Strangeways to Oldham

The Belchester Chronicles, Book 1
Narrated by: Patricia Gallimore
Series: Belchester Chronicles, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (325 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Lady Amanda Golightly of Belchester Towers is a person in complete contrast to the stereotypical image of her upper-class breeding. She is short, portly, and embarrassingly forthright.

On a visit to a local nursing home, she unexpectedly discovers a long-lost friend, Hugo Cholmondley-Crichton-Crump - and stumbles upon a murder. The pair turn to sleuthing after Lady Amanda reports her appalling discovery to the local police inspector, who treats her as a silly old biddy with an overactive imagination. Her outrage prompts her to teach the impertinent young whippersnapper a lesson, and she and Hugo (Zimmer frame in tow) start investigating, only for murder to become a distressingly frequent occurrence....

©2012 Andrea Frazer (P)2016 Story Sound

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    140
  • 4 Stars
    110
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    187
  • 4 Stars
    61
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    116
  • 4 Stars
    99
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply fabulous

Patricia Gallimore is a wonderful voice actor. She has a wide range on the vocal scales. I can totally believe her voice for the male characters. The story by Andrea Frazer is lovely. Not gory, but you sure do get the point of the murder. I'd love to say Beecham steals the show, but the three main characters are strong enough to hold their own. These are lovely stories that make you drive around the block one more time just to listen to a little more before going home.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Delightful book. Great characters. Good humor. Can't wait to listen to the next one. The ending of the book was great

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful!

I have read this book, and also its successor. Of the two, I much preferred this one, though both are fun and funny. This story about the wealthy Lady Amanda, no longer a spring chicken herself, goes to a nursing home to visit an old friend, and finds him dead--murdered, she is certain--and happens by surprise to discover her old friend Hugo also living there. She is immediately suspicious of the death, and insists upon Hugo leaving and coming home to live in her mansion with her. And thus begins the merriment, as she rides her adult tricycle and he moves with his zimmer frame (walker), and they determine to find the killer of their friend.

Ok, it is a little hokey in places, but I was in the mood for just this book. It left me laughing, and being charmed by the imaginative writing of Andrea Frazer, who has created a clever and quite unlikely duo for crime solving. The thing that made it really good though was the fine narration by Patricia Gallimore. She is very talented, and her voices for the different characters were just perfect for this book. I have, in fact, already been looking to see what else she has narrated.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I couldn't finish it

I really want to like this series. The book does have some humorous moments. Can't stand the narration because she makes the protagonist's voice really annoying. It's so cliche. And it could be much more entertaining in someone else's hands.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun But Flawed

The book is chock full of eccentric and a bit over-the-top characters. The dialogue is witty and the situations are humorous. I enjoyed most of it and will probably listen to more. But it is not without a couple of major flaws.

Unfortunately, if you don't listen closely for the very few clues about when the story takes place, you would think it was set in the first half of the 20th century. Based on the few details our heroine, Amanda Golightly, drops about when she was born (after WWII) and the fact she is now taking a government pension, however, it must be at least 2005. She does have a cell phone but doesn't really understand it or use it much. Some of the actions and attitudes of the main characters are so out of date, the story seems to take place in a much earlier period. Part of the problem is that people, including Amanda herself, keep referring to her as an old lady. Sixty-five is hardly in your dotage anymore, but both Amanda and Chummy act and think like they must be in their 80s. Unfortunately, the narrator reads them and their friends like they are in their 80s and it is confusing at times. And most 65-year-olds these days are as seduced by their cell phones as are younger people.

Not being British, I have to wonder if so many people still ride large tricycles. Cars seem to be more in fashion I would think. Amanda even rides hers in the snow. Really?

I found this same problem in the second book in the series, which at times is laugh out loud funny.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful ! loved it!

a great British murder mystery with all the quirky characters anyone could want, not your hard core gory true life murder mystery but a wonderful jaunt; who could not love lady Amanda and the rest of her household, excellent job from narrator realized it when they were going in to clean house ; I could see each of them in my mind trailing in covering noses and spraying air freshener as they went; well worth the money buying book 2 right now

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Narrator is so bad I'm returning this one

Any additional comments?

