Set in a sprawling gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently. After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem - the cryptic lines. If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred's will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears....
©2015 Richard Alan Storry (P)2016 Richard Alan Storry
Singing student, part of Three Wishes WWL charity choir. Burgeoning playwright. Supporting local theatre, indie/unsigned music & film.
I haven't seen the printed version, but I'm finding audio editions to be rather delightful.
The descent into the crypt was nail-biting, and the reveals at the end were not as I had expected.
James the butler was for me the best character. The voice performance was as I would expect this type of servant to sound.
The reveals at the end of the book left me shocked and very happy for the hero. Just desserts and all that.
Absorbing book with lots of colour and twisting plot turns kept me engaged all the way through. Very interesting characters, perfectly voiced by Jake Urry. Highly recommended.
I review books and audiobooks, mostly mystery, police procedurals, That's about it!
This is a truly enjoyable story that enthralled me from the very beginning, I just had to listen from beginning to end. The plot is unlike most of the mysteries I read or listen to in that it's not about murder. It's about a most unusual treasure hunt, the clues are provided from beyond the grave, albeit via a reel of film.
The setting is an old mansion that wouldn't be out of place in a horror story, full of hidden secrets. There is a faithful butler to attend their every need and a cook who prepares for them meals fit for the fussiest gourmet.
The clues they must solve are very cryptic, and the attempts to solve them lead along a convoluted route to some very eerie locations. The story has the feel of an Agatha Christie play and I realised I had no idea of the time period in which the story was set, though I might have missed that bit. The ending is both unexpected and satisfying, I felt I had just listened to a rather wonderful play on the wireless. I highly recommend this intriguing tale.
Narrated by Jake Urry, and what a wonderful job he made of it, his voice conveyed an ominous significance to the words which was just perfect for this book. He maintains a good rhythmn and his voice has a pleasing cadence which helps bring life to story. I had no trouble differentiating between the characters because he bestowed them with distinct voices, he has also mastered the art of conveying the age appropriate voices. Jake also passed my "old lady voice" test, many of us listeners get tired of any female character over 60 being given a high pitched, weak and quavery voice. Darned good job Jake, I'm sure you will do exceedingly well in the audiobook narration business.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher in return for an honest review
I will keep this on my iPod and listen again! In fact I imagine its one of those books that's a completely different story once you know the ending and are reading for the second time.
I loved the climax to the 'treasure hunt', and the dramatic revelations that happen towards the end of the book - really gripping and I couldn't stop listening, so I recommend you have a good hour to absorb the end of the book in one sitting!
I'm new to audiobooks and found this great narrator and love his work. Will be keeping an eye out for future narrations by him. This story is the kind of thing I love, and very well executed by both writer and Narrator.
This book will keep you guessing all the way through with mind boggling twists, and a brilliant ending.
He was the best narrator with this genre
The Cryptic Lines was a delightful cozy mystery set in a sprawling old manor house somewhere in Britain. It was really different, as there were no dead bodies to be discovered or murderers to be hunted. Instead, the plot centers around a rather unusual treasure hunt to determine who would inherit Lord Alfred Willoughby's vast fortune. His squandering son Matthew is hoping it will be him. But there is also another unassuming contender. The story was beautifully written with subtle humour and reminded me of the traditional Agatha Christie mysteries. I adored the loyal butler, James. What a great character. Some of the reveals at the end were not what I had expected at all. A very satisfying end to the story. This was a really entertaining, light listen that kept me completely engaged for the full 4 hours.
Jake Urry was a new narrator for me. He had a lovely cadence that seemed very fitting for the story and switched to a great ominous tone where appropriate. There were two elderly ladies' voices that were performed admirably without any of the grating high-pitched tones that male narrators frequently use. His rendition of James was perfect, just as you would expect the classic British butler to sound like. I was really impressed how he managed to make the 'old' characters sound appropriate for their age because Jake Urry is actually a very young narrator. A very talented new voice artist.
I received the audiobook version in exchange for an unbiased review.
4.5★ Audiobook⎮ The Cryptic Lines was a pleasantly surprising story. It provided precisely what I was looking for on a rainy October night. It was a short listen, full of unexpected twists.
I’ve come away from this experience with much appreciation for Richard Storry’s writing abilities. His storytelling captivated me. He told a better story in just over four hours than some authors tell in double or triple that amount of time. The tale itself slightly called to mind The Count of Monte Christo or some other work of Poe, but without any gore. Richard Storry didn’t need blood and guts to tell this tale. He used skillful writing to create an atmosphere of suspense, which can be much more frightening than outright horror.
Atmosphere was very important in The Cryptic Lines. Storry’s visual imagery plays to the listener’s imagination, allowing it to run rampant for nearly 4 hours. Strangely enough, The Cryptic Lines reminded me of the 1985 movie Clue because of the sprawling mansion setting and the scavenger hunt-type mission the characters go on. Trying to solve the riddle was frustratingly fun and akin to being in a carnival’s haunted house.
I was never in fear of prematurely solving the riddle. The mystery was pretty well cloaked. Even if I had been on the verge of figuring things out, Storry still have plenty more twists up his sleeve. Some of the twists were actually quite heartbreaking. I wasn’t expecting a mystery/thriller story to tug at my heart this much. The ending may seem a little far-fetched to some, but it was written with such fluidity that I took it in stride. Besides, Storry had already thrown so many curveballs that I was prepared for just about anything.
I’m so glad that I saved The Cryptic Lines for October. It was just perfect for leading up to Halloween. Richard Storry’s writing was marvelous and I am very much a fan of his style. I definitely recommend The Cryptic Lines to anyone looking for a short, but fantastically written suspense story.
Narration review: Jake Urry’s narration was as surprising as the story itself. For a young man, Urry managed to sound ageless. If I hadn’t known better, I would have guessed that he was quite a few years (maybe even decades) older than he really is. His voice had an air of distinguishability that really made me buy into the story of an aging British Lord living in a gothic mansion. Urry’s timbre, accent and articulation held atmospheric qualities that greatly enhanced the story. I quite enjoyed listening to his narration and it intensified my feelings of suspense while listening. This was a case of a story and its narration having a perfectly symbiotic relationship which produced something remarkable. ♣︎
➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Jake Urry, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Jake!
I really enjoyed this audiobook. It was a good story with interesting characters and lots of unexpected twists and turns. Jake Urry, the narrator, got the tone just right. A very good listen!
Maybe it is just me, but there is something so deliciously inviting about a scavenger type hunt. Searching for clues, second guessing every hint.
This audio book is really a fun one. There is a will that has a challenge presented in a video left by the Matthew's father.
Matthew Willoughby has not lived up to the expectations of his father Lord Alfred Willoughby. His selfishness and immaturity shines through this story.
The book is filled with interesting and somewhat secretive characters. This is my first book by Richard Storry. I like the way he writes. He uses words that evoke emotion that go along with the mysterious old mansion and the out of the way corridors they keep searching through. The clues are tied to a love of classics that Lord Alfred loves. It was well written and entertaining to follow them in their puzzle solving.
Jake Urry has presented this story in the best voices. Each one is obviously different from the others. I keep forgetting there is only one person reading this book. His voice is strong yet when he does the elderly woman Meg, I hear an elderly woman. It is a craft he is well adept at.
This is a really great book. Nicely written and narrated so nicely.
This is a compelling story: the attention is held to the last word, belief in characters and narrative maintained throughout. Storry has a strong sense of pace, so that suspense and surprise are introduced with artful timing.
Richard Storry has a gift for creating atmosphere, and descriptions of place, people and plot are vivid and full of interest. To add to the book itself, Jake Urry's voice has a wonderfully hypnotic quality, and he draws out the characters skilfully.
This is a rattling good yarn, and the denouement won't disappoint!
Being apprehensive of a book that didn't future dragons, Wizards or Jack Reacher, I was very surprised at The Cryptic Lines. The intrigue I felt extended my normal redoing/listening times as I simply had to know where it was going. A well written tale, that I actually felt satisfied if that can be used with a book, as to the time spent with it and the complete closure the end brought. Jake Urry could not he been cast better as his unique tones placed you truly writhing the house wrapping the story around you. Jim
"Great Book – Mystery in a Billionaire Mansion"
This was a really enjoyable book, and was just the right length for the story. It reminded me a little of the Robert Langdon Books by Dan Brown. There were all kinds of complex puzzles and clues that left paths of messages and more clues. The author didn’t give quite as complex and detailed of a backstory as Brown, but it was still a very well written story.
