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Editorial Reviews

Written in 1945, Arthur Upfield’s ninth installment of his Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series treats the listener to Bony as he’s never been seen before: seemingly fallen off the deep end as he purposefully gets himself arrested in the close-knit, isolated town of Merino while investigating the brutal murder of the titular swagman, the Australian term for a vagrant.

Of course, there is a method to his calculated madness, and Peter Hosking’s vibrant, emotive performance keeps the listener enthralled as Bony’s ingenious plan slowly unfurls.

Publisher's Summary

An Inspector Bonaparte Mystery.

In an isolated hut not far from the sleepy country town of Merino, stockman George Kendall is found dead and it looks very much like murder. Six weeks later, when the murderer is still at large, another stockman turns up in the township and, as a first move, provokes the local sergeant to lock him up. This particular stockman is Detective-Inspector Napolean Bonaparte, and there's method in his seeming madness. While serving a semi-detention sentence and being made to paint the police station, he wears the best of all possible disguises for a policeman on the trail of a ruthless and single-minded killer.

©1982 Arthur Upfield; (P)2009 Bolinda Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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one of the best readers ever of a great story

A great mystery story set in the rich outback of Australia. The characters and countryside richly described. The reader gives color and flavor to a great story. One should listen with eyes closed to get the full picture through voice and imagination.

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Wonderfull mystery

The mystery is wonderful. With a surprise at the end. My favorite character is the 8 year old Rose Marie. Upfield so captured a precocious child, I fell sure he must have known a Rose Marie in his lifetime.

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Bony Never Disappointments

What made the experience of listening to Death of a Swagman the most enjoyable?

I like the Bony novels. I like the tone of the books.

What other book might you compare Death of a Swagman to and why?

The other Bony books. The voice is contempory to the story and not trying to just "sound" older.

Which character – as performed by Peter Hosking – was your favorite?

Always Bony, but Florence (Rose Marie) was important.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I like time to digest the book.

Any additional comments?

This is a middle, 1950s, Bony and I like the earlier ones better.

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Peter Hosking is The Best!

Arthur Upfield's Boney books are terrific - and they're made even better by Peter Hosking's superb narration. Wish there were more available!

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  • Mark H
  • 04-26-12

Good, but ridiculous motive

This is a 'who done it' detective story that requires the same kind of suspension of disbelief as an Agatha Christie novel. It was well written and quite well read. It contains reasonably well drawn characters and it has a narrative that flows steadily onwards. What I did not like not like was the ending, which involved what to me was an unbelivable motive and for this reason it is unlikely that I would listen to another book from this author.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful