Thea Osborne sets off to Frampton Mansell with confidence. Despite her first disastrous house-sitting venture, which drew her into a murder investigation, Thea, and her spaniel Hepzibah, are sure of a wonderful stay at the relaxed country estate of the Philipses. But it seems that she's jinxed. Busying herself with her duties, she finds a body hanging from the rafters of one of the barns. Detective Superintendent Phil Hollis oversees the subsequent investigation and is more than a little surprised to find Thea once again at the scene. As the days go by, they find themselves working together more closely - although Thea, at times, is more of a hindrance than a help.
©2005 Rebecca Tope (P)2006 Soundings
If you enjoy light hearted murder mysteries set in beautiful surroundings then the Thea Osborne books are brilliant. I have read all of the books and think that the audible series definitely do them justice. They are easy to listen to especially when I am out walking the dog. It is definitely worth listening to the books in order so you have background to Thea's story.
Yes I enjoy her pleasant laid back style. I also enjoyed the narrator. What I did not enjoy was the intrusive, unnecessary music inserted by some book hating idiot.
"Pretty good story."
I like the set up - the main character house sitting in various villages where murders are discovered. In response to another reviewer, I think it's typical for police detectives to have several different villages in their jurisdiction.
I'm not crazy about the narrator. She has a nice, smooth, soft voice but I'm not sure she's really English. She was OK, though.
"Musical interludes totally not needed"
Good story and well read but it was spoiled by musical interludes at where I believe there would have been chapter breaks.
"So-so little British Mystery"
Thea Osborne arrives for her second attempt to house-sit for people going on vacation, and steps right into another round of murder. She has a developing relationship with the same Detective Inspector Hollis who investigated the murder at the previous location where she was house-sitting. First demand of the reader--suspend all belief that this series will be very realistic.
Actually, the mystery itself is not bad. However, the author seems to fill the book with some of the most incredibly dumb moves on the part of Thea (such as insisting she can safely remain in the house after murder and mayhem have occurred...) and other characters. Eg, her sister arrives, after having been badly beaten in a domestic abuse situation, and after having accompanied Thea through part of this stretch of credulity-plot, drives away home, happily (after having been injured--yet again--through a bad accident) in the car of her loving husband (who had committed the abuse in the first place).
Sorry--if the mystery were not decent--and it is fun as the reader to try to figure out the who-dunnit part, I would not feel like giving this book even as much as 3 stars.
Lovely that it takes place in the Cotswalds, but I'm not sure this is a compliment to that beautiful and historically significant area.
Read it if you are not seeking something too tasking and if the characters acting in fairly unbelievable ways does not distract you--but don't expect much more than that. :-( The narrator is good, but even she does not save the story.
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