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Publisher's Summary

Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie with a touch of Wodehouse and a dog of distinction.

Who killed Sir Crispin Gibbons? A wedding invitation and news of mischief that could be murder takes Lennox to the Earl of Bloxford's country estate. He, soon, finds himself in a world of purloined artworks, forgeries, and a priceless Bloxford beauty. 

But who are the Bloxford beauties? And why are they the focal point around which death swirls?

Lennox must confront life-long friends, unscrupulous artists, and dealers to finally unravel a plot so complex that even his old adversary, Chief Inspector Swift of Scotland Yard, is perplexed.

©2019 Karen Menuhin (P)2019 Karen Menuhin

What listeners say about The Black Cat Murders

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Loved It!

Great new cozy mystery series and talented author. It's humorous and an interesting mystery series. I read the first one and immediately purchased this one (book 2 of the series). Sam Dewhurst-Phillips did an exceptional narration. Please keep them coming.

34 people found this helpful

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Second in the Series did not disappoint!

The first in this Heathcliff Lennox series was brilliant. The dialogue was delightful. The development of characters & plot was so enjoyable. I really hoped the second in the series would live up to the enjoyment of the first. And The Black Cat Murders was just as wonderful! Karen Menuhin paints such a colorful picture story with evocative prose. Sam Dewhurst-Phillips breathes life in to each character in such a way I wish he would read more of the audio books in my library! Each nuanced tone, accent, cadence is so believable! I enjoyed this completely and am a bit sad the story came to an end. Highly recommend this audio book!

30 people found this helpful

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Lots of fun

I loved this tongue in cheek mystery. Excellent narrator who I hope to hear lots more from. I iMagine it depends on your sense of humor and what you find funny, but I chuckled out loud many times and found the narrator’s performance added to the humor In a way I haven’t come across in a while.

21 people found this helpful

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Sigh—Tedious, Smug, Grotesquely Elitist & Immoral

To broadly paraphrase Jane Austen’s Mr. Knightly, it would almost be better that Karen Menuhin had no literary ability at all, than to waste it as she does on relentlessy tedious exposition interspersed with the crassest of reactionary aristocratic exceptionalist propaganda.

I’ve always loved the escapism of the 1930s style aristocratic sleuth genre — Wimsey, Campion, Alleyn, Lynley, Dalgliesh, etc. So it would take a LOT more than the usual “you commoners have no understanding of honor and tradition” stuff to turn me off a book involving a gent detective and a Gilded Age family coping with changed times. This book did it. I read this second Heathcliff Lennox book because I thought the first showed some promise, even though it, too, suffered from self-importance, xenophobia and excessive exposition. But the second book is full of the increasingly insufferable, shouty, and dictatorial Heathcliff continually sneering at and berating a police officer as a “socialist” because he didn’t automatically assume that aristocrats were better than everyone else and deserving of special treatment, repeatedly ordering his host’s household staff to disobey their explicit orders- in a manner so rude as to be virtually dehumanizing- based solely on the supposed authority of his superior social standing, and all the while treating the reader to a disdainful view of performers, artists, “fops”, foreigners and non-aristocratic women through his eyes, and I’m just done.

Menuhin’s settings, animals and overall story concepts have a lot of potential charm. But you have to suspend disbelief again and again in this book to make up for its logical failings. Ultimately the thin characters, weak action and distasteful message make it unworth the effort. Lennox himself doesn’t seem to have any particularly appealing character traits, except perhaps some that accidentally relate to his class-consciousness (perhaps this is why this book recruits not only a dog but also a kitten, to humanize him). All of these failings are showcased in the last appallingly self-involved, illogical, disrespectful and excruciatingly long monologue of the “reveal” scene (oh my God, doesn’t she know how miserable this device is for the reader?), Suffice it to say, Lennox THREE TIMES has to spice up his autocratic grandstanding by randomly shouting at a radiant brand new bride and groom and their families to shut up and sit down, so he can continue with boring and insulting everyone.

And just in case we missed the point of the story, the denouement offers us Heathcliff’s smug and self-righteous reflections on the “right” way for things to be handled, and the very different kinds of “justice” he thinks appropriate, SPOILER ALERT TO END OF PARAGRAPH SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE TO END OF PARAGRAPH depending on the social station of various victims and criminals. He 1) pressures the detective to do the “right” thing by violating his sworn duty and closing ranks with the special class—in the interest of preserving the “honor” and reputation of a peer who has murdered two lower class men, and was planning the murder of a lower class woman, because of their unsuccessful attempt at theft, AND 2) also allows an accomplice to the willful murder of another, innocent, lower class man to go free, solely to avoid possibly sullying the name of the now safely died-of-natural-causes-surrounded by his loving family-exactly as he would have been if he hadn’t been a proud cold-blooded murderer- elderly peer, and YET 3) nonetheless vows to drag her bodily to court and see her hang, not for the murder of an innocent, but only if she ever says anything to bring shame on what have by now been revealed to be a pair of thoroughly stupid, wasteful and self-obsessed families. Utter immorality and self-dealing “justified” by the supposed moral or social superiority of the guilty peer and his enabling co-equals. Oh, AND the murderous, heroic and honorable peer also gets to call the lower class woman a worthless slut before he pops off from a heart attack. END SPOILER.