I'm going tot try and find a printed copy of this - I could not get past 15 mins with this narrator.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Fluffy and insipid

The two leads from Waiting for God investigate a suspicious death. The characters are enjoyable enough, if thoroughly predictable. But the police are presented as such bumbling idiots that I was actually left slack-jawed at the denouement. Excellent reader, flaccid story.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Got bored

Reminded me of the stories by Dorothy Gilman (Mrs. Pollifax series). Book is almost 6 hrs - listened to more than 4 hours, but then just gave up. The protagonist is not only a busybody, but rather stupid. I do not plan to continue the series.
I DO recommend listening to the "sample clip" in order to determine whether or not you can tolerate the narrator's voice.
If it is of interest to you, there's no vulgar language, and no sexual situations. A true cozy mystery.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The main character is nuts!

I struggled to finish this book. The main character is a doty old spinster behaving like a manic who has had no medication for days!

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs W.
  • Mrs W.
  • 02-25-17

Superb entertainment, a laugh a minute

Where does Strangeways to Oldham rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Sincerely hope the remainder of series becomes available soon, incredibly well produced and narrated, one of the very best! Great style of writing, and narrator brings it fully to life!

What other book might you compare Strangeways to Oldham to, and why?

Stands out on its own.... a real take off 'the old titled order, or should that be "entitled "?!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Lady Amanda praying to Mecca, or, the thought of her speeding on her tricycle, terrorising unwary pedestrians.... it's hard to pick just one favourite!

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

Howled with laughter, choice of language, descriptions of characters... I'll listen again before long! Just downloading no2 in series, please hurry up and finish reading the next 2 books in series, CANNOT WAIT!

Any additional comments?

Brilliantly funny and entertaining, not too short either, was worried it was more along length of 'long short story' but absolutely right!


9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lorraine K
  • Lorraine K
  • 08-24-17

very enjoyable

The narrator was excelent, if you like Miss Marple this is Definately for Margaret Rutherford fans.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lee
  • Lee
  • 07-05-17

Old bean...pee pee and old pussies... by jove.

Had a good laugh all the way through with this tale. Sets off at a cracking pace rather like one of the two main characters and keeps going till the end. Not my usual read.

Its just a brilliant funny piece of fiction that's just right to brighten your mood/day.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul Lloyd
  • Paul Lloyd
  • 05-22-18

Not sure of other reviewers' enthusiasm

I've just finished this, the first of the Belchester series, and find the story and situation rather ho-hum! Consequently, I've rated it down compared to similar whodunits of this ilk. For some reason, the story didn't engage my interest as much as other members' reviews suggested. It did remind me somewhat of the Little old Lady Who... series by Ingelman-Sundberg, another series concerning elderly people.
As regards the humour, I find it falls far short of such series as Euphemia Martins, Royal Spyness, Flavia de Luce, Lady Hardcastle & Flo, Miss Seeton, and to a lesser extent, Sloan & Crosby. I do think the performer did well, though, and rated her accordingly.
These comments aside, I thought the plot reasonable enough and the characters nicely portrayed, so I will be trying other titles in the series - perhaps they will improve on me.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Teddy
  • Teddy
  • 07-28-17

Enchanting

Would you listen to Strangeways to Oldham again? Why?

I would indeed-it's an enchanting romp of a murder mystery, written with humor and read with style.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Enid is an absolute scream.

Any additional comments?

I'm completely enamoured with these characters and will immediately start listening to the next in the series.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-10-17

A Ripping good old fashioned yarn with a modern day approach hey what!

This author has penned a few books & I am sad & surprised to see only 2 are available on Audible. It reminds me of simple, humorous tales of the 40's & 50's, but written with a modern slant. A really cute, innocent tale "like what they don't t make um any more". Narrator superb. Not surprising since Gillimore has been in radio plays for many years. She enters into the spirit of the book with gusto & brings the whole tale to life.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for berskins
  • berskins
  • 05-25-17

A bit of fun

I really enjoyed this book. Lots of silliness. Lady Amanda going at everything like a bull at a gate and poor Hugo bulldozed. Beauchamp is just right.
The only issue I had was with the narration and that was the slight pauses in odd places. Other than that I enjoyed the adventure and may well listen to another in the near future.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. F. Wrin
  • J. F. Wrin
  • 06-08-18

Good old romp

Easy to listen to and achieves and old fashioned style, without being old fashioned. Well read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Natalie
  • Natalie
  • 06-23-19

Enjoyable

I personally enjoyed this book. It's easy going and what I would call a cosy crime book. it doesn't have you hanging on to what happens next most of the time but if you want to play it at home while doing things around the house or even just sat relaxing on holiday or at home it passes the time nicely. I also want to say even though the characters or old they are sprightly and get up to mischief especially the main character.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for annette hanna
  • annette hanna
  • 06-29-17

brilliant

i can't wait to listen to the next one. very enjoyable and entertaining . .

1 person found this helpful