The Mitford Murders

Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
Series: The Mitford Murders, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (192 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

*Named one of the best audiobooks of 2017 by The Times (UK)*

This program includes a bonus interview with the author.

Set amid the legendary Mitford household, The Mitford Murders is a thrilling golden age-style mystery audiobook, based on a real unsolved murder, by Jessica Fellowes, author of the New York Times best-selling Downton Abbey books.

It's 1920, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London.

Louisa's salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside. There she will become nursemaid, chaperone, and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially 16-year-old Nancy, an acerbic, bright young woman in love with stories. But then a nurse - Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter of her famous namesake - is killed on a train in broad daylight, and Louisa and Nancy find themselves entangled in the crimes of a murderer who will do anything to hide their secret....

Based on an unsolved crime and written by Jessica Fellowes, author of the New York Times best-selling Downton Abbey companion books, The Mitford Murders is the perfect new audio obsession for fans of classic murder mysteries.

©2018 Jessica Fellowes (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic Reviews

"A real murder, a real family, and a brand new crime fiction heroine are woven together to make a fascinating, and highly enjoyable, read. I loved it." (Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of Downton Abbey and Belgravia)

"The pleasures of this English murder mystery, set in 1920, are many. Rachel Atkins's crisp performance is just right, moving the pace along without rushing and channeling everyone from nasal aristocrat to working-class copper." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Expected much, very disappointed

Would you try another book from Jessica Fellowes and/or Rachel Atkins?

No.

What could Jessica Fellowes have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not made it so silly.

Which scene was your favorite?

None

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Mitford Murders?

I would have scrapped it and given the idea to a better writer.

Any additional comments?

I was so excited to read/listen to a mystery story incorporating the Mitford family, especially Nancy Mitford, who wrote two of my favorite books (Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love). I found the narrator to be very good, but the story itself was, not to put too fine a point on it, boring. I skipped from chapter 17 (short chapters) to the end, but fell asleep even while listening to the last chapter! (Good thing I wasn't driving.) Very disappointed.

11 people found this helpful

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

Downton abbey writ with mystery

Not enough change in timbre by the reader to fully identify the various characters.
Could have been written in fewer chapters.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story

I really loved this book. The reader Rachel Atkins is terrific. The characters are believable as is the story line. I like that it's beginning was a true murder and that is well incorporated into the mystery. It is set in England post World War I and it tells of the classes and the struggles. A must listen for those who follow that time period.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Historical Mystery

Reminds me of the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. It made me want to learn more about the Mitford girls.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ripped from the headlines! In 1920!

The Mitford MurdersIn The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes, Florence Nightingale Shore returns to England in January 1920 after nursing in France during the Great War. She gets onto a train and never gets off on her own, having been badly beaten until she dies soon after being discovered.

In the meantime, 18-year-old Louisa Cannon, daughter of a washerwoman, deals with her Uncle Steven, who has used her as a pickpocket since she was a young girl and who now intends to hire her out to lascivious men for sex. He has forced her onto the train to take her to one such man when Louisa manages to break free from him and jump off the train. As the railway police officer Guy Sullivan helps Louisa recover from being injured in her jump, he gets word of the murder of Nurse Shore. Louisa is then thrilled to get a job as nursery maid at Asthall Manor for the Mitford family, titled Lord and Lady Reedsdale. She becomes a close friend of the oldest daughter, 16-year-old Nancy, and together the pair look into the murder, along with Guy Sullivan.

The Mitford Murders bases its story upon a real case that remains unsolved and poses a potential solution to the mystery. The book initially contains disparate threads that come together as the book progresses and draw the reader into the plot. The book begins with interest, but it then picks up the pace even further and makes the reader eager to keep reading and not put the book down. By the end, the shortened chapters and high drama keep people from being able to put the book down.

Rachel Atkins performs the audio edition of this book. Interpreting the content effectively, she does a good job of conveying the material in the book to listeners. Because the story jumps among different settings, it has potential to pose some confusion if not handled properly by the performer. But Atkins keeps things clear for listeners and entertains us with this creative book. Listeners to the audiobook get an extra treat in the form of an interview with the author about writing books set in the 1920s and the fine line between fiction and non-fiction, especially in a book like this drawn from a genuine case.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to The Mitford Murders and felt drawn to the plot and the characters. I truly felt myself wanting Louisa and Guy to succeed and thought the book was very exciting. I look forward to listening to the next book in the series and give this five stars!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best read of the year so far

The story is woven around the lives of real people in an extraordinary way. I enjoyed the book immensely and look forward to the next title in the series. The narration was very well suited to the time and place. I highly recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fun and surprising!

I enjoyed the book immensely. I’m so looking forward to the next installment! Don’t miss the author interview at the end!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very Mundane Whodunit

I know it can take a lot out of you to get invested in a new set of characters you have never connected with before but at the end of the day I felt very little of the people introduced to me in this story.

It was a bit chaotic when jumping to different persons in the story. Means your full concentration is needed.

I found the set of circumstances very unbelievable - and I think because I was disengaged with the story the logic of this out-won the pleasure of disregarding these facts as I have done with other whodunit's.

I don't think I will be back for another story from this series. And I am unsure if I will give this another listen. Very heavy on the details rather than the story itself.

However, Rachel Atkins is a narrator I have never listened to before and I have to say I loved her performance. I will take a look at her catalogue and find more stories performed by her!

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Agatha Christie with a touch of Enid Blyton

I love historical fiction thrillers, so this was perfect for me. Fans of Downton Abbey or any literature from the 20s will enjoy this.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable

The plot was interesting and the narration enjoyable. A very enjoyable way to spend a few afternoons relaxing. I recommend this book.