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Murder on the Marshes

A Tara Thorpe Mystery, Book 1
Narrated by: Lucy Brownhill
Series: Tara Thorpe Mystery Series, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Do you love twisty murder mysteries? Meet Tara Thorpe. The clue to a puzzling local murder has landed right on her doorstep. Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, LJ Ross, and Joy Ellis.

As the sun rises, a wealthy young woman, Samantha Seabrook, is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue: an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat. 

It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook. But the case becomes personal when she learns that Samantha had been receiving death threats...rather like the one that landed on Tara’s doorstep the night the woman died.

Together with Detective Inspector Garstin Blake, Tara tracks the killer to the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of the city. But there’s something Tara can’t quite admit to Blake about her past – and it could make all the difference to whether they live...or die.

An absolutely gripping mystery that will keep you hooked until the very last word. The first in a series of pause-resisting Cambridge mysteries featuring Thorpe and Blake.

©2018 Clare Chase (P)2018 Bookouture

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Annoying narration

After I finished this book I read Clare Chase’s Goodreads author profile where she states that Elly Griffiths is one of her influences. I must say this didn’t surprise me as I had noticed similarities between Murder on the Marshes and the books in Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway series.

The heroine here is reporter Tara Thorpe. Tara is the daughter of an actress and has previously been harassed by a stalker. As such, when she receives a rag doll with a noose around its neck in the mail, she immediately goes to the police. In turn, the police instantly take the threat to Tara seriously as they’ve just discovered the body of a Cambridge professor who, a few days before she was killed, also received a rag doll.

Tara meets DI Blake, the detective assigned to the case and there’s instant attraction between the pair. It's all very respectable though. In fact, I enjoyed how Blake is the only one who seems to completely respect Tara and her choices when it comes to her safety and security.

While Blake is investigating the murder in the conventional manner, Tara starts interviewing witnesses and potential killers. She is writing an article on the murder but she also, obviously, needs to solve the case before the murderer catches up with her.

The murder plot was pretty good but I can’t say I thought the clues to the identity of the murderer were very useful. They seemed very general. If you guessed the murderer, you would have been doing just that -- guessing.

The Cambridge setting was great. It increased Tara’s vulnerability to attack in unexpected and clever ways. The setting mentioned in the title, however, is a little misleading. Neither of the murders were carried out in marshes.

I liked the romantic aspect of the book. It was added with a light touch for this first book but I imagine it will develop further in the future books in the series. I look forward to it; I will read on.

I’ll read them the old fashioned way though. I didn’t like the narration in this audio version. The narrator seemed to be whispering every line. It was very annoying.

For most of the book I was a little annoyed too by the slut shaming of the victim (I think I noticed it especially because it was also something Robert Bryndza did in Girl in the Ice which I read recently and therefore, it was still fresh in my mind) but I was pleasantly surprised that Chase made some amends in this area by adding an explanation and a measure of empathy towards the end.

Although the mystery plot is wrapped up, the ending cleverly doesn’t answer every question posed meaning, again, I’m sure to pick up the second book.

I’d also admit I could be tempted to pick up one of the books from Chase’s other series. Always a good sign.

3 ½ out of 5

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Poor quality recording

Only got to chapter 20 when recording wouldn’t play any longer kept stopping so I am returning this book unread. Very disappointing

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  • Sharon L Sarp
  • 13-12-2018

Really hard to listen to!

So boring. And the narrator was terrible, she has a breathy whisper for a voice. And she hisses her esses.
And the last couple of chapters that I read consisted of a string of 4 - 5 word sentences that the narrator paused with full stops between. So annoying!
I made it to the 10th chapter and quit, it wasn't worth wasting any more of my time.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Maine Knitter
  • 19-01-2019

Good story; narrator not so good

I rated this four stars strictly on the story itself. It was tedious listening to the audiobook; the narrator made this very boring. But I listened on and I enjoyed the mystery.

The characters are interesting. I thought DI Blake shared a bit too much with a reporter. I’m curious about the direction the next book will take. What will Tara do? Will Blake be around?

I may read the next book in this series rather than listen to it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • ili pika
  • 30-12-2018

Heed the one star reviews

I so wish I had taken heed of several other reviewers who said that the narration kills this audiobook. I agree that the constantly breathless, overly intense speaking style of the narrator ruined this one for me. It's a bit like having someone whisper urgently in your ear. An occasional paragraph maybe, 11 hours of it, nope. Returning it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • 08-12-2018

poorly read

Don't really know what the story was because I couldn't understand the reader. Too bad

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-07-2019

Super fun thriller for your summer beach trip!

I discovered Clare Chase this summer through the Kindle Unlimited program. I was not disappointed and thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. She kept me guessing until the end.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Angelcritique
  • 06-12-2018

Gripping excerpt

It was the excerpt of this story which made me choose it after two hours of trying to find the right book. But sadly the rest of it didn't match up. In places it is badly written and overall, poorly plotted. The narrator sounds like she's auditioning for a role in East Enders and her voice characterisations are executed in the same exaggerated manner. There are annoying mis-pronounciations too which carry on throughout the reading and grate on the nerves. And finally the murderer and his motivations are a damp squib. Not a book I can listen to a second time. It's going back.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • san2har
  • 20-08-2018

Wrong narrator

Not a bad story although rather unbelievable revenge plot: Tara seems like a good character especially if she joins the police but the narrator is so flat with little expression

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carolus
  • 10-08-2019

Overlong

Reasonable story, but really needs to be shortened, too slow, which made me lose concentration

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dee
  • 24-05-2019

enjoyable

writing not up to LJ Ross standard, a bit chic lit in style. however a good tale and easy to listen to.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • marmitemoo
  • 15-02-2019

Terrible

This was terrible. The characters were boring, no humour and not realistic. The plot was uninteresting and the narration was awful; all in short sentences and didn’t flow. I won’t be listening to anymore by this author. Just started a new Peter Grainger instead, brilliant ! Don’t bother with this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • George A Bear
  • 22-12-2018

This book crept up on me!

During the first few chapters I thought this would be a book I would not finish but I was surprised that I stayed up late to read the ending.

The main protagonist is a young reporter who is looking for a story. She becomes part of that story when a threat is delivered to her home.

Another woman is found dead with a similar threat in her possession. What is the connection? Why are they targeted?

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss A.
  • 06-12-2018

.<br /> Rather slow

Reader good, but rather slow, my mind wandered off quite a lot, so had to rewind quite often.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debs
  • 04-12-2018

Great story and great narrator performance

I really enjoyed this first in the Tara Thorpe mysteries. As a Cambridge local it was fun to imagine the scenes in vivid detail. This was a little less 'cozy' than my usual mystery reads but it was gripping and the story well told. I enjoyed the dynamic between Thorpe and Blake.
As a narrator myself I really appreciated brilliant Lucy Brownhill's performance, with a variety of accents and characters she does a great job in pulling the listener in and keeping you hooked. I've already started on the next book in the series Murder on the River.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful