Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $29.96

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

The fourth Brighton Mysteries story from the author of the best-selling Dr Ruth Galloway series - a must-read for fans of Bryant and May. 

What do a murdered Brighton flower seller, the death of Cleopatra, and a nude tableau show have in common? Listen to the most dangerous case yet for Stephens and Mephisto and find out. 

Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto, and his daughter, Ruby, are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked 'living statues'. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens's investigation into the death of a quiet flower seller, but if there's one thing the old comrades have learned it's that, in Brighton, the line between art and life - and death - is all too easily blurred....

©2017 Elly Griffiths (P)2017 Quercus Editions Limited

Critic Reviews

"Mixes cosiness and sharpness in a way that recalls the best of Agatha Christie." ( Sunday Express on Smoke and Mirrors)

What listeners say about The Vanishing Box

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining read.

A good story with solid dependable & consistently portrayed characters and a plot with the inevitable twist well worthy of four stars.

1 person found this helpful

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

Enjoyable

The case for DI Edgar Stephens this time is the murder of a young girl whose body was disturbingly posed by the killer post-mortem. Edgar realises the killer's manipulation of the body reminds him of an act which is currently on the same bill as his magician friend, Max Mephisto. This ‘Living Tableau’ act is a group of women who strike historical poses while wearing next to nothing -- sort of a thinking man’s peep show. The girls keep completely still whilst striking their famous poses, thus getting around the censorship laws which deemed performers could only be naked on stage if they didn’t move. I assume this was really a thing and the group was based on some real life act. Fascinating stuff! For anyone trying to solve the case, Griffiths has a plethora of potential victims and suspects with this performing trope, the fellow tenants of the boarding house where the victim was found, and the theatre's remaining cast and crew. It also brought in the connection to Max. I felt this should have been enough but Griffiths pushed Max into a secondary plot for no particular reason. Instead of Max and the girls simply sharing the stage keeping him involved in the mystery plot, Griffiths also introduced a romance between him and one of the girls. This created a needless love triangle which made me a little sad, considering how sweet his romance from the previous book had been. Griffiths loves her love triangles though! Much to my dismay, she continues on with the Edgar/Emma/Ruby one. Emma’s role within the police ranks also continues to dismay me. I have decided it’s best for me to just suspend belief and keep reading as if it really was possible for a female detective with such seniority and responsibilities to exist in the 1950’s. If I do that, I find myself actually enjoying her character. As in the previous installments, I once again enjoyed the insights into the magic tricks and behind the scenes of the stage shows. The book is full of fun facts about variety shows from the time and how they were struggling with the introduction of TV. I loved the first book in this series but then was disappointed by the subsequent installments. Thinking now about all this one's flaws, I should say it was an average read but, somehow, I actually really enjoyed it, prompting my 4 out of 5 mark and vow to keep reading on with the series.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joy
  • Joy
  • 18-11-2017

Wonderful period detail

I love this series of books, and this one did not disappoint. Good story with great period details. Love the theatrical background, landladies and boarding houses. The characters are interesting and likeable. It is set in the winter and Elly even manages to make you feel cold. You can read this on it’s own but I recommend you read the series in order.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Happy Grandma
  • Happy Grandma
  • 11-11-2017

Good ‘old fashioned’ murder mystery

I love the murder mysteries by this author. Hope there is more Stephens and Mephisto.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs J Craske
  • Mrs J Craske
  • 25-03-2020

Love this series !

I'm a great fan of Elly Griffiths. I have listened to the whole of her Dr Ruth Galloway set and enjoyed them immensely. So I decided to try the Brighton Mysteries and I haven't been disappointed, the series just gets better and better. The Vanishing Box is exciting and really draws you in to the period of time it is set in. Now I'm ready for Book 5!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-2019

The vanishing box

Great story , very atmospheric reading and a fair plot . A great listen for a long car journey , thank you

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kirstine
  • Kirstine
  • 04-01-2019

Engaging characters in an imaginative story

Over the last two weeks I've read/listened to all four books in this series and am eager to hear what happens in the lives of the main characters as they have really come to life in the last two books. Like the author's Ruth Galloway series the narratives are are greatly enriched by the revelations about the character's lives almost making the detective element of secondary importance. The narrative strongly evokes what life was like in the 1950s in a sea-side town and the uncertainty and rootlessness of the peripatetic existence of theatrical performers. The imaginative story kept me listening and was made all the better for avoiding many of the clichés of more modern detective fiction. The narrator added to the pleasure and had a remarkable range of different voices that really made the characters feel like real people.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jennifer Chennell
  • Jennifer Chennell
  • 15-07-2018

not as good as Ruth and Harry

these are not as good as the Ruth Galloway series but still like them very much

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anon
  • Anon
  • 05-05-2018

Excellent series

I have now heard all four in this series and really enjoyed them. Luke Thompson is an excellent narrator, very competent but not overpowering. Loved all the Brighton references and the evocative 1950's atmosphere. Feel sorry that I greedily rushed through them all as I've now exhausted them far too soon!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Claire Kendall-Price
  • Claire Kendall-Price
  • 08-12-2017

Another excellent adventure

The stories get more mature with each book. I didn't guess the perpetrator at all.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ian
  • Ian
  • 11-11-2017

Slow and disappointing

Dull story so slow I gave up in the end pity sounded promising for me it just never got going

2 people found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.