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Summary

When young and beautiful governess Kate Malvern finds herself unemployed, she is taken in by Minerva Broome, the aunt she has never met, and whisked away to the majestic country home of Staplewood. However, things are not as they seem: strange things start to happen in the manor and Staplewood soon turns from an inviting stately house to a cold and gloomy mansion with a dreadful secret! One of Georgette Heyer’s later novels, Cousin Kate sees the author take a more experimental turn as she blends the regency romance genre with the suspenseful style of Gothic horror.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Truly Appalling Reader!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Heyer is a great author and I have all of her books, many in audio book version. I have an old recording of this one on cassette tape, read (very well) by Sean Phillips. This version, however, is completely ruined by a truly awful performance! The reader hams every line to the skies, putting on a variety of dreadful, hysterically-rendered voices. Reluctantly, I am going to have to apply for my money back on this one. It is impossible to continue listening to it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Heyer that is slightly different

Any additional comments?

I didn't warm to Cousin Kate when I first read it, but after a re-read it became a favourite. Slightly different from her usual comedies of manners, with dashes of Gothic, it still has the wonderful cast of supporting characters we've come to expect. For me in this they are Sarah, Kate's former Nurse, now a busy matriarch running her husband's family and Inn in London, and Sarah's glorious elderly father-in-law. And there's always Kate's monstrous social mountaineering Aunt Minerva...

This is a sad story in some ways but I don't want to give spoilers. It still has plenty of comedy and a pleasant romance, with a decent ending, and some interesting sidelights on Inn life in the 19C. Jilly Bond's narration is perfectly acceptable, but a bit arch at times. Perhaps I've been spoiled by too many Phyllida Nash readings? It is well worth listening to, even if you've already read the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jan
  • Crawley, United Kingdom
  • 11-10-14

Almost a gothic romance

Where does Cousin Kate rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As a story quite good but the performance of the narrator loses the plot...

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cousin Kate?

I have read the book and to say what I found most memorable at that time would be a spoiler. However the most memorable moments as an audiobook was when I found that despite my best intentions I could not listen any more

What aspect of Jilly Bond’s performance might you have changed?

Her voice for Kate which was too high and lacked spirit. Also her dreadful interpretation of a voice for Philip

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Even if it had been read well the plot was too complicated and the story too long.

Any additional comments?

I ignored some of the previous reviews but I wish I hadn't

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Alexandra
  • Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
  • 04-10-14

Cousin Kate

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I don't think so.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sarah, as I felt that the reader had best identified the voice and character.

What didn’t you like about Jilly Bond’s performance?

At times the reading pace felt rushed and the herione's voice was very high pitched and arch. This made me dislike her character.

Any additional comments?

Perhaps I simply prefer male reader voices.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 28-09-14

Georgette Heyer meets Rebecca

There is a sinister strand to the usual Georgette Heyer plot which really does work rather well. It allows you to enjoy all the usual cast of charactures plus the unlikely romance that you know will end happily - but just takes a little of the icing away so that the overall ambience isn't quite as sweet as we are used to. I thoroughly enjoyed this slightly different Heyer tale and only didn't vote it a 5 star listen because it did take me a couple of chapters to really get into the tale. This was mainly because I didn't like the pitch of the heroine's voice, which I found rather irritating and not as I envisaged Kate. Having said that once I got used to this I found Jilly Bond's presentation absolutely first rate and her pace and the other range of character voices first class. Yet another listen I would recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Poor naration

one of my all time favourite writers but this audio book was spoiled because it was very over acted and badly read
Just read it we dont need silly accents and high pitched whiney women
Mis pronounced the odd word as well which grates my nerves

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Most horrifically narrated book I've ever heard

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Cousin Kate is an excellent, though unusual example of Georgette Heyer's work. One of my favourite of her works, completely ruined by the awful narrator. I do not have words for how inappropriate and unsympathetic Ms Bond's narration is to the Gothic quality of the story, and the strong lead character. This is a travesty.

What didn’t you like about Jilly Bond’s performance?

Where to start? The narrator should never be allowed to work again on the basis of this effort

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I missed this

I have been enjoying Georgette Heyer's books since the1960s, and somehow missed this one. How delightful to have read this now. It has all the usual elements plus some unique twists in the plot. If you are a fan of her books, I can guarantee this one will intreague and enthrall you. Happy reading.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A dark tale

This is one of Georgette Heyers darkest historical novels. There is a happy ending but the story itself in some ways is quite gothic. I enjoyed it even though it wasn't as lighthearted as her other Regency novels.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Questionable enjoyment

Yes this is a different kind of Georgette Heyer, but maybe the plot or maybe the narrator but sometimes I could have happily strangled the heroine Cousin Kate.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • 01-11-14

Horrible narrator

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I love the book and have read it in paperback on multiple occasions. The narrator makes Kate sound like an idiot! I got through two chapters and gave up. Jilly Bond ruined the book for me. I will not purchase any more of Heyer's books if she is the narrator.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jilly Bond’s performances?

Absolutely not!!!!!

Did Cousin Kate inspire you to do anything?

Remove the earbuds and change to another book.

Any additional comments?

Get rid of Jilly Bond.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie
  • 30-09-14

Classic Heyer, narrator falls short

Did Jilly Bond do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Ms. Bond did a fine job of narrating and giving the characters their own voices, except — and this is a big caveat — for the voice of Philip Broome. He is made to sound almost like a parody of an English gentleman instead of like a sensible man, which is how he is written. It is surprisingly disappointing and grates on the ear.

Any additional comments?

Other than the Philip Broome problem, I enjoyed this audiobook, having always enjