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Publisher's Summary

Set in a sprawling gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently. After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem - the cryptic lines. If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred's will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears....

©2015 Richard Alan Storry (P)2016 Richard Alan Storry

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great atmosphere

I really enjoyed this book. Its a mystery centered around finding a hidden treasure that is part of an inheritance. Hidden treasure, creepy house with hidden rooms - what's not to like? I loved the clues given to find the treasured item, and I loved that "booby prizes" were placed in every place where the characters initially looked, which only pointed out that the "seekers" weren't as clever as they thought, and nothing is what it appears to be. I listened to the Audible audio version narrated by Jake Urry, and I LOVED his narration. His voice really added to the atmosphere of the story. All his character voices were really good, he did great on female voices (which is a big test for me), and really everything about his narration was superb. I don't think I've ever listened to him before, but I can't wait to check out more stuff that he has done, along with Richard Storry and any more books he has written.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Brilliantly done mystery. The writing style is very old-school, reminded me of some of those classic mystery novels. Dark and creepy. It had a dry sort of humor I really enjoyed. The old mansion, cryptic messages left by a dead millionaire and the narrator gave a great ambiance to the story. Loved the ending!

The narrator was perfect for this story. Wonderful performance.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely Fantastic

Any additional comments?

"The Cryptic Lines" is my favorite book I've listened to recently. Expertly crafted, absolutely masterful narration and a surprise ending make for a truly satisfying experience. Rarely do I intend on listening to a book twice, but this story had so much intricate nuance throughout that was only revealed at the end, that I just might have to listen again. This is a story about an old man and his jerk of an adopted son. Normally, this isn't a story line I would be even vaguely interested in but somehow Storry grabbed me by my eardrums and didn't let me go until the story ended. It was suspenseful, thrilling, mysterious, alluring, touching and unique. I would recommend this story to literally anyone who enjoys a good book. And Jake Urry is the best voice actor on Audible!<br/><br/>I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An great story with outstanding narration

Any additional comments?

The story, set in a sprawling Gothic mansion owned by the elderly and recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby, begins as he calls on his lawyer, to make a final revision of his will. Lord Willoughby is torn on what to leave is only living son, Matthew, because he has proven to making poor financial choices and is always coming to his father for money. Lord Willoughby decides though to make Matthew work for his inheritance by creating a challenge that will hopefully prove he has ‘grown-up’ and ready for the responsibility that comes with enormous wealth. If Matthew can’t complete the challenge in the allotted time, he receives nothing. Matthew, who is a greedy and lazy son, will stop at nothing to ‘win’ the fortune he feels he is entitled to.<br/><br/>With cryptic clues, hidden secrets and an old mansion, this story is filled with so many twists and turns, I could not help but keep listening nonstop until the very end. Richard Storry has a definite talent of drawing the reader in and keeping them hooked and guessing the outcome. I, for one, was shocked at the ending, because I didn’t see it coming – at all.<br/><br/>This was my first audio book narrated by Jake Urry, and I will have to say that he did an excellent job at portraying each of the characters in a way that created the perfect atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. His voice MADE me want to listen - to hang on to each and every word. Each character had a distinct voice and personality that made this story come alive.<br/><br/>Overall, this was an intriguing book with interesting characters, a mystery that really held my attention and an ending that I did not predict nor expect. If you love a good story with old Gothic mansions, secret passageways and rooms, mystery and cryptic messages, then I would highly recommend you pick up Cryptic Lines. It’s a short read/listen and will not leave you disappointed in the least.<br/><br/><br/>I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jake Urry. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Deliciously suspenseful treasure hunt!

Lord Alfred Willoughby has finally passed away. His solicitor, Charles, must see to his will, which holds quite the surprise! Once Willoughby’s adopted son Matthew views the will, then the race is on for cryptic poems to be deciphered, more clues discovered, and hopefully the final fortune to be won before the time limit is up. Set in a Gothic mansion somewhere in the British Isles, this tale holds much suspense and a little bit of trickery.

This was a delicious suspenseful book, perfect for the Halloween season. The story opens with a rainy storm and the death of rich, old Lord Willoughby. James, the butler, helps Charles to find Willoughby’s important papers. Eventually, Charles finds a film, which is actually Willoughby’s recorded will. After viewing it, they track down Matthew, Willoughby’s wayward son. From there, the story turns into a treasure quest. Poems contain clues and those clues lead them all over the sprawling estate. This tale is complete with hidden passage ways, an actual crypt, and nearly forgotten family secrets.

While the 4 main characters are all male, there are two more characters, Mrs. Gilkerry (housekeeper/cook) and Meg (retired maid) who are more than they seem. First, I really enjoyed Mrs. Gilkerry’s cooking. The descriptions of her meals made my mouth water. Who says English cooking lacks flavor and zest? Meg doesn’t come into the story until much later so I won’t reveal too much about her. However, I will say that the discussions with her provided some humor in the middle of this tense book.

This treasure hunt reveals much about the natures of not only Charles and Matthew, but also Lord Willoughby. In a way, Charles learns more about his client’s private life through this quest than he ever would through his legal duties. Matthew has a long history of being a bit of a scoundrel, only returning home when he gets into more trouble or debt than he can manage. This hunt provides a background to show his true mettle: misunderstood man who made some mistakes or a man who truly lacks a moral compass? The ending has more than one secret to reveal! The winding suspense was excellent and I quite enjoyed taking an afternoon to read this. My only wish is that I had enjoyed it on a dark and stormy night.

I received this audiobook at no cost via The Audio Book Worm.

The Narration: Jake Urry was a really good choice of narration for this book. I loved his proper English accents along with his range of voices for all the characters. I especially loved his voice for Meg. Here and there, the characters reveal some emotion and Urry portrayed those emotions quite well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A book with a great ending!

I had nearly turned off this book more than half way through because I found it to be rather boring, but I stuck it out until the end- and I am so glad that I did! The Cryptic lines starts off really slow, but it has a wonderful ending. This book made it onto my “listen again” list (which does not happen often for me) because I did not expect the ending; secrets are revealed which change the whole dynamic of the story line, so much so that the book begs to be read a second time.

The narration by Jake Urry is magnificent! He performs each character’s distinct personality, and he recites poetry beautifully too. My favourite character is James, the butler, but every character came to life by this talented narrator.

I highly recommend this book to fans of cozy mystery stories and for those that love a good ending!

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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The Cryptic Lines

“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”

A cozy mystery that has the heir apparent and another having to solve puzzles to collect the inheritance. The setting is a huge old mansion somewhere in England. The characters are quite well developed for a short story. Many twists and finally secrets revealed. I couldn't stop

listening. Great tale!!!



The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed. This is the second book narrated by Jake Urry, beautifully done.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This was an all-around solid, enjoyable audiobook

Wealthy Lord Alfred Willoughby is worried about what will happen to his estate when he dies. Strictly speaking, his son Matthew should inherit the fortune. But the boy has become a reckless squanderer. Quite cunningly, Lord Alfred decides to teach Matthew the value of gaining something through effort and perseverance. He devises a kind of treasure hunt and to make it even more enticing he involves another totally unassuming competitor in the pursuit of the fortune.Set in an expansive, traditional manor house in Britain, Richard Storry skillfully created the fitting atmosphere and provided vivid descriptions for this charming cozy mystery. The plot becomes far more complex than you would initially expect, and there were some great twists and turns with some revelations at the end that were totally unexpected. The premise is a bit different from the usual murder mysteries and was a lovely change. With its subtle humor and well-written prose, it was an immensely enjoyable and engaging listen.

Set in an expansive, traditional manor house in Britain, Richard Storry skillfully created the fitting atmosphere and provided vivid descriptions for this charming cozy mystery. The plot becomes far more complex than you would initially expect, and there were some great twists and turns with some revelations at the end that were totally unexpected. The premise is a bit different from the usual murder mysteries and was a lovely change. With its subtle humor and well-written prose, it was an immensely enjoyable and engaging listen.

Jake Urry proved to be exactly the right narrator for this story. His rhythm and pacing followed the plot appropriately, switching to a wonderfully ominous tone in the right places. James, the butler, was my favorite character in this story and Jake portrayed him brilliantly, exactly as you would imagine a traditional British butler. He also managed to perform the voices of two elderly female characters with a believable, fitting pitch. There were no issues with the quality of the production at all.

This was an all-around solid, enjoyable audiobook that I would highly recommend to anybody who likes cozy mysteries, British mysteries, mysteries without the standard hunt for murderers. Great entertainment!

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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17 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Mysterious treasure hunt!

Lord Alfred Willoughby is dying! He has written multiple wills but with the way his son Matthew is, he decides to write on last one. In it he stipulates that he will leave his faithful Butler 5 million, and the rest of his sizable fortune would be left to either of two contenders. But, nothing is ever easy and Lord Alfred sets a treasure hunt in place. The first to solve the clues and find a certain object, will inherit everything. All they have to do is solve The Cryptic Lines!

I absolutely flew through this suspenseful mystery! The authors descriptive writing really brought the scenery and atmosphere to life. You could just imagine the big sprawling manor house that they are searching, as well as the amazing land it's on! I also loved the whole treasure hunt and mysterious clues thing. It was awesome figuring things out along with the characters and trying to see was I right! You think you know what's going to happen but the author throws in twist after twist and the ending was brilliant!!

Character wise, their are only a few, but all were extremely well written and developed. James, the butler, was a typical English butler you see on the TV. The attorney was another awesome character. Such a nice person. Matthew is a money hungry man, who only wants his fathers vast fortune and will stop at nothing to get it. All of these, as well as the other characters, added up to a really enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining listen!

In all, this was a quick, fast paced, entertaining and suspenseful read.

Jake Urry was the perfect choice for this. He had an array of tones and cadences that really suited the feel of this story. He portrayed James and Lord Alfred perfectly with a really posh English voice and even did a perfect Matthew! He really brought this book to life and made it 10 times more enjoyable! I went looking for information on Jake Urry to see what else he has narrated and was shocked to see that he is so young!! I thought he was an older gentleman with the way he read this book!!! Brilliant narrator.

*I received this via Audiobook Boom but voluntarily reviewed it. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.*

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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What a wonderful mystery!

I absolutely LOVED this book head to toe. From the premise, setting, characters, narrator and plot twists, it was brilliant! Easily one of my favorite audiobooks of 2016.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • med c
  • 06-16-16

The Cryptic Lines

Who was your favorite character and why?

<br/>This book will keep you guessing all the way through with mind boggling twists, and a brilliant ending.

What about Jake Urry’s performance did you like?

He was the best narrator with this genre

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Devilish Accord
  • 05-01-16

Twists, turns and unexpected results

Would you consider the audio edition of The Cryptic Lines to be better than the print version?

I haven't seen the printed version, but I'm finding audio editions to be rather delightful.

What did you like best about this story?

The descent into the crypt was nail-biting, and the reveals at the end were not as I had expected.

Which character – as performed by Jake Urry – was your favourite?

James the butler was for me the best character. The voice performance was as I would expect this type of servant to sound.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The reveals at the end of the book left me shocked and very happy for the hero. Just desserts and all that.

Any additional comments?

Absorbing book with lots of colour and twisting plot turns kept me engaged all the way through. Very interesting characters, perfectly voiced by Jake Urry. Highly recommended.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • bec
  • 04-28-16

Fabulous 5 Star Story

This is a truly enjoyable story that enthralled me from the very beginning, I just had to listen from beginning to end. The plot is unlike most of the mysteries I read or listen to in that it's not about murder. It's about a most unusual treasure hunt, the clues are provided from beyond the grave, albeit via a reel of film.

The setting is an old mansion that wouldn't be out of place in a horror story, full of hidden secrets. There is a faithful butler to attend their every need and a cook who prepares for them meals fit for the fussiest gourmet.

The clues they must solve are very cryptic, and the attempts to solve them lead along a convoluted route to some very eerie locations. The story has the feel of an Agatha Christie play and I realised I had no idea of the time period in which the story was set, though I might have missed that bit. The ending is both unexpected and satisfying, I felt I had just listened to a rather wonderful play on the wireless. I highly recommend this intriguing tale.

Narrator
Narrated by Jake Urry, and what a wonderful job he made of it, his voice conveyed an ominous significance to the words which was just perfect for this book. He maintains a good rhythmn and his voice has a pleasing cadence which helps bring life to story. I had no trouble differentiating between the characters because he bestowed them with distinct voices, he has also mastered the art of conveying the age appropriate voices. Jake also passed my "old lady voice" test, many of us listeners get tired of any female character over 60 being given a high pitched, weak and quavery voice. Darned good job Jake, I'm sure you will do exceedingly well in the audiobook narration business.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher in return for an honest review

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • 04-07-16

Gripping tale from my favourite narrator!

Would you listen to The Cryptic Lines again? Why?

I will keep this on my iPod and listen again! In fact I imagine its one of those books that's a completely different story once you know the ending and are reading for the second time.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I loved the climax to the 'treasure hunt', and the dramatic revelations that happen towards the end of the book - really gripping and I couldn't stop listening, so I recommend you have a good hour to absorb the end of the book in one sitting!

Any additional comments?

I'm new to audiobooks and found this great narrator and love his work. Will be keeping an eye out for future narrations by him. This story is the kind of thing I love, and very well executed by both writer and Narrator.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Petra
  • 06-08-16

Great fun! Recommended for fans of cozy mysteries

The Cryptic Lines was a delightful cozy mystery set in a sprawling old manor house somewhere in Britain. It was really different, as there were no dead bodies to be discovered or murderers to be hunted. Instead, the plot centers around a rather unusual treasure hunt to determine who would inherit Lord Alfred Willoughby's vast fortune. His squandering son Matthew is hoping it will be him. But there is also another unassuming contender. The story was beautifully written with subtle humour and reminded me of the traditional Agatha Christie mysteries. I adored the loyal butler, James. What a great character. Some of the reveals at the end were not what I had expected at all. A very satisfying end to the story. This was a really entertaining, light listen that kept me completely engaged for the full 4 hours.
Jake Urry was a new narrator for me. He had a lovely cadence that seemed very fitting for the story and switched to a great ominous tone where appropriate. There were two elderly ladies' voices that were performed admirably without any of the grating high-pitched tones that male narrators frequently use. His rendition of James was perfect, just as you would expect the classic British butler to sound like. I was really impressed how he managed to make the 'old' characters sound appropriate for their age because Jake Urry is actually a very young narrator. A very talented new voice artist.
I received the audiobook version in exchange for an unbiased review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • The Audiobookworm
  • 10-07-16

A short, but fantastically written suspense story

4.5★ Audiobook⎮ The Cryptic Lines was a pleasantly surprising story. It provided precisely what I was looking for on a rainy October night. It was a short listen, full of unexpected twists.

