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Publisher's Summary

Modern art dealer Granville Hardwick has a way with people - a way of making them wish he were dead. His London gallery is filled with works of questionable merit, his dating pool consists of other men's wives, and his home is the eyesore of a fine old neighborhood. The neighborhood of Scotland Yard's Chief Superintendent Tony Hetheridge, as a matter of fact. So when Hardwick turns up dead, bashed on the head by a rather tasteless reproduction, it's Hetheridge and his new bride, Kate, who embark on solving the case.

When he married Kate, Tony expected things to be different. But with Kate's ne'er-do-well relatives making trouble on the home front, and his own enemies attacking from within Scotland Yard, the case of the dead art dealer and three unfaithful wives might do more than change Mayfair. It might change Lord and Lady Hetheridge forever.

©2015 Stephanie Abbott (P)2016 Stephanie Abbott

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Profile Image for Arline H. Burnell
  • Arline H. Burnell
  • 17-02-2016

Agatha Christie lives again

Where does Black & Blue rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 50

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. Trying to figure who was the murderer

Which character – as performed by Matthew Lloyd Davies – was your favorite?

Lord Hetheridge

Any additional comments?

Delightful characters set in England ranging from a peer of the realm to his cockney wife and her problematic family. The narrator brought the story to life w a wide range of accents.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Thyme
  • 26-04-2019

From A to V - Annoying to Vile

Want to spend 7-and-a-half hours listening to the spewings of the gratingly annoying and the loathsomely vile? Why then, "Black & Blue" is for you. After the first book, which had promise, the series has steadily broken that promise into less and less palatable portrayals of, ultimately, indigestible characters.

The title characters, especially Kate, have become dithering, self-absorbed, unconvincing caricatures. So much so that the otherwise excellent narrator has resorted to whispering almost all of Tony's mush mouth blather, while screeching almost all of Kate's never ending whining. The most repugnant of the secondary characters are front and center, and the formerly tolerable secondary characters throw neurotic temper tantrums.

Then there are the characters developed specially for this murder non-mystery. The love-interest Texan who personifies the All Hat No Cattle trope. Every one of the female characters is a hollow, grasping, deceitful, clinging shrew straight out of the Misogynist Hall of Horrors. The male characters are cardboard cutouts who are supposed to be Worst Cases of Testosterone Poisoning. The murder non-mystery is a thin subplot. The book really should be re-titled "The Anguish That Lord & Lady Hetheridge Suffer at Home and At Work" to do it justice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jan
  • 27-03-2022

Too much fun!

British-detective, British-humor, class-consciousness, family, family-dynamics, friction, friendship, laugh-riot, law-enforcement, London, mental-health-issues, mental-illness, murder, murder-investigation, procedural, wealthy*****

What lunacy! There is a murder in Tony's neighborhood and things start to go awry right away because DS Bhar's mother (the romance writer) has a special friend, and he seems to be the prime suspect. There are more problems with Kate's mentally ill mother and sister, and Tony is coerced into retirement! Chief Superintendent (Baron) Hetheridge, his new wife DS Kate Wakefield, and DS Paul Bhar (and even his MOTHER) are off on another bizarre homicide case and even the evil Duke Duncan Godington, (longtime psychopathic nemesis) shows up. Nowadays Kate's brother and his caregiver live with Kate and Tony, as does her bright but suffering young nephew. And even THAT sees changes! And that's just about the ongoing characters. The unusual people connected with the murder add spice to a very convoluted investigation with some fantastic plot twists and strange red herrings! This series is a whole lot of fun and laughs that make a mockery of reality. Love it!
I really appreciate the talents of voice actor Matthew Lloyd Davies to help me with easy differentiation of characters in the audio, and he always underplays the scenes!

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  • Rosemary Hughes
  • 18-06-2020

Circumnavigation of bureaucratic red tape!

Yes oftentimes there are so many do gooders in society, they get it entirely wrong. Most people only see what the media feeds them, and from their limited point of view. Very few have the access, talent and experience to see the whole picture, and understand what they are actually seeing.
So, this episode we see the effects of out side interference to the New Scotland Yard, and our particular small team of detectives.
It is continually expressed, that scientific processes have their place, but normally what solves cases, are the hard work and dedication of the detectives on the case, methodically processing, querying and re-assessing the various scenarios that would fit a crime, continuing to collect and assessing, to ensure that the information continues to fit a model that the team is suggesting.
This is a very good series, and the narrator does a splendid job with the various characters' vocalizations.

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  • Linda welch
  • 30-04-2020

noodles

splits into little tangents in middle and loses thread of main plot. Accents more like Bollywood. Maybe too many minor characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B. Larrick
  • 30-08-2019

Very good book

I love the story behind it, but the narrator is awesome and helps you visualize the story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jcollins@gprep.org
  • 25-03-2018

A fascinating cast of characters—this series never disappoints

Emma Jameson’s Lord & Lady Hetheridge are an unlikely couple who manage to be brilliantly believable. It’s a Cinderella story set amidst the “Toft Squad” of Scotland Yard. Tony, Kate & their quirky colleagues tackle high profile murder cases which require tact as well as talent.
If you enjoy a baffling mystery set amidst the titled & entitled this series is your cup of tea.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • V. Becker
  • 02-09-2017

Terrible accent

Kate's accent makes her sound like a gutter snipe. I realize she isn't well bred but could sound less offensive.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susie Buggs
  • 11-08-2017

Good finale

It was a good wrap-up but I'd like more stories with these characters. Very interesting.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Laurie
  • 19-07-2017

Not as good as the two previous books

The characters become more fully developed and I found I wanted all of the main characters to forge a private detective agency.
The killer is revealed in a few minutes at the end. The story of the killer is not woven into the story. Its like the author wasn't sure of the killer until it was time to end the book.

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