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Publisher's Summary

“My life would have been more tranquil in the days after Martinmas had I not seen the crows. Whatever it was that the crows had found lay in the dappled shadow of the bare limbs of the oak, so I was nearly upon the thing before I recognized what the crows were feasting upon. The corpse wore black.” 

Master Hugh is making his way towards Oxford when he discovers the young Benedictine - a fresh body, barefoot - not half a mile from the nearby abbey. The abbey’s novice master confirms the boy’s identity: John, one of three novices. But he had gone missing four days previously, and his corpse is fresh. There has been plague in the area, but this was not the cause of death: The lad has been stabbed in the back. To Hugh’s sinking heart, the abbot has a commission for him....

©2014 Mel Starr (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Abbot’s Agreement

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narration lacking

There is better narration by Steven Crossley in the previous books. It is not as enjoyable to listen to this narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Equally great narration! Listen till the end!

To those who miss Steven Crossley: i do, too! BUT Tim Bruce's narration was equally great if you just listened to the rest of the book! Be Kind, please. I definitely enjoyed this book and look forward to hearing more of Hugh DeSingleton's adventures!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

What happened to the narrator?

I cannot believe the writer approved this change in narrator. I really do not appreciate the new voice and it really diminishes the strength of the story

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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narration is a bit off.

I wanted to write a review that will give feedback to the author and the narrator, that is if they're interested. The plot was excellent and the story writing wonderful. There are only a handful of series where I spend my credits willing to buy the entire series. This is one series that I will continue to buy all the books. Starr is an excellent writer and makes the historical parts of his story engrossing and thought provoking.

Regarding narration. I thought the narrator was having an off time of it until I saw it was a completely different narrator. I still think he did a good job. The only problem I saw was the voice he used for Abbot and Hugh were too similar. Later in the book something happens that changes the voice of the Abbot (it's a spoiler so I can't go into anymore detail) So at that point it was easier to differentiate between the two voices. But it was difficult to tell which one was speaking at times which made the story a bit confusing.

I think the narrator does a good job. It must be difficult taking over a series that already has an established and loved narrator. So I have to give him credit for taking on that task.

Would definitely recommend this series to others.

1 person found this helpful

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Another excellent mystery

With fully rounded characters and fine historical details, these mysteries are a real pleasure to listen to. Although a little slower paced than stories set in more modern times, they continue to hold my interest.

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Enjoyed earlier books in series

I guess I like the first narrator more, but also thought I got more history (although fictional) and technical info from the first few. I suppose the author just didn't have more to offer, and the religiosity finally wore me down If the books have just become a way to preach at people, guess I'll quit now.

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A bit disappointing

One develops an attachment to the narrator of a series. When they change it doesnt feel the same. On top of that the story isnt set in the usual place, with the usual characters so I didnt enjoy this one as much as previous ones

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New series narrator does just fine. Good story.

Persistence pays off for Hugh once again. He risks being wrong and us thus willing to change his conclusions as more facts shed light. This time he not only solves the murder, but uncovers a small sect of heretics at the Abbey.
And, by the way, the complainers who dis the narration are mere whiners. Sure, if you've been bingeing, you hope for the same voice and style you've come to expect. Of course Tim Bruce's voice (duh) and style are different! he's his own man. However, while not identical, the narration is excellent and I had absolutely NO difficulty recognizing the different voices whatsoever, including knowing whether it was Hugh or the Abbot speaking. I did find the the pace and tone at a speed of 1.1 worked better--for me, at least.

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Narration drags this book down

In my opinion, the change in narration mid book series has really hurt this audiobook. I had a difficult time determining one character from the other since they all sounded the same and was too mono-tone. The performance gave no personality or voice change to the various characters. Unfortunately, it appears future books are being recorded with Tim Bruce as well. I don’t normally give audiobook reviews, but this is about an “audiobook” and not just a “book”. The change in narration has really has affected my enjoyment of this book series. As a story, it was really good, but I may switch to reading future books… and imagining the voice of Steven Crossley in my head as a read it.

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  • Lynn R.
  • 01-16-21

Audible please explain why there is a new narrator

Like the others i wasn't diligent enough to check this out and advance and groaned on discovering a new narrator. Steven Crossley is so amazing that the story wouldn't be the same, I thought. But after a short while, I could understand why the casting crew chose Tim Bruce, and by the end of the book I'd really enjoyed his performance! Hugh sounds younger when voiced by Tim - and in fact Hugh is young!
However, i would really like an explanation from Audible when they change narrator like this mid series. I don't ever see this, and just a simple explanation would really encourage customer loyalty for both the write Mel Starr, and Audible itself - please think of doing this & you will assuage the wrath of your customer-base!

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Skye1
  • 08-08-20

where's Steven Crossley

enjoyed the first 6 books and looked forward to this one what a disappointment narrator sends you off to sleep no good at all
already pre ordered book 8 might be cancelled if not steven crossley

5 people found this helpful

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  • Big Head the Pirate Cat
  • 09-04-20

To the point.

Enjoyed the story a straight to the point investigation not too much subterfuge or intrigue. The narrator was great and brought it all to life in my minds eye.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 09-02-20

I hope there was a good reason!

Hopefully there is a good reason for the narration change as it has completely changed the feel of the series. I only started listening to these stories because of Steven Crossley's voice. I had listened to another well known series and craved another story read by Steven. What happened next was I fell in love with the characters Hugh, the caring surgeon who won't let a wrong continue if it can be discovered and undone, Kate his wife who charmed us in their courtship and Lord Gilbert with his one raised eyebrow! I really hope the original narration is restored as it's like asking an extra from the Bill to stand in for Richard Burton.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Arthur
  • 09-26-20

What's happened to Hugh?

If you wanted to really annoy your audience, the best way to do this is to change the reader in the middle of a series. You've done it before and it is rarely successful. So, when I realised you had ditched our Mr Crossley, I groaned inwardly....

But the grown-up attitude is to give this interloper the benefit of the doubt, so I started to listen. After all, it's not a reader's fault. My daughter earwigs when I'm enjoying my books, and she surprisingly burst out "What has happened to Hugh - he sounds different!" Indeed.

Our new reader was a bit tentative at first, but yes, by the time the book was well through, he was well into his task.

Well done, Tim..

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • taptoflow
  • 04-20-22

I didn't enjoy this as much as the previous books.

It's getting a bit boring. The new narrator has a pleasant and much more suitable voice for the young protagonist. He's not as good at creating different voices though. I think I'll give Hugh a rest for a while.

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  • Steph H
  • 04-09-22

Great series

I'm doing a review for the whole series as I've left it so long since I started listening to them.

I would highly recommend this series and in fact I have done so to a number of people already. Very impressed with the writing, the research that seems to have been done and the historical accuracy is excellent.

Nice characters, good pace, interesting stories. Really interesting to see the ability of surgeons then and the ways Hugh deducts things.

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  • TraceyEva
  • 02-15-22

I like the New Narrator

I just wanted to say that I like the new narrator, Tim Bruce. Indeed after 2 audiobooks I now prefer his interpretation of the different voices in the Mel Starr’s books

I know there are ALOT of Fans of Steven Crossley (I am one of them) out there but Tim Bruce is an accomplished narrator and if you give him a chance I am sure you won’t regret it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J. Wexler
  • 01-28-22

A fine book, with nice details

Nice historical details about abby structure and life. Solid murder mystery and outstanding reading. I recommend Mel Starr's series highly for a pleasant listen. Not heavy, short length...great for entertainment.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-22-22

Don’t bother

The narrator is dull, boring, dreary, and ruined a book which I suspect is only bum fodder

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  • Heather M Voskuyl
  • 08-11-20

Excellent, this series does not disappoint

I have listened to all of the books in this series that have been released to date. It is great entertainment. The plots are well researched; the characters well drawn and the narrator is perfect. I am looking forward to the next release.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-28-21

Most enjoyable.

I found this book not what I would normally listen to. Truly enjoyed this story and particularly the narration. Everything in the story I couldn't fault. Looking forward to listening to more by this author.