David Thorpe's silky smooth British lilt adds a sense of authenticity to Graham Ison's fifth Inspector Hardcastle mystery, which transports the listener to 1914 England as the titular detective and his beleaguered partner, Marriott, unexpectedly become mired in a web of military intrigue as they investigate the mysterious death of a seductive Beaux Hall revue performer.
Thorpe brilliantly captures Hardcastle's trademark surliness as well as his and Marriott's witty, rapid-fire exchanges in this distinctively British throwback mystery.
The new Detective Inspector Hardcastle mystery - When the body of actress Victoria Hart is found in the early hours of Christmas Day, Hardcastle and Marriotts investigations lead them to the Beaux Belles revue, where a scantily clad Victoria persuaded young men to enlist with the promise of a kiss. It seems the alluring actress had many admirers, and when the recruiting sergeant is found dead, a link to the army can no longer be ignored....
©2007 Graham Ison (P)2013 Audible Ltd
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"good setting idea but novel didn't gel"
I thought Hardcastle might be a binge series for me, but I couldn't become engaged with this instalment. I like the early WWI English setting, I like the attempt at slice-of-working-class-life, and even the central mystery was OK - - but the recipe didn't cook for me. The author repeatedly tries to interpret FOR the reader very simple dialogue and actions--- without these interruptions and some extraneous and drawn out details of weeks spent travelling from Hardcastle's home station to the scene of crime area(s) and back, I might have found this a quietly satisfying whodunnit, albeit with thin characterization. I chose this instalment because it is the first in chronological order (rather than order written), and I'd expect the author to know his craft better. It's a series I want to like, but unless there are some good reader reviews for other novels, I won't be downloading more. The WWI setting earned it a third star from me.
I want to like this series. I started with Hardcastle's Burglar. I wish I had saved my money on this one. I just do not think the author likes women. So far I have listened to four of this series, and the mystery always seems to revolve around whores. If you start with that premise you can soon figure "who dunnit"
The performance however; is always spectacular . How the actor keeps track of the varied characters mystifies me.
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