Life for Henrietta Jenkins was a quiet, well-ordered affair - a home with her widowed mother and degree studies at university. But her life changed dramatically when, just before her 21st birthday, her mother's body was found in a quiet road, apparently the victim of a hit-and-run driver. For not only did the simple case turn into a murder hunt, but the post mortem also revealed that Grace Jenkins had never had any children. In which case, who was Henrietta?
©1968 Catherine Aird (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
The idea of the plot is good and could have developed into a great storyline. Unfortunately the writing is so dated and stilted it made for a rather 'cringe' listen. Published in 1968 but not the 1968 that I remember, even in the heart of rural Derbyshire. This harks back to some mythic 'Christie-esque' place and time. The best that can be said is the welcome absence of 'F' in the mouths of every character.
This is a fun listen! The dry English humor is delightful. I am glad I listened, don't miss this one.
"Excellent police procedural; very British."
I enjoyed this mystery involving Detective Inspector Sloan. I expect readers would be somewhat polarized about this audiobook. First of all, not everyone likes police procedurals, which are slow and methodical, but where there are occasional hints dropped along the way that you may pick up even before the Detective does. Almost the opposite of a thriller, there is little real action. Secondly, the humor is very British, understated and cerebral. The narrator does a good job, but you must like this style of language that is relatively unfamiliar to an American ear. Here it is delivered slowly enough that it is easily understood and followed--somewhat like watching Masterpiece Theater. The cast of characters is small but well-developed. The book is short, taking a little less than 5 hours. It's light fare, but entertaining. I look forward to listening to other mysteries by Catherine Aird in her Chronicles of Calleshire series. All her books are relatively short; I'll try to pick them up when they are on sale, but these definitely goes on my wish list.
"Entertaining short read"
Very entertaining as a short read. The narrator was enjoyable. Worth the four hours listening time.
It's an intriguing premise and it starts out well, but I simply cannot finish it. The narration is really pretty awful. Perhaps that's my problem being an American listening to an insufferably nasal British accent. But I've listened to many British narrators who were wonderful. Robin Bailey only seems to have two voices and he runs the dialogue together in such a way that it's often impossible to tell "who" is speaking.
But that's just part of the problem. This is the slowest moving mystery I've encountered recently and the characters are simply not engaging or interesting enough to keep me interested. And it's more than just "disinterested." It's a good portion of "annoyed" as well. I find Henrietta too shallow and whiney. Her mother is dead. But, as we quickly learn, Mrs. Jenkins isn't her biological mother - that's the mystery. And Henrietta not only appears not to mourn at all, but immediately and deliberately stops referring to her as "Mother" and snapping peevishly at those who do. But this is the only mother she's ever known ... but she can just "dismiss" her?
Between the insufferable narration and the insufferable main character, I decided I don't care how it turns out.
good holiday read, that you can read without too much attention. Not too believable, but overall not too bad!
"Narrator is unintelligible"
I only made it halfway through this book before I gave up. Buyer Beware! The narrator is likely a talented actor with a great feel for character - but his constant habit of muttering lines under his breath was too irritating for words. I kept missing phrases and had to back up, raise the volume and relisten to a line - then immediately lower the volume again so as not to blow out my eardrums. Call me crazy, but this is a book - isn't it important to be able to understand the words? The story itself, what I heard of it, was only so-so, but interesting enough that I will read the rest of it the old-fashioned way.
"An easy listen"
Henrietta Who? is an easy listen, and although somewhat predictable, Robin Bailey does a good job of narrating. The plot begins with a mail man finding a body on the road out in the middle of nowhere. Although the dead woman is known to the community, she is not who she claimed to be. The story is about finding out her true identity and why she claimed to be someone she was not.
"Very entertaining British mystery"
Having read all of Catherine Aird's books in the past, I'm delighted to see them available on Audible. Narrator Robin Bailey captures all the Englishness of the characters and atmosphere especially Constable Crosby's mumbling under his breath that comes out in the books. I'm looking forward to adding the audiobooks I don't have to my library (although I notice Audible does have duplicates under different titles or covers.) I see enjoyable hours ahead in Calleshire, England.
I liked the character of Henrietta, I liked the way her she worked her way through the mystery. I of course also liked Inspector Sloan and his side kick constable Crosby. I love Crosby constant muttering, and the way response from Sloan.
I love the way the story progresses, keeping the solution a mystery till the end.
I like Robin Bailey's voice, because having lived in London, his accent makes sense. The only issue I have with his narration is that it needs better editing, he had a terrible tendency to swallow loudly,and when he is speaking sometime it seems like he has false teeth. There is a wetness to his reading, like his mouth is constantly filling up with spit.
"A Detective Story with a Surprise Ending"
Since I didn't know I was listening to a detective story, it was a surprise all the way around. It was interesting to listen to, but I had a hard time understanding the narration at first. It got better as I grew accustomed to it.
The story was interesting because you take a interesting journey with a very confused young woman and the author helps you experience it from both the detectives perspective and her perspective.
The end was a surprise and while I was glad to know how it all wraps up, by the end, I didn't really care that much. But it was still fun to listen to.
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