Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the president has been murdered in his lodging....
"Albert dear, we are going to have a quiet family party at home here for the holiday, just ourselves and the dear village. It would be such fun to have you with us."....
Ah, the pleasures of Christmas...the hanging of greens, the traditional feast, the gathering families, a few secrets in the air...and a bit of murder, conspiracy, and theft....
Donald Sinden stars as eccentric amateur sleuth Gideon Fell in these two full-cast BBC radio dramatisations of stories by John Dickson Carr....
Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they've just moved....
John Moffat stars as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in seven more BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations....
With the snow falling and the suspicions flying, it's up to Mordecai to sniff out a culprit - and prevent someone else from getting murder for Christmas....
Death and decapitation seem to go hand in hand in the Devon village of Aller. When the first victim's head is sent floating down the river, the village's rural calm is shattered....
Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent....
When George Abbershaw is invited to Black Dudley Manor for the weekend....
In the sleepy English village of Sanford Angelorum, Professor Gervase Fen is taking a break from his books to run for Parliament....
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....
Selchester Castle in 1953 sits quiet and near-empty, its corridors echoing with glories of the past. Or so it seems to intelligence officer Hugo Hawksworth....
Yseut Haskell, a pretty but spiteful young actress with a talent for destroying men's lives....
Jack's a retired ex-cop from New York, seeking the simple life in Cherringham. Sarah's a Web designer who's moved back to the village find herself...
The daughter of a baronet and minor heiress, Rosalind Thorne was nearly ruined after her father abandoned the family....
At Mullion Castle, sumptuous stately home, we meet the Earl and his family, who include his delightful daughters Patty and Boosie....
At Seamnum Court, seat of the Duke of Horton, The Lord Chancellor of England is murdered at the climax of a private presentation of Hamlet, in which he plays Polonius. Inspector Appleby pursues some of the most famous names in the country, unearthing dreadful suspicion.
Most lists that attempt to choose ???the 25 best mysteries of 20th century??? will include ???Hamlet Revenge,??? a tour de force of the British intellectual mystery thriller. There is much to relish here ??? an abundance (perhaps overabundance) of characters, baffling murders, spies hunting secret documents, psychological insights both spurious and penetrating, a theatrical insider???s view, a Shakespearean appreciation, a love story -- and I probably missed a few. There is plenty of dry British humor, but there is also the shadow of war. Published in 1937, the story never overtly brings up historical politics, but clearly evokes the sense of urgency and foreboding that must have gripped the people of Britain as hopes for peace evaporated and Europe girded for a terrible war. Today we take it for granted that ???the good guys??? ??? and that most certainly included the English ??? won WWII. Innes obviously didn???t know that outcome when he wrote this book, and the psychological aspect adds to the story???s fascination.
I respect Michael Innes???s novels and have enjoyed several of them, but think most of them too obviously try to show off the author???s prodigious intellect at the expense of the reader. ???Hamlet Revenge??? does *not* fall into that category. Yes, it requires concentration and attention and you probably (almost certainly) won???t pick up on every literary allusion and erudite play on words. But it???s an extremely human book, and rewards your efforts with a satisfying sense of having gotten to know some real (and admirable) people and of having experienced a time, place, and events of importance.
I'd been hoping to see this book on Audible for some time, and was both excited and nervous as I ???experienced??? the first couple of chapters. It is an amazingly complex and difficult book to narrate, so I was thrilled (and relieved) to discover that Matt Addis does a superb job. From the Lord Chancellor to the Scottish gardener, from the American philologist to the Hindu Brahmin, his accents come across as effortless and unforced. Even the passages from ???Hamlet??? are handled with elegance and a sense of atmosphere. An important performance. Kudos to all involved.
44 of 45 people found this review helpful
This is my first Michael Innis/Inspector Appleby book, and I enjoyed it thoroughly! A great story, good characters, wry humor and a classic detective story. Add the wonderful narration of Matt Addis and you have a simply lovely listening experience.
I will be looking for more Michael Innis books.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Hamlet, Revenge! the most enjoyable?
It's a mystery why Michael Innes has been lost to present-day readers. His books are erudite, funny, pleasingly-plotted (okay, with a few exceptions), and satisfying in execution. John Appleby is my favourite of the English detectives, too. He (and Judith, once he marries) wanders through a cool green England peopled with Dukes, littered with very good art, and sparkling with rough diamonds and bad hats. Hamlet, Revenge! is the very best of Innes. A country-house amateur production of Hamlet is enlivened by dark threats, the possibility of espionage, and a very nice young girl who has both wit and the heart of the playwright/producer. This is beautifully read, too. More Innes, please!
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
I bought the print version for one main reason: to give to my wife, who always figures out the whodunnits while I am still floundering amid the clues and red herrings. Let's see her sort THIS one out!
You won't be able to say that the clues are obscure or concealed. Inspector Appleby reviews the facts and summarizes the case frequently, just in case you might have missed something. There was one bit that I thought was downplayed a bit for all its significance, but since my wife is an RN she should probably pick up on it. We'll see.
Anyway, it's classic stuff, English manor house, motives, means, opportunities, spies, a very clever mystery writer guest, and an even more clever inspector. There's an anagram that's about as subtle as Rumred, and a little forensic stuff for good measure. High society and political bigwigs in antebellum (WWII) England round out the cast.
Some knowledge of Shakespeare's Hamlet will help, maybe just the Cliff Notes or Wikipedia version.
Great narration. My first Matt Addis, and I'm looking forward to many more.
The only downside to reading this book is, I feel a little like I did when I first read Ngaio Marsh and then discovered that she had written scores of like books! Innes wrote a lot of books too. So many great books, so few credits remain. Maybe Audible will let me renew early.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Hamlet, Revenge!?
There were so many characters and such an involved plot that one needs to be able to "check back" to earlier pages to keep everything straight. Obviously not practical with an audio book.
What other book might you compare Hamlet, Revenge! to and why?
Reminiscent of Agatha Christie and the other British "village mystery" wirters - with maybe a touch of the "Midsomer Murders" series.
What does Matt Addis bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?
Lovely accent. Overall an excellent narrator.
What character would you cut from Hamlet, Revenge!?
Still don't have the characters clear enough in my mind to eliminate one!
Any additional comments?
This book was my introduction to Mr. Innes. I will definitely read more of his books - the operative word here being, "read."
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
A fun story, but a bit too much going on. Also, the plot seemed to defy logic at points.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was unable to finish listening to this story. It did not engage my interest. If a person is really into Hamlet and minutia associated with this play then they may enjoy this book The writing is laborious to follow. Very wordy almost as if the author was paid by the number words and convoluted & complex grammatical sentence that were used. So difficult to tease out the gist of the story and to follow it.
8 of 14 people found this review helpful
That's Elmore Leonard's phrase. The best part of this work is the narration. He handles a long list of characters (Think War and Peace.) with differing voices, accents and emotions, all done extremely well. However, this is a book in serious need of an editor. That would cut it by at least a third. It's a murder mystery (in the style of Ellery Queen, the locked room type stuff). But the murder doesn't happen until 2 hours 40 minutes into the book. Most of what precedes it is unnecessary. It doesn't advance the story. There are brutally banal conversations among the characters about phonetics and the difference between fiction and melodrama. It doesn't stop after the murder. You know what the difference is between cigarettes and chocolates? No you don't. Cigarettes are sold homosexually. Chocolates are sold heterosexually. The rest of the waste material is the author spouting off his opinions on British literature and history. He's not without knowledge. But who cares? Are you reading a mystery to find out how an Elizabethan stage is constructed? This is a guy who would make you sprint out the door at a cocktail party.
8 of 14 people found this review helpful
I always enjoy Michael Innes and of course Matt Addis. His characterizations are so perfect. I especially enjoyed this book, because io it's intricate plot and literary allusions.
Because I kept drifting off and thinking of other more pressing concerns. I listen to light audio books to shut my mind offf and relax, this book couldn't hold my attention with all the characters in and out and so poorly delineated by the weak narration.
3 of 8 people found this review helpful
An intriguing plot but it takes some time to get in to as so many characters are introduced at once. I actually found it more rewarding on listening to it the second time once I knew what happened.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I have previously enjoyed Innes' books, and this was surprisingly enjoyable. This is my first story read by Matt Addis and I was impressed by him. The story becomes a little dry in parts, but it is worth persevering.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I enjoy the Appleby stories as they are intricate and studied with a wide variety of characters, but when I read the books I do tend to skip parts so I love the audiobook version. Well narrated, nice steady pace and pleasant voice - intelligent reading, thank goodness as it suits the intellectual style of Michael Innes' writing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful