Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Books Listened To

I'm woefully behind on reviews, but I'll try and catch up by the end of the weekend.

Unnatural Death
by Dorothy L. Sayers
Published by HarperTorch
Audio book
ISBN 9780061043581

The wealthy old woman was dead -- a trifle sooner than expected. The intricate trail of horror and senseless murder led from a beautiful hampshire village to a fashionable London flat and a deliberate test of "amour" -- staged by the debonair sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey.

I figured out the how of the primary murder itself quite early on, but it was still fascinating to watch the other pieces fall into the place as the characters worked it all out.

Tim Frazer Again
by Francis Durbridge
Published by BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Audio book
ISBN 9781408469682

"The World of Tim Frazer", shown under the banner "Francis Durbridge Presents...", was the longest-running BBC serial of the early Sixties, and one of the most successful. The popularity of the TV programmes inspired Francis Durbridge to write several novels featuring the easygoing engineer-turned-spy Tim Frazer. In this one, read by "Buffy" and "Little Britain" star Anthony Head, Frazer becomes involved in another difficult and dangerous case. When special agent Leo Salinger is killed by a fast car in Amsterdam, Tim Frazer is sent over to trail the attractive young woman who was at the wheel. Was it a genuine accident? So it seems until Frazer returns to London and encounters a body instead of an evening date...The case grows more complicated at every turn. What sinister implications lie behind an innocent bulb catalogue? What is the mystery of the metronome carried by the dead man? It is only Frazer's second assignment - is it going to be his last?

I actually managed to bottor the unabridged version read by Clive Mantle once again, and this was another fun period caper. I guessed who was behind it all, by as with others of the genre that made not a lot of difference. I may try the author's Paul Temple stories at some point.

Vengeance in mind
by N.J. Cooper
Published by Simon & Schuster Ltd
Audio book
ISBN 9780857206817

Sir Dan Blackwater, well known businessman and philanthropist is found dead one morning in his home on the Isle of Wight. Pinned to the kitchen table with butcher's knives, he has been castrated in what looks like a gruesome act of revenge. The only other person on the scene is his own PA, Sheena. But when DCI Charlie Trench brings her in for questioning, he discovers that she can't remember a thing about the events of last night - the shock seems to have caused her to lose her memory. Unsure whether to believe Sheena's story, Trench calls in forensic psychologist Karen Taylor to help unblock Sheena's memory. But as Karen begins her investigation, she will discover there is much more to the Blackwaters than ever met the public eye. And as she lifts the lid on a truly scandalous history, she will put herself in more danger than she could possibly imagine.

I'm getting a little tired of all the crime novels in which a maverick female expert is semi-partnered with a gruff older male detective. This novel was well-crafted enough, but I figured out the twist too easily and the characters didn't grab me. I don't think I'll be chasing up the rest of the series.

Mr Briggs' Hat: A Sensational Account of Britain's First Railway Murder
by Kate Colquhoun
Published by Abacus
Audio book
Categories: True Crime British & Irish History
ISBN 9780349123592

In July 1864, Thomas Briggs was travelling home after visiting his niece and her husband for dinner. He entered a First Class carriage on the 9.45pm Hackney service of the North London railway. At Hackney, two bank clerks entered the carriage and discovered blood in the seat cushions; also on the floor, windows and sides of the carriage. A bloodstained hat was found on the seat along with a broken link from a watch chain. The race to identify the killer and catch him as he flees on a boat to America was eagerly followed by citizens both sides of the Atlantic. Kate Colquhoun tells a gripping tale of a crime that shocked the nation.

Ordered following charliecochrane's review. A fascinating investigation of social history as well as of a murder.

The Flight
by M. R. Hall
Published by Mantle
Audio book
ISBN 9780230754911

Coroner Jenny Cooper investigates ...A tragic accident or a terrible crime? When Flight 189 plunges into the Severn Estuary, Coroner Jenny Cooper finds herself handling the case of a lone sailor whose boat appears to have been sunk by the stricken plane, and drawn into the mysterious fate of a ten year-old girl, Amy Patterson, a passenger on 189, whose largely unmarked body is washed up alongside his. While a massive and highly secretive operation is launched to recover clues from the wreckage, Jenny begins to ask questions the official investigation doesn't want answered. How could such a high tech plane -- virtually impregnable against human error -- fail? What linked the high powered passengers who found themselves on this ill-fated flight? And how did Amy Patterson survive the crash, only to perish hours later? Under pressure from Amy's grieving mother, and opposed by those at the very highest levels of government, Jenny must race against time to seek the truth behind this terrible disaster, before it can happen again ...

A novel that broke what I'm told is a vital rule, in that it didn't start in the middle of the action, but instead had a long first chapter dealing with all the mundane details leading up to the disaster. Once the story got going, however, I was pulled right in. In spite of Jenny's rather annoying hang-ups, I shall definitely be seeking out other books in the series

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House
by Kate Summerscale
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Audio book
ISBN 9780747596486

It is a summer's night in 1860. In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet. Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep. At some point after midnight a dog barks. The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery: an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home. The household reverberates with shock, not least because the guilty party is surely still among them. Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later. He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects. The murder provokes national hysteria. The thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes - scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing - arouses fear and a kind of excitement. But when Whicher reaches his shocking conclusion there is uproar and bewilderment. A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.

More fascinating social history mixed with true crime. I need to search out more in a similar vein.
Tags: audio books, reviews
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