Gower Street, London, 1882: Sidney Grice, London's most famous personal detective, is expecting a visitor. He drains his fifth pot of morning tea, and glances outside, where a young, plain woman picks her way between the piles of horse-dung towards his front door. Sidney Grice shudders. For heaven's sake - she is wearing brown shoes. The Mangle Street Murders is for those who like their crime original, atmospheric, and very, very funny.
©2013 M. R. C. Kasasian (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
"One of the most delightful and original new novels of the year, this is the first in a series that could well become a cult. Grice and Middleton promise to become a positive treat. Catch them now." (Daily Mail)
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How to describe this story?? Homage? Parody? Satire? Whatever it's described as, if you enjoy the Holmes stories but are not a purest or scholar, you should enjoy this book. The main character has many of the traits of the great man but also, in some case, the opposite. I will not give anything away but I found this book witty and quite enthralling. There are many 'in jokes' which raised a smile. Looking forward to more.
It may be said many times that ' a person could not put the book down' but this really was one of those. What a wonderful story with truly interesting funny characters. It had me both laughing and cringing in parts as it did express often how people spoke to females in this Victorian time period. A murder whodunit with plenty of twists. Highly recommend
"Funny, entertaining and unpredictable"
Yes, the plot twists and turns and the subtle humour would be great for a re-listen.
The characters and quick wit.
It made me laugh out loud on several dog walks!
Really good book for those mystery lovers who like humour to the dark side.
"A Rare Treat"
I couldn't possibly say where The Mangle Street Murders ranks amongst all the audio books that I have listened to so far - I listen to a prodigious number. Suffice to say that I rated it highly enough to write a review, something that I have not done before.
I liked the way that the story presented itself as a Victorian penny dreadful quite realistically, whilst in fact being a pastiche. The humour was written with a light hand and was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
I have not listened to any of Emma Gregory's other performances but thoroughly enjoyed her work this time with only one exception - her consistent mispronunciation of the words 'pince nez'! I have to say that it nearly drove me mad, in fact it is the only reason why I did not give her performance five stars! Normally pince nez do not crop up that frequently in the average novel but sadly in this one they did!
Glass eyes and pince nez :)
"A very good read"
This detective story did not disappoint. The main character was absolutely brilliantly constructed. The relationship between him and his ward was extremely entertaining.
The narration was perfectly performed, allowing the story to flow seamlessly.
I would definitely recommend this book to those who want to read a light and entertaining book.
"Well worth a listen"
Full of lovely funny asides - favourite one? Thank you Dr Arthur Conan Doyle. Loved it. Will certainly buy next one!
"Bravo and now for the next book!"
I purchased this book on a whim and expected it to be a light hearted but fairly vacuous spoof. Instead I was delighted to find that this is a witty but gripping detective story with two very engaging characters in the lead. March is a beguiling heroine, brought up on the battlefield by her army doctor father and with the sensibilities of a modern woman living within the constraints of Victorian society. Her guardian Sidney Grice is a notorious detective with uncompromisingly despicable views. Their relationship is therefore a thunderous war of attrition and the joy of this story is their entertaining and occasionally hilarious sparring matches. Listen out for March's brilliant retort to the despicable police officer and Sidney's battles with his too large glass eye. Absolute gold dust.
The narrator pulls this of brilliantly and this was a fabulous listening experience. I am so happy there are more books in this series and will undoubtably purchase them all.
"Excellent characters and good story"
Yes the narrator is very good giving the characters their own voice and identity.
I enjoyed the duos interaction especially Marchs replies to misogynist remarks.
A repeat question I think, however she is an excellent reader a joy to listen .
Marchs sadness at times is moving as this kind of character development is often missing from detective novels, except when it's the clichéd man with drink/marriage problems etc. Her issues seem more real somehow.
One reviewer complained about sadism I have to say I could not see it as revelind in misery myself, some people like to sanatise this period in fiction, their were great horrors then in front of peoples eyes which were ignored at the time, maybe we should ignore them no longer. Would recommend YA lit to such people, though not Jaquline Wilson as that may be too real for them. I think its a pity to write off a book because of one or two short scenes you don't approve of.
"Not actually funny at all, depressing."
Billed as 'very, very funny', this wasn't. Unless of course you like child abuse, sociopaths (proper ones, not the nice TV ones) and an anti-hero with no redeemable features. I have a dark sense of humour, but this wasn't that. At one point, casually thrown into a short scene, a mother chooses not to take her baby to the doctors because at least it will be 'one less mouth to feed' if it dies. This is just after she offers to have sex with one of the characters whilst still nursing the baby. The piece of hubris in the middle where the author suggests his character inspired the writing of another, far more famous detective, is conceited and clichéd. It's fine, if you like that sort of thing, but not as billed.
Probably some Brandon Sanderson, Agatha Raisin or Dick Francis.
A little less emo, but that might have been the book.
None, it is the overall style and story that is at issue. The characters have no real impact, what happens would have happened without them. If anything they make it slightly worse.
"Not Quite My Pot of Tea"
Attracted by the number of positive reviews I decided to give this one a spin. It's clearly being enjoyed by a lot of people. It just wasn't on my frequency though, I've possibly read one or two too many books where it's a smugness competition between two equally clever and dumb lead protagonists.
It's well read by Emma Gregory. I thought her performance and delivery suited the book very well. Indeed there were some very good parts. March's childhood memories of being taken to a hanging by her father were powerful. There were also one or two genuinely amusing scenes including the two police constables with the grappling hooks by the marsh.
In the end though, it didn't quite grab me as it obviously has others. I think the smug characters came dangerously close to caricatures and once the lack of humanity in the Grice character failed to make me laugh it was uphill going. The publisher describing the book as "very, very funny" definitely felt a shade over-optimistic.
Still, lots of others like it and it does have a clever plot so there are certainly worse ways to spend a credit!
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