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Bodies from the Library

Lost Classic Stories by Masters of the Golden Age
Narrated by: Philip Bretherton
Series: Bodies from the Library, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This anthology of rare stories of crime and suspense brings together a selection of rare tales by masters of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction for the first time in book form, including a newly discovered Agatha Christie crime story that has not been seen since 1922.

At a time when crime and thriller writing has once again overtaken the sales of general and literary fiction, Bodies from the Library unearths lost stories from the Golden Age, that period between the World Wars when detective fiction captured the public’s imagination and saw the emergence of some of the world’s cleverest and most popular storytellers.

This audio anthology brings together the majority of forgotten tales from the book Bodies from the Library, from the 1920s to the 1950s, by masters of the Golden Age including Cyril Hare, Freeman Wills Crofts and A. A. Milne,

Most anticipated of all are the contributions by women writers: the first detective story by Georgette Heyer, unseen since 1923; an unpublished story by Christianna Brand, creator of Nanny McPhee; and a dark tale by Agatha Christie published only in an Australian journal in 1922 during her ‘Grand Tour’ of the British Empire.

With other stories by Detection Club stalwarts Anthony Berkeley, H. C. Bailey, J. J. Connington and John Rhode, plus Vincent Cornier, Leo Bruce, Roy Vickers and Arthur Upfield, this essential collection harks back to a time before forensic science - when murder was a complex business.

©2018 Half-Eaten © Nikesh Shukla; Thicker Than Blood © Erin Kelly (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What listeners say about Bodies from the Library

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Enjoyable

enjoyable short extracts from stories by barious artist some you wanted more still enjoyable though

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  • Jerri C
  • 29-08-2018

two stories missing

I have enjoyed the stories I have listened to in this audiobook. But, a warning: There are two stories missing from this audiobook that are present in the print or Kindle version: Calling James Brithwaite by Nicholas Blake AND Blind Man's Bluff by Ernest Brauch

36 people found this helpful

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  • D Oberlin
  • 15-10-2018

2 stories definitely missing

"Calling James Braithwaite" by Nicholas Blake and "Blind Man's Bluff" by Ernest Bramah are in the index of the printed version, but no included here! Audible should update its version to include the whole compendium! Otherwise a 5 star all around.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Yvette
  • 03-08-2018

Great collection of stories!

This is a great collection of stories by really talented authors, and the reader did a great job. I enjoyed it immensely!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen Freeland
  • 28-07-2018

wow. fun read or should I say listen

all those wonderful writers in the Golden Age of Mysteries in one place is a treat. Hope there are more of these anthologies to come. I was mad for Lord Peter upon my first reading of Dorothy Sayers and his friends and fifty + years later nothing has changed.

7 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 18-11-2018

HOW GOOD? I NEVER USE ALL CAPS, THAT’S HOW GOOD.

To rescue lost tales of malfeasance penned in crime fiction’s Golden Age is, in and of itself, highly laudable. Listening to them is like floating on a cotton candy cloud over an ocean of bliss. But beyond the unadulterated enjoyment of these 14 stories, Tony Medawar has done people like me another very great service. I enjoy a good Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie or Josephine Tey. However, once familiar with each writer, I pine for other voices. Problem is, those other voices, though prominent in their time, aren’t very well known now (at least not to me); selecting from their works is, to use an appropriate metaphor, a shot in the dark. Now I know better. Bodies from the Library is a sort of criminal sampler, wherein we get a good taste of John Rhode, Christianna Brand, Arthur W. Upfield, Freeman Wills Crofts, Georgette Heyer, Anthony Berkley, A. A. Milne (yes, that A. A. Milne) and C. Day Lewis, writing under the name of Nicholas Blake (like P. G. Wodehouse’s Percy Gorringe, Lewis found that crime paid better than verse). It's not just the story, of course, that sets these stories apart. It's the writing, the characters, the good humor, the overall sense of serious fun. And the best part? Specimens from each author named are available on Audible. And if that wasn’t enough, Phillip Bretherton’s performance behind the mic is pretty darn near perfection. He is a reader to whom it is a joy to listen. The only fly in this grade-A ointment is an occasional but silly political correctness. Before one story we are warned, for example, of offensive attitudes about race. Ironically, the offending passage gives credit to Aborigines and Europeans for their salient strengths as detectives (diversity, right?). More, it is spoken by a man descended from both races, explaining his own superior powers of detection. If not forewarned, I don’t think I’d have noticed it.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Word Junkie
  • 12-09-2018

Light but a pleasurable look into this genre from the paxt.

Nothing too profound, but great writing and fun stories. I also loved the narrator whose voice is soothing and f has a variety of accents. There are also short bios of the site after each story. Just a delight!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bethany
  • 09-12-2018

Excellent compilation

This book introduced me several authors who I haven't ever read...and who are now added to my watch list. Audible has a few of these authors in their collection and I am hopeful that when the 2nd edition of this compilation becomes available more of these authors will be available in the U.S.

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  • Tamara Parr - Equine at Parr Performance Body and Energy Work for Horses & other animals
  • 16-09-2018

Masterful classic mystery

Enjoyed hearing short unknown works by some of my favorite classical mystery writers of days gone by. Some reads are just timeless for enjoyment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Customer
  • 17-11-2019

Excellent!

This volume is a wonderful example of why the era is called the Golden Age of mystery masters. There is not a single story that isn’t excellent. I had intended to try and read only a few stories at a time but was a glutton and listened to the entire book at one time. The narrator is excellent and perfect for the time frame. Highly recommended for mystery lovers.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. Euphoria
  • 13-09-2019

Good Stories. Great Narration!

The last two stories were hard to play...but I was able to listen to them eventually. The narrator was truly wonderful. Enjoy with a cuppa!

1 person found this helpful

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  • JACQUI
  • 06-09-2018

excellent

old fashioned mysteries. All similar high society wealthy greedy murder stories. However loved every one.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Craig Hall
  • 12-06-2020

Recommended for only those who love 'Golden Age'.

Overall, I found this collection well-narrated by Phillip Bretherton. As a lover of the Golden Age, I found the author biography at the end of each story very interesting and informative. Unfortunately, I cannot say that of the stories themselves. I'd say the hit rate was 50/50 and by the end I realised why some of these stories were 'lost' or not previously available; they aren't particularly good. They also display their magazine short-story origins when available content rather than quality was probably the order of the day, hence the 3*** review. However, within this collection there are some excellent stories. Probably ideal for long walks.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Chops
  • 24-09-2018

Very well chosen selection

The author bios in between each of the stories are just as interesting and really make this a book worth buying.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Panda
  • 25-01-2019

Well read and a good mixture of tales and authors

Well read and some old fashioned gentle tales Some are better than others, there was a stinker in there but in the main it was a good variety. The Agatha Christie tale is the last in the book. I saved and looked forward to listening and was slightly disappointed as was in a rather dark and atypical Christie style. In fact it was more like Agatha writing as Mary Westmacott. There is a warning about poitically incorrect language in one tale and whilst perhaps unnecessary, probably avoids any complaints. On the whole a good purchase for me as a fan of Golden Age Crime.

2 people found this helpful

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  • SuzHam
  • 29-07-2018

24 Carat Golden Age

WOW! Absolutely blown away by this audiobook. If you love the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, then this is a must. Wonderful stories read by a brilliant narrator. One of my favourite audiobooks!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Tracey
  • 07-01-2019

Great Stories delivered in style

What a find - rare stories and a fabulous performance by Philip Bretherton. He voiced the characters really well- made them come alive and made the whole experience really enjoyable. Thoroughly recommend this audio book. The information about the individual authors was interesting too

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fes
  • 31-10-2018

Very good short stories

Very entertaining murder mystery short stories. I enjoyed all of them! Made me want to hear more.

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  • mgn
  • 29-10-2018

Absolutely loved it

This is an excellent collection of short stories by prominent writers, well written and thoroughly engaging. Despite my decades long interest in detective fiction of the golden age, I had not read any of these before.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CM
  • 20-04-2020

Fantastic collection

A fantastic collection of short stories from the Golden Age of detective fiction . The short biography of each author at the end of the story is most helpful and interesting.The narration is beautiful to listen to. It has made me want to read more of several of the writers , most of whom I had never heard of .

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  • mary morrissey
  • 13-09-2019

Excellent

This is a must listen if you enjoy detective stories I will be looking up all the authors and reading(listening) as many as I can. Thoroughly recommended