Really, just pretty nauseating all the way around.

The narration for better or worse emphasizes everything I dislike about Lennox — very slow and deliberate, and the more authoritarian “hear the voice of your better” Lennox’s orders and pronouncements get, the deeeeeper and more rrresonant the narrator’s voice. I sped it up to 1.25 and STILL there were moments that sounded ponderous. A pleasant voice, with a good range of characterization, but much like Menuhin’s fundamental literacy, pretty much wasted here.

19 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

It’s exactly what I was looking for in a British mystery! It had a fun plot full of colorful characters, wit and humor. Loved it!

16 people found this helpful

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I want more Heathcliff Lennox!!!!!

I love this series & I can't wait for the next installment! The narrator is fabulous as well & captures all the different voices and accents perfectly!

16 people found this helpful

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Narrator

Sam Dewhurst-Phillips did a spectacular job. Many distinct characters and inflections with excellent timing. He brought out the absurd comedy brilliantly.

13 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Very well written and the recording was great.
I cannot wait for the next book in this series

9 people found this helpful

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Liked the story but the narrator was GREAT

Very good story but the narrator really brought it to life. I’d give him more stars if I could.

8 people found this helpful

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Black Cat murders

wonderful, real escapism. Have read all three books also. Looking forward to the next one

8 people found this helpful

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  • E. Maxwell
  • 12-28-19

Enjoyable book with superb narrator

I found myself laughing out loud at some of the narration of the main character. Storyline was good even though it was predictable. The narration of Sam Dewhurst-Phillips was superb and really made this book for me

3 people found this helpful

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  • pebbles141
  • 11-02-20

Another highly enjoyable yarn

Excellent writing and characters. Engrossing storyline.Excellent narration. Another wonderful audiobook by Ms Menuhin Very highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • sue roberts
  • 11-01-20

Fantastic Book!

I absolutely love this series. I love the characters, the humour and the narrator does a super job.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen Sharpe
  • 02-13-21

Fantastic series

These books are absolutely brilliant, a cross between Jeeves and Wooster and Agatha Christie. What makes it is the performance of the narrator, he is absolutely brilliant and his accents are spot on. There is humor, suspense and the characters are really endearing. If you enjoy a roaring fire, a glass of red wine and a good story on a Sunday afternoon, this is for you.

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  • Lindz
  • 01-13-21

Old style murder mystery

A fun old style murder mystery made great by the excellent narration of Sam Dewhurst-Phillips.

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  • SuzieQ
  • 01-13-21

brilliant read, had me guessing right to the end

love the voice if the reader. Mild humour made it most enjoyable. looking forward to next in series.

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  • Mora 08
  • 01-05-21

Great story!

Loved the book. Indeed it is murder mystery!, looked forward to who did it!

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  • murder mystery fan and Cpsychol
  • 12-26-20

Enjoying this series, brilliant narrator

I'm very much enjoying this series, great ongoing development of relationships between the characters, fun plots and a very talented narrator. Having listened to several series of murder mystery books, Sam Dewhurst-Phillips had become my favourite narrator.

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  • Loui
  • 10-12-20

entertaining

light hearted, amusing and great narration.
A good cosy crime set in the days of upper class snobbery, lots of humour and the narrator does a super job with changing voices for the characters

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  • ThePuss
  • 09-24-20

Great narration, good yarn

I love the narration. he may not be perfect for female voices, but the first person narration with the arrogant yet reserved toff style really sets the scene for me in these novels. The light comedy included is just right to complement all the murders. I'm looking forward to more!

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 08-04-20

Great fun

Oh I do enjoy that stuffy lead. The way he pontificates. The way he behaves towards his dog. It’s really great fun. I will read the next one. But wait a while as I might get tired of them.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lisa Hayes
  • 09-09-20

Okay mystery

It was an okay mystery - not as good as the first book - but I really struggled with the transphobia in parts. I felt the time and place was used a shield for so freely airing such prejudices.

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  • elizabeth Giles
  • 08-15-20

An enjoyable read

This narrator brings the story to life. He is amazing. The characters are fun to spend time with and evolve rather nicely.