The main character is a solicitor (lawyer) who is responsible for the will of a billionaire businessman. After visiting him on a rainy night, the old man dies right after changing his will rather dramatically. The old man’s estranged and disreputable son arrives shortly after his death.
A film left behind by the billionaire states how he is disappointed and ashamed of his son and that he has created a contest for his son and his long-time loyal solicitor. He gives them hints to where an old piece of jewelry is hidden on the vast property. With the item are instructions for transferring all of his assets into the winner’s name. However, the contest ends in only a few weeks, and if it is not found by then it all be donated to charities. With time running out the solicitor and the son join forces to solve the puzzle and split the vast fortune.
However, all may not be as it seems on the sprawling grounds of the mansion. There are many more secrets than the location of a billionaire’s treasure to be known, and far more truths to discover.
This book was just the right length and was a very good listen. I listened to the entire book in one day. Great mystery and suspense. There are several twists that the reader doesn’t see coming, especially at the very end. The narration on this book was also very good. 5 stars!
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review. I was NOT required to write a positive review and this reflects my honest opinion of the work.
I really enjoyed this book. Its a mystery centered around finding a hidden treasure that is part of an inheritance. Hidden treasure, creepy house with hidden rooms - what's not to like? I loved the clues given to find the treasured item, and I loved that "booby prizes" were placed in every place where the characters initially looked, which only pointed out that the "seekers" weren't as clever as they thought, and nothing is what it appears to be. I listened to the Audible audio version narrated by Jake Urry, and I LOVED his narration. His voice really added to the atmosphere of the story. All his character voices were really good, he did great on female voices (which is a big test for me), and really everything about his narration was superb. I don't think I've ever listened to him before, but I can't wait to check out more stuff that he has done, along with Richard Storry and any more books he has written.
Brilliantly done mystery. The writing style is very old-school, reminded me of some of those classic mystery novels. Dark and creepy. It had a dry sort of humor I really enjoyed. The old mansion, cryptic messages left by a dead millionaire and the narrator gave a great ambiance to the story. Loved the ending!
The narrator was perfect for this story. Wonderful performance.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
"Deliciously suspenseful treasure hunt!"
Lord Alfred Willoughby has finally passed away. His solicitor, Charles, must see to his will, which holds quite the surprise! Once Willoughby’s adopted son Matthew views the will, then the race is on for cryptic poems to be deciphered, more clues discovered, and hopefully the final fortune to be won before the time limit is up. Set in a Gothic mansion somewhere in the British Isles, this tale holds much suspense and a little bit of trickery.
This was a delicious suspenseful book, perfect for the Halloween season. The story opens with a rainy storm and the death of rich, old Lord Willoughby. James, the butler, helps Charles to find Willoughby’s important papers. Eventually, Charles finds a film, which is actually Willoughby’s recorded will. After viewing it, they track down Matthew, Willoughby’s wayward son. From there, the story turns into a treasure quest. Poems contain clues and those clues lead them all over the sprawling estate. This tale is complete with hidden passage ways, an actual crypt, and nearly forgotten family secrets.
While the 4 main characters are all male, there are two more characters, Mrs. Gilkerry (housekeeper/cook) and Meg (retired maid) who are more than they seem. First, I really enjoyed Mrs. Gilkerry’s cooking. The descriptions of her meals made my mouth water. Who says English cooking lacks flavor and zest? Meg doesn’t come into the story until much later so I won’t reveal too much about her. However, I will say that the discussions with her provided some humor in the middle of this tense book.
This treasure hunt reveals much about the natures of not only Charles and Matthew, but also Lord Willoughby. In a way, Charles learns more about his client’s private life through this quest than he ever would through his legal duties. Matthew has a long history of being a bit of a scoundrel, only returning home when he gets into more trouble or debt than he can manage. This hunt provides a background to show his true mettle: misunderstood man who made some mistakes or a man who truly lacks a moral compass? The ending has more than one secret to reveal! The winding suspense was excellent and I quite enjoyed taking an afternoon to read this. My only wish is that I had enjoyed it on a dark and stormy night.
I received this audiobook at no cost via The Audio Book Worm.
The Narration: Jake Urry was a really good choice of narration for this book. I loved his proper English accents along with his range of voices for all the characters. I especially loved his voice for Meg. Here and there, the characters reveal some emotion and Urry portrayed those emotions quite well.
