• There Was an Old Woman

  • The Ellery Queen Mysteries, 1943
  • By: Ellery Queen
  • Narrated by: Mark Peckham
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (199 ratings)

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There Was an Old Woman  By  cover art

There Was an Old Woman

By: Ellery Queen
Narrated by: Mark Peckham
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Publisher's summary

Once upon an evil time, there was a wicked old woman with a mammoth shoe company worth many millions of dollars, a henpecked husband, and six miserable children. Then one day death came visiting the vast Potts mansion - and began claiming its inhabitants one by one. It was then that Ellery Queen was invited to sup on this nightmare brew of diabolical murder and baffling mystery - in a case that made the most horrific crimes in his entire career seem like fairy tales. As he endeavors to solve the case, he tries to make sense of this family that defies rationality.

©2014 Ellery Queen (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about There Was an Old Woman

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

An adventure of Ellery in Queenland

Queen likes to have odd, quirky characters in his books, and this one provides them in droves. Half of the Potts clan are eccentric, borderline lunatics. Half are level-headed, sane types. And it seems someone is killing off the sane ones. A good tale, although you have to swallow some unlikely events (would they really have let Cornelia Potts get off with just a slap on the wrist after nearly murdering Sgt. Velie?) And the "introduction" of Nikki Porter at the end seemed strange and tacked on for no good reason.

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

three very plausible ending points

Loved the story, so many plausible ways to end the mystery! I had the wrong one in mind - but I think it could have worked. They did think of it, but discarded.

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

Now I know how the radio Ellery got a sidekick

Perhaps the most surprising and stunning end of a mystery I have ever encountered. Better than witness for the prosecution or then there was none, as a fan of OTR I have always wondered if Nikki Porter was a radio addition. Now all is revealed

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1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • nf
  • 08-31-21

Absurd, and not in a good way.

I don't mind suspending disbelief, but the set up is ridiculous. Queen should be charged with murder by hubris. In most, if not all, stories someone dies because of his unreasonable assuredness.

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

Struggled to finnish

The plot was drawn out by at least a third unnessarily and tried to hard on dramatics. Very overdone hard to continue to listen too.

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

Great story, narrator somewhat annoying.

My issue with the narrator is that most of the voices are overly done - too stereotypical and cliche. And the voice of Ellery is of this incredibly arrogant, drawling, pompous ass.

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