I’ve come away from this experience with much appreciation for Richard Storry’s writing abilities. His storytelling captivated me. He told a better story in just over four hours than some authors tell in double or triple that amount of time. The tale itself slightly called to mind The Count of Monte Christo or some other work of Poe, but without any gore. Richard Storry didn’t need blood and guts to tell this tale. He used skillful writing to create an atmosphere of suspense, which can be much more frightening than outright horror.

Atmosphere was very important in The Cryptic Lines. Storry’s visual imagery plays to the listener’s imagination, allowing it to run rampant for nearly 4 hours. Strangely enough, The Cryptic Lines reminded me of the 1985 movie Clue because of the sprawling mansion setting and the scavenger hunt-type mission the characters go on. Trying to solve the riddle was frustratingly fun and akin to being in a carnival’s haunted house.

I was never in fear of prematurely solving the riddle. The mystery was pretty well cloaked. Even if I had been on the verge of figuring things out, Storry still have plenty more twists up his sleeve. Some of the twists were actually quite heartbreaking. I wasn’t expecting a mystery/thriller story to tug at my heart this much. The ending may seem a little far-fetched to some, but it was written with such fluidity that I took it in stride. Besides, Storry had already thrown so many curveballs that I was prepared for just about anything.

I’m so glad that I saved The Cryptic Lines for October. It was just perfect for leading up to Halloween. Richard Storry’s writing was marvelous and I am very much a fan of his style. I definitely recommend The Cryptic Lines to anyone looking for a short, but fantastically written suspense story.

Narration review: Jake Urry’s narration was as surprising as the story itself. For a young man, Urry managed to sound ageless. If I hadn’t known better, I would have guessed that he was quite a few years (maybe even decades) older than he really is. His voice had an air of distinguishability that really made me buy into the story of an aging British Lord living in a gothic mansion. Urry’s timbre, accent and articulation held atmospheric qualities that greatly enhanced the story. I quite enjoyed listening to his narration and it intensified my feelings of suspense while listening. This was a case of a story and its narration having a perfectly symbiotic relationship which produced something remarkable. ♣︎

➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Jake Urry, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Jake!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • PB
  • 07-25-16

Great spooky story

I really enjoyed this audiobook. It was a good story with interesting characters and lots of unexpected twists and turns. Jake Urry, the narrator, got the tone just right. A very good listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vicki Goodwin
  • 07-16-16

Puzzles, Clues and Treasure! Well Narrated Story

Maybe it is just me, but there is something so deliciously inviting about a scavenger type hunt. Searching for clues, second guessing every hint.

This audio book is really a fun one. There is a will that has a challenge presented in a video left by the Matthew's father.

Matthew Willoughby has not lived up to the expectations of his father Lord Alfred Willoughby. His selfishness and immaturity shines through this story.

The book is filled with interesting and somewhat secretive characters. This is my first book by Richard Storry. I like the way he writes. He uses words that evoke emotion that go along with the mysterious old mansion and the out of the way corridors they keep searching through. The clues are tied to a love of classics that Lord Alfred loves. It was well written and entertaining to follow them in their puzzle solving.

Jake Urry has presented this story in the best voices. Each one is obviously different from the others. I keep forgetting there is only one person reading this book. His voice is strong yet when he does the elderly woman Meg, I hear an elderly woman. It is a craft he is well adept at.

This is a really great book. Nicely written and narrated so nicely.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alison Kelly
  • 06-12-16

Unturnoffable...The Cryptic Lines

This is a compelling story: the attention is held to the last word, belief in characters and narrative maintained throughout. Storry has a strong sense of pace, so that suspense and surprise are introduced with artful timing.

Richard Storry has a gift for creating atmosphere, and descriptions of place, people and plot are vivid and full of interest. To add to the book itself, Jake Urry's voice has a wonderfully hypnotic quality, and he draws out the characters skilfully.

This is a rattling good yarn, and the denouement won't disappoint!

Alison Moncrieff-Kelly

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Liane
  • 08-10-16

Great story

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a different genre for me and I listened to it in one day as it just flowed and I so wanted to know how it ended. This is the second audiobook that I have listened to narrated byJake Urry and he did another fabulous job with this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful