Loves, labours, losses and not to mention a spattering of the occult are all part of an eduction at the prestigious Griffin School, but when a reunion culminates in the death of a high profile former student, DI Joseph Rafferty and his partner, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn, are called in to unearth the truth behind the school's picturesque façade. Murder? Suicide?
Or is the chef's cooking to blame? As ever the case is never simple for this policing pair, especially with a home office official as a suspect and a budget-obsessed superintendent. And with Rafferty's mother planning a reunion of her own, resulting in some unwanted houseguests and growing marital stress, how will Rafferty keep his head clear and solve the case?
©2011 Geraldine Evans (P)2011 Soundings
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"Clever Whodunit set in School Reunion"
Anyone who has read Dorothy Sayer's iconic Gaudy Night, which begins in a reunion of Oxford University graduates will feel her heart quicken at the sight of any mystery that is set in a British school reunion. While Deadly Reunion is no Gaudy Night, it is an enjoyable, clever, and well crafted tale of disparate personalities brought together for a school reunion. That this is a mid-level public school with upwardly mobile aspirations emphasizes the elements of snobbery and envy. As entertaining as the crime itself is the home life of the detective, whose overbearing but loveable mother has parked 2 couples on him and his new bride for 2--yes t-w-o weeks for a huge family reunion. If you like British mysteries and you've already listened to all of Sayers, Christie, James, Marsh, and Wetnworth---I think you'll enjoy this a lot.
"Entertaining murder at a class reunion."
A 20-year class reunion of the class of graduates from the prestigious Griffin School culminates in the death of a high profile former student, DI Joseph Rafferty and his partner, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn, are called in to unearth the truth. The man was poisoned with hemlock from local plants. Was it suicide, or was he murdered? As they begin looking at the dead man’s classmates for a clue as to how or why he died, they unearth a lot of secrets from the class, and yet another person is murdered, again with hemlock. DI Rafferty has another problem too. His mother has decided there should be a Rafferty family reunion. It starts small, but then she finds lots of lost relatives on the internet and invites them all. She then commandeers the two extra rooms in her son’s house for some of the relatives. Rafferty and his honeymoon bride aren’t thrilled with having guests, particularly when one of them turns out to be a fundamentalist preacher from the U.S. The family part of the book is funny and touching, and the relationship between Rafferty and his sergeant,Llewellyn, is great fun to watch. And ultimately they solve the murders. An entertaining read.
"A notch above "so-so""
Most likely not.
It gets extremely monotonous. Rafferty chases one thread after another, always getting a dead end through most of the middle of the book. As the reader, I was sighing with frustration. One wants a clue here and there to pan out, to whet the sleuthing appetite of the reader. But there is just such a long period of book time spent on chasing ideas with few results, that it was a touch boring for a longish stretch.
Overall, not a bad mystery otherwise. In my opinion, the book was saved by the narrator. Where I might have just laid the book itself aside, I kept listening, because he is quite talented! If you like classic mystery style books, this deserves a listen, but just be forewarned that it gets tedious for a stretch. However, when that part occurs, just sit back and enjoy the narrator's great versatility with many different voices. Then it picks back up again.
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