No stranger to sprawling country estates, wealthy Daisy Dalrymple is breaking new ground in having scandalously traded silver spoon for pen and camera to cover a story for Town and Country magazine. But her planned interviews with the inhabitants of Wentwater Court give way to interrogation after suave Lord Stephen Astwick meets a dire fate on the tranquil skating pond.
Armed with evidence that his fate was anything but accidental, Daisy joins forces with Scotland Yard to examine an esteemed collection of suspects and to see that the unlikely culprit doesn't slip through their fingers just as the unfortunate Astwick slipped through the ice.
©1994 Carola Dunn; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
Sorry about this but I'm a Brit. Because of that I have a more informed opinion about some of this production than the expected audience, I suspect.
The reader does not do a good job with accents or pronunciation. Too many US versions (inqury, Fenella, Derby etc.) and some, frankly risible, accents that bear no resemblance to 'English as she is spoke'.
She's not helped by the author who seems to have a less than informed knowledge of usage and abusage of UK English in the early part of the 20th century; ("Spiffin' to hang out with you").
I won't stress the flaws in the plot or the social commentary and observation.
Nonetheless it's a very light time filler and I'd probably listen to another; but I would hope that they are read by a different reader and have a better editing process.
"Amateurish British accent"
I enjoyed the book. It's a light and breezy mystery. However, the narrator sounded like a Theater Arts major attempting a British accent. It is not convincing, especially after hearing Barbara Rosenblat's spot on character portrayals in the Amelia Peabody mystery series.
"Fun, 20's era mystery-I love Daisy Dalrymple"
I just discovered this fun series this past winter. I actually started with one of the later ones in the series and fell in love with Daisy Dalrymple! This series, set in the 20's reminds me a bit of the Jeeves and Wooster books, which I also love. The "By Jingo's," "Old Bean" and other such expressions make this a very enjoyable listen! This book is just introducing all the characters and each successive book adds more details, so you keep wanting more of Daisy's exploits. So far Blackstone Audio has agreed to do the first 4 in this series, and I hope they decide to do all of them. For a great change of pace in your listening routine, you won't go wrong with this book! Sit back, relax, and meet the irrepresible Daisy and all her chums.
"Dreadful narration ruins book"
A BRITISH narrator. Good heavens, what in the world were they thinking? I suppose there are some non-Brits that could do a creditable job but Bernadette Dunne is not one of them. I'm only a few chapters into the book and am finding the poor pronunciation distracting to the point of making me wonder if I am going to be able to endure this. It's extremely off-putting and so unnecessary.
I would keep an open mind - she could be a wonderful narrator as long the book doesn't require foreign accents.
One of my pet peeves is British books read by American narrators who cannot speak with a convincing British accent. Bernadette Dunne sounded like a cross between Australian and Southern. There are plenty of excellent British narrators.
I would like to try her first book in print or ebook format. I was unable to form an opinion on the book due to the horrible narration.
Perhaps, if she was not attempting a British accent.
"Stuffy with a very disappointing ending"
I bought two Daisy Dalrymple books hoping for something as good as Kerry Greenwood;s Phryne Fisher mysteries. I was quite disappointed.
The book cover would have you believe Daisy is similar to Phryne with short, bobbed, black hair. But that is hardly how she is described. And there is none of the decco air shown on the cover. Instead the characters are horribly 19th Century stuffy.
The mystery is convoluted and I found myself not really caring who the murderer was.
But without giving away the plot, I was horribly disappointed with the ending. This is NOT the way an amateur detective is supposed to behave. And it is NOT the way a Scotland Yard inspector would behave.
It was hard for me to start the second book as I couldn't trust Daisy's behavior.
Meanwhile, the narrator's breathy style is unnerving. And she has given Daisy a very little girl voice. With no feeling of being a grownup.
I'm giving up on the series.
"pleasant leisure listening"
This probably does not deserve four entire stars -though with a little more social history woven into the story, it might. As it is, it's a relaxing, nontaxing listen. I'd rate the second book in the series (The Winter Garden Mystery) similarly.
This series would appeal to fans of Anne Perry's and Laurie R King's historical mysteries, but both of those writers can entwine more social history unobtrusively into the listen - and King at her best can be a five star listen.
I enjoyed this. The plot and characters were well developed. I didn't like the ending, but I'll try the next in the series.
