• The Malvern Mystery

  • Celtic Druidism and Murder in 19th Century England
  • By: Helen Susan Swift
  • Narrated by: Melanie Crawley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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The Malvern Mystery

By: Helen Susan Swift
Narrated by: Melanie Crawley
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Publisher's Summary

Shrouded in secrecy, murder befalls the cozy town of Malvern - but are supernatural forces to blame, or someone with motives more sinister?

When schoolteacher Lorna Buchanan witnesses a strange ceremony on the grounds of St. Anne’s College, she is sacked by the tyrannical headmistress - and becomes entangled in a web of mysticism and murder. 

Set in a cozy 19th-century English spa town, The Malvern Mystery follows Lorna as she investigates a deadly crime clouded by deception, greed, and ancient rituals. With class troublemaker Margaret and staunch Police Sergeant Caswell as her allies, cryptic clues, including a mysterious woman in white and a peculiar coin, leave her searching for answers. Will she solve the mystery and find the culprit - before more lives are lost?

Unravel Helen Susan Swift’s The Malvern Mystery to find out - get your copy today.

©2017 Helen Susan Swift (P)2019 Helen Susan Swift

What listeners say about The Malvern Mystery

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Mystery set in another time

This mystery was set in the olden days with druids, fairies, and witches. Wonderful story that takes you back in time to figure out whodunnit!

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The Malvern Mystery

Enjoyed this book, fantastic local knowledge of the area in which it is set.
Narration too slow for me so I increased the speed to 1.5 and that kept the story moving along nicely.
Loved the main characters and the relationship between them.
Would recommend 👌 📚

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Murder mystery finely voiced

I quite enjoyed Swift's tale of murder in Malvern and the struggle of Lorna Buchanan to discover who done it. Highlights for me included the setting, well created in the narration, gloomy and foreboding, along with the characters, most particularly the budding friendship of Lorna and Margaret, a former student of Lorna's from Lorna's very brief employment at a country school for girls. The efforts of Lorna and Margaret to secure the information they need to solve the mystery as women in 19th century England are cleverly composed, and the regular flashbacks to Lorna's upbringing in India are very nice touches fleshing out Lorna's character development. What I most enjoyed about this tale was the narration itself. Melanie Crawley does a fine job of endowing each figure of the story with their own voice and style, and her narration keeps the tale alive. Well done.

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  • Newtowritingirl
  • 03-11-21

Great Murder Mystery

This isnt my usual genre, most of the books I listen to/read are set in modern times, but I'm loving the mystery/thriller genre at the moment and thought I'd give this a try as it sounded intriguing.

I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed it. Lorna is a great main character, she's clever, witty and very ahead of her time, which I loved. Other people's reactions to her are sometimes funny, I could totally see her at the front of women's movements if set at a different time. All the characters were believable, some loveable some totally not. The novel is what I think of as a 'Miss Marple Mystery,' quite slow paced (in a good way, not dead bodies every few pages), quaint, village feel, mystery. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend. It was left open to have a sequel, and I really hope that happens.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Teresa Harwood
  • 03-20-21

Intriguing

An intriguing tale. It took me a little while to settle into the flow of the story but I am glad I persevered. Lorna Buchanan’s short time as a teacher at St Anne’s College in Malvern soon leads to a murder investigation. Set in 19th century this is an entertaining historical murder mystery.

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  • Janeger
  • 03-16-21

Cozy Mystery

This book is what I would describe as a 'cozy mystery'. It had loads of great elements - the historical setting, strong female characters, folkloric themes. The story moved at a very comfortable pace and it was easy to listen to.

It won't change your life, and there are certainly parts of it that jar a bit (the aforementioned strong female characters get away with a lot more than is believable, given the book is set in 1859), and it's a bit shallow with some of the characters and the folklore elements, but I think it reads the way it was meant to be read - nothing heavy.

The narration is very good.

A good book for a holiday!

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  • Carol B
  • 03-15-21

Old Fashion Whodunit

This is meant to be the 19th century but the feeling is earlier, but a lovely listen just the same no hard concentration needed Sarah Buchanan fresh from India where she mainly grew up as her father was stationed there so she has picked up a few useful Indian traits and they showed up in this story. She is a schoolteacher and has a trouble maker student Margaret but Margaret is not in with the crowd so basically she is lonely for the same attention that the other girls get so she slips out one night to see what is going on, and Sarah realizes it and goes after her. She finds her but at the same time, they witness some strange goings-on and Margaret insist it's the Druid back again but Sarah thinks not, but she got Margaret back no harm done, but the headmistress finds out and knows better and wanted to know why she was not informed of Margaret taking off at night as its forbidden Sarah says she had it under control but nonetheless she gets the sack and as soon as she is gone Margaret gets expelled. There is a murder and the school's benefactor shows up and asks Sarah to look into it. This plods along nicely and the characters are portrayed very well and the narrator Melanie Crawley does an excellent job and it's really worth a listen.

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  • Smurph
  • 03-13-21

Enjoyable listen

I am a fan of stories with a similar vein to Sherlock Holmes, and this didn't disappoint. A well written story with twists and turns that kept me guessing till the end!

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  • M. Winter
  • 03-13-21

An easy listen


I enjoyed the adventures of Lorna and Margaret very much, the narrator set the scene perfectly and the twists and turns left me guessing until the very end.

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  • Danny
  • 03-02-21

Great listen

Great book with a even better narrator, thoroughly enjoyed it !
Couldn't stop listening, highly recommended

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  • S. J. Hall
  • 02-28-21

Excellent, easy listen

This was a most enjoyable listen. When a book moves to audio it is the narrator that makes the book or kills the vibe. This narrator is perfect for this novel because she brings it alive with a voice that sounds just right for the story.
Being based in an area of the country I don't know and in a year I know very little about, this was a good education for me as well as a good listen. I leaned a lot and hope that the research was accurate, because I believed it all.
The story is well written; I can see this as a film, such is the high quality of the narrator with the writer's words.
I enjoyed trying to guess who was guilty and who would be innocent. The red herrings are out in force and I didn't guess the final team event until presented with the facts.
I will look for more work by this writer and narrator. Most enjoyable! This investigating team has many more stories in them.

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  • Book Monitor
  • 02-18-21

Not for the historical purists but I liked it.

This is an easy book to listen to. The story is well paced and the main characters are easily distinguishable. The narrative is a fairly straight forward whodunnit on a background of superstition and country ways, a fear of the pagan and of the local navvies and an outsider in the form of Lorna Buchanan who is her own woman and cuts through the flimflam.
The historical setting doesn't really gel with the character of Lorna or Margaret or most of the other women to be honest. They seem too modern despite the belief in the power of the sacred and old druidic ways. I did like the navvies wives and their down-to-earth ways.
However despite the anachronistic feel I liked this story, I liked the way Lorna's backstory is interwoven, describing some of her experiences in India, her home but not home.
I liked the narrator too. There were one or two minor production issues, repeated words or phrases but it didn't ruin the enjoyment.
I will look out for more from this author


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  • Layla
  • 01-14-20

The Malvern Mystery

I found I couldn't get into the book after a body was found.
The book cover did not match the year/century the story was in. That might be a small thing but the images I had in my head did not match the things that was said in the book. It didn't feel like we were in the 19th century. This could be just me.
Later in the book it gets more interesting as they try and find out who donit.
This is my personal opinion and others might disagree with me and actually love it.