• The Custard Corpses

  • A Delicious 1940s Mystery
  • By: M J Porter
  • Narrated by: Matt Coles
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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The Custard Corpses

By: M J Porter
Narrated by: Matt Coles
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Publisher's Summary

A delicious 1940s mystery.

Birmingham, England, 1943.

While the whine of the air raid sirens might no longer be rousing him from bed every night, a two-decade-old unsolved murder case will ensure that Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is about to suffer more sleepless nights.

Young Robert McFarlane’s body was found outside the local church hall on 30th September 1923. But, his cause of death was drowning, and he’d been missing for three days before his body was found. No one was ever arrested for the crime. No answers could ever be given to the grieving family. The unsolved case has haunted Mason ever since.

But, the chance discovery of another victim, with worrying parallels, sets Mason, and his constable, O’Rourke, on a journey that will take them back over 25 years, the chance to finally solve the case, while all around them the uncertainty of war continues, impossible to ignore.

©2021 M J Porter (P)2021 M J Porter

What listeners say about The Custard Corpses

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting!

Well-written. Held my attention throughout!

Matt Coles did a great job narrating.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Awkward Storytelling

While the author has been published before, he could have done with some judicious editing. I just couldn't get wrapped up in why the protagonist hesitated to take a biscuit or why he did or did not eat breakfast before a meeting. And all the trite self-questioning: "Yet what did they really know?" Then there were the characters . . . who had no characteristics. They were monotonous people with whom to spend time. In the end, the motivation of the killer still eluded me. I wanted to like this for the sake of the era, but mentions of rationing, the Great War and the horrific bombing of Coventry seemed tossed in randomly to evoke World War II without any real understanding of the period.

1 person found this helpful

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"Every little helps."

The twentieth anniversary of the unsolved murder of young Robert McFarlane brought his surviving sister, Rebecca, to the police station as always: there was still no news for her. In fact, the original officer in charge of the case was long gone, his successor Sam Mason as regretful as he had been that the killer had never been found. But this time Rebecca brought a news article form another part of England, marking the anniversary of a second killing, three years after that of Robert, but sounding similar in several ways. The perpetrator in this case had also never been found. Sam investigates and decides that there is enough to reopen both as a cold case with a single murderer.

The Custard Corpses is a totally fictional police procedural investigation set in England during the later years of World War Two with mentions of the bomb damage and other wartime true life experiences as backdrop. I personally enjoyed the inclusion of the magazine beloved by Sam's wife, Picture Post. Starting in 1939 under the editorship of Tom Hopkinson, a friend of mine now sadly dead some thirty years, it was a weekly pictorial magazine, the first to feature stories about ordinary people, not just the famous and aristocracy. It's still enjoyable to read, a real life of-it's-moment slice of history.

Narration by Matt Coles was well paced and modulated with various accented voices for the several protagonists across Britain: only Hamish, the chap who came down from Scotland, didn't quite ring true. But overall, a good performance.

This is an enjoyable of mix of historic facts overlaid by a really interesting murder hunt police procedural, well worth reading by anyone who enjoys the careful search for clues in cases which seem long lost and forgotten. It is an exciting paper chase with colourful historic facts along the way. truly delicious. And what a great title! My thanks to the rights holder of The Custard Corpses, who, at my request freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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The Custard Corpses

I LOVED this book!I could barely put it down! Mason and O'Rourke make a great team trying to find the connection in cold cases so old,that most of the people that worked them are dead. It takes fresh eyes to find the killer of these 2 children,as well as a few more.Well written.Narrated nicely by Matt Coles. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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very entertaining

Kept me interested in the story performance was better the ending was in climatic






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  • Jules
  • 08-21-21

Captivating story....

The cover was what attracted me to the book in the first place. Which is something that's more pertinent than you would think until you've read it.

The story was gripping, and it took effort to not listen to it in one sitting. A good story is riveting. A good story that has ties to your own town, with places and things you know, is even more so. The plot is believable and incredibly well thought out. The characters are likeable, ordinary, people with, for the 1940s, a lot of biscuits. Matt Coles did a fabulous job of the narration, although his accents need work.

My family live in Weston, so as soon as I heard the words 'Weston Mercury' the story took on a whole new relevance. My granddaughter, who is of a similar age to Antony, goes to Walliscote Road School.... In the 1940s, my grandmother would have been a young mother with four small children, with her husband away fighting in the war, and bombs dropping around her.

All of these facts brought atmosphere and an added shiver to the story for me but, even without them, this is a brilliant book.

I do hope M J Porter writes more mysteries because, with this as their first attempt, further books will be unmissable.....

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jules
  • 04-12-22

excellent storyline

loved the period story line very good narration , will read others by this author .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gail
  • 03-02-22

Great

Really well written, nostalgic and descriptive, great storyline and characters and very well narrated would highly recommend

1 person found this helpful

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  • The Curator
  • 12-03-21

Enjoyable new series

The emphasis in this book is on the characters. The plot is satisfying but there’s no major twist or underlying conspiracy (both of which I enjoy when they are suited) just a solid plot in which the police solve a crime by putting the evidence together. If you’re from the Black Country you may question the narrator’s southern accent but having heard the one Brummie woman in the book, it was probably for the best.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CP
  • 11-25-21

Interesting plot. A great listen

This was such a great listen. Not my usual thriller, but a more toned down 'who dun it' mystery in keeping with the era in which it is set. This is cleverly written cold case murder mystery with an unusual storyline, and lots of historical details. It kept me listening to the very end. The narration was spot on, which made the characters engaging.
The period and the feel of police procedural work and how cases were solved in the 1940s came across well.
Having not read (listened) to anything by the author before this was an enjoyable surprise.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clare
  • 01-06-22

Absolutely dreadful accents.

The narrator significantly interfered with the flow of this story . His mangled accents were truly dreadful and his pronunciation of certain words was bizarre.