"A book with a great ending!"
I had nearly turned off this book more than half way through because I found it to be rather boring, but I stuck it out until the end- and I am so glad that I did! The Cryptic lines starts off really slow, but it has a wonderful ending. This book made it onto my “listen again” list (which does not happen often for me) because I did not expect the ending; secrets are revealed which change the whole dynamic of the story line, so much so that the book begs to be read a second time.
The narration by Jake Urry is magnificent! He performs each character’s distinct personality, and he recites poetry beautifully too. My favourite character is James, the butler, but every character came to life by this talented narrator.
I highly recommend this book to fans of cozy mystery stories and for those that love a good ending!
This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
"The Cryptic Lines"
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
A cozy mystery that has the heir apparent and another having to solve puzzles to collect the inheritance. The setting is a huge old mansion somewhere in England. The characters are quite well developed for a short story. Many twists and finally secrets revealed. I couldn't stop
listening. Great tale!!!
The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed. This is the second book narrated by Jake Urry, beautifully done.
"This was an all-around solid, enjoyable audiobook"
Wealthy Lord Alfred Willoughby is worried about what will happen to his estate when he dies. Strictly speaking, his son Matthew should inherit the fortune. But the boy has become a reckless squanderer. Quite cunningly, Lord Alfred decides to teach Matthew the value of gaining something through effort and perseverance. He devises a kind of treasure hunt and to make it even more enticing he involves another totally unassuming competitor in the pursuit of the fortune.Set in an expansive, traditional manor house in Britain, Richard Storry skillfully created the fitting atmosphere and provided vivid descriptions for this charming cozy mystery. The plot becomes far more complex than you would initially expect, and there were some great twists and turns with some revelations at the end that were totally unexpected. The premise is a bit different from the usual murder mysteries and was a lovely change. With its subtle humor and well-written prose, it was an immensely enjoyable and engaging listen.
Set in an expansive, traditional manor house in Britain, Richard Storry skillfully created the fitting atmosphere and provided vivid descriptions for this charming cozy mystery. The plot becomes far more complex than you would initially expect, and there were some great twists and turns with some revelations at the end that were totally unexpected. The premise is a bit different from the usual murder mysteries and was a lovely change. With its subtle humor and well-written prose, it was an immensely enjoyable and engaging listen.
Jake Urry proved to be exactly the right narrator for this story. His rhythm and pacing followed the plot appropriately, switching to a wonderfully ominous tone in the right places. James, the butler, was my favorite character in this story and Jake portrayed him brilliantly, exactly as you would imagine a traditional British butler. He also managed to perform the voices of two elderly female characters with a believable, fitting pitch. There were no issues with the quality of the production at all.
This was an all-around solid, enjoyable audiobook that I would highly recommend to anybody who likes cozy mysteries, British mysteries, mysteries without the standard hunt for murderers. Great entertainment!
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
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"What a wonderful mystery!"
I absolutely LOVED this book head to toe. From the premise, setting, characters, narrator and plot twists, it was brilliant! Easily one of my favorite audiobooks of 2016.
This was a cozy mystery/suspense story about a fortune up-for-grabs by two men who must solve a series of clues left by Lord Willoughby. One is his lawyer, the other is his scoundrel son. Through a series of puzzles, clues, and hints, they must discover the location of a piece of jewelry hidden within the grounds of the sprawling mansion. The story moved along at a pretty good pace, and there was plenty of suspense to keep you listening to see what happens. There was a good plot twist at the end that I didn't see coming too! I thought the narration was fantastic! His voice was just perfect for the story and he did well giving voice to all of the characters.
I received this audio book at no cost via AudioBookBoom in exchange for an honest review. My take-away is that this would be a great book to listen to on a cliche dark and stormy night, or on a long night road trip. I would read/listen to more books from this author and narrator with pleasure.
"Sweet Revenge of Death"
One of the best narrators I've heard on an audible and a perfect fit for this spooky title.
It was an easy book to finish before you knew it. I had meant to only listen to this during my lunch break one day and it dug it nails into me deep to wear I spent the second half of my work day on the edge of my seat because I wanted to see where the story took me.
Please see original post on www.bookfix.weebly.com posted on November 1, 2016 and includes an audio excerpt.
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