought this despite the negative review about the narration. It's not Susan Duerden's best, but I found that it improved as it went along and I did enjoy it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Skyscrapers 09-20-17
    Amazon Customer Skyscrapers 09-20-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
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    "The Narrator is Awful"

    The story is fine, especially if you are familiar with Roberta Gellis's other Magdalene stories. But the narrator! Oh, the narrator! She places the same emphasis on every sentence, thereby ruining the cadence of the story. Everything is said with a breathless disbelief that makes something simple such as "set the bread on the table" sound like she's calling a horse race. It's awful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tzinnamon 02-08-17
    tzinnamon 02-08-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb "

    One of the best of Roberta Gellis' books. A very interesting, tangled tale of medieval intrigue. The characters ring true to the period to my best knowledge. I wish she had lived to write more of Magdalene's story. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Portland, Australia 11-08-13
    Maureen Portland, Australia 11-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    227
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    "Don't buy this one!"

    Despite the narrator's sing-song reading through much of the story, the story carried itself fairly well until the critical moment of The Big Fight, where there was a major part of the action missing from the recording! (Part 2, 4:14:36). Were there pages missing from the book itself or did the person overseeing the recording nod off?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • mrs
    RUISLIP, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Shame"

    Such a shame the narrator has changed. It spoiled my enjoyment of the story.

    I find her cadence annoying and condescending.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    5/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "4th book unfortunately spoiled the series."

    Good story. Terrible narrator. The narrator spoiled the book with the way the speech interpreted.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • barry
    COLCHESTER, United Kingdom
    1/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Why change the narrator ?"

    Sorry Susan but your long winded rolls of the tongue for most characters. Being use to the personality and voices and ways and now you decide to spoil the 4th book, not sure I can stand this voice too long.... Sorry barry

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mary Carnegie
    UK
    9/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantasy history - shoddy"

    The new narrator sounds like a child, or somebody trying to appear the cliché dumb blonde. There's more politics- good- that at least has to follow facts to some extent!
    The plot line however is more implausible and previous howlers continue (there was no slavery in England in this period, at least of Christians, thanks to St Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury who had no fear of Henry I, father of Empress Matilda and uncle of the Stephen who play an important background rôle in these tales. Villeins, apprentices, "serfs", but not slaves. I have no bias in pointing this out, as a Scot!)
    I'm very sceptical about the sub-plot of opium addiction in 12th century London. The powerful analgesic properties of poppy derivatives were known in antiquity and that knowledge was conserved and developed by the great Arab physicians, whose works, rather later, rejuvenated medical practice.
    I'm OK with Cadfael - who went to the Crusades - using poppy juice cautiously for therapeutic reasons - but doubtful that a random apothecary would know all about it (no medical journals, no printing, and European stuff in Latin, the lingua franca of all European scholarship, Arab stuff in Arabic, another writing system).
    Mea culpa, I've listened to a third of these books, in spite of my revulsion at the premise of this brothel of utterly beautiful whores, who bath to 21st century standards, never get pregnant or seek out hazardous termination of pregnancy, don't catch STDs - not even pubic lice! - menstruate, lose their teeth, get wrinkled - even though the madam must be into her 30s, old by 12th standards.
    Maybe she does feel that, in the short term, she's independent.
    For women with a dowry there was at least one career path - the convent - where strong intelligent women could be educated and fulfilled, make a permanent contribution to human culture as individuals; probably the only way except for Queens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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