"Harlequin romance meets Scotland Yard"
This is a fluffy listen, enjoyable if you are in the mood for a light serving and don't mind an improbable resolution at the end. Although well enough done for the genre, I don't recommend this for fans of Michael Connelly, Sue Grafton, Agatha Christie, Stephen Cannell, Tami Hoag, and other such mystery/detective authors. The 3 stars were awarded primarily for the narration - I do enjoy Bernadette Dunn's work!
"Cozy Mystery of the Finest Sort"
Daisy Dalrymple finds herself in an awkward place at Wentwater Court. There to write an article for Town & Country magazine in her new job adventure, she finds the family at odds, and a corpse in the ice. What's a girl to do?
I was delighted with this story. It made me laugh, and to my surprise, it made me cry, too. Not many cozy mysteries have the power to do that, but Carola Dunn has a way with her characters. She endears them to us, warts and all.
"good book, terrible reader"
I enjoyed this book very much, but found the narrator to be difficult to listen to. She has a repetitive inflection at the end of each sentence, and her character voices were rather dodgy. It spoiled the book for me, I'm afraid.
"The narrator really can make or break a story."
This story was ruined by the truly awful accents produced by the narrator. It's such a shame because it is just the sort of story that in other circumstances I would have enjoyed. I read the other reviews and listened to a sample first and thought it would be ok, but after a while I found I was concentrating on the strange accents and wierd pronunciation. I actually think the narrator would be good reading a book set in America, but she mangled this so that it was at times hard to understand. I was disappointed to find that it is the same narrator reading all of the books in the 'Daisy Dalrymple' set and I certainly won't be downloading any more.
"Not quite as bad as reviews say"
No single event seems to spring to mind that may not spoil the story for others
The narration was dire. Quite a good voice, very "listenable" BUT the pronunciation was laughable, in fact my husband spent the entire book in stitches, most annoying!
Once again - get a better narrator.
"Death at Wentwater Court"
Lighthearted, Sweet, Well-written
The story is set in the Twenties and has no bad language. Lovely!
Anyone with a "Posh" English accent as Daisy is of aristocratic birth.
"Death At Wentwater Court"
An American who doesn't care a hoot about pronunciation.
All the audio books in this series. In future I think I will stick to the written word on my Kindle.
Judith Boyd, Kim Hicks, Hugh Fraser, Ric Jerrom, Bill Wallis, Nadia May. There is an endless list who would have made a better job.
A good story made less believable by the narration. I know the writer now lives in America, but as these books are set here in the UK, a little more effort should have gone into pronunciation.
It needed an English person reading the story. Completely spoils the story of a young aristocrat, being read by an American.
A good story, the first in the series but spoilt by a Reader with an American accent who cannot pronounce English words correctly. Her characterization of some parts was exaggerated and unbelievable and their accents were not consistent. Her attempt in portraying a retired country Policeman was frankly, embarrassing.
Overall a very disappointing purchase , the reader did not do justice to the book. I shall stick to book shops and libraries in the future!
"A nice little mystery"
This was a pleasant listen, with an interesting cast of suspects, most of them more honourable than the victim. The set up is standard; period drama in country house with dastardly deeds afoot and a whisper of romance. What gives it a little extra is the moral grey areas and the question as to whether or not murder has been committed.
The character of Daisy, being a natural confidante to police chiefs and suspects alike makes an interesting plot device. Her sympathies with almost all the characters underline the tensions between wanting to know the outcome and fearing it.
Dunne's voice is a good one and her characterization is fair. However, she seems to have some trouble with the accents in this series.
The 1920's between the wars setting in a country house lends itself to film or TV dramatization.
I really enjoy the typical english murder mysteries, this series is very entertaining and I can wholeheartedly recommend it, I was a bit hesitant since many reviewers here mention the appalling accent of the reader, but I have to say it did not bother me too much after a while, although it really is very odd!
All in all, buy it, you will have a good time listening to it. I will get the other ones as well. :)
"Actually... I enjoyed the accent..."
I know a lot of reviews (here and Amazon) make comments about an American accent for a 19202/30s quintessentially English novel, but while I thought it might detract, I really enjoyed it. Ms Dunne (probably no relation to the author) does not have a perfect English accent but she is very good at demonstrably separating the "voices" / characters, which is an important part of audio-narration for me.
In fact, there were some wonderful pearls from her reading, such as "respite" pronounced "Rez-pit", and I especially enjoyed the the "UK-US-UK" translation of "silly ass" (which in the 1930s would certainly have been "ass" as in donkey), and "silly arse" because a US person reading a UK character "today" would expect UK=ass to be pronounced as "arse" today... but not from a semi-gentile lady in the 30s.
I have read other books in the series, but will switch to the audio books for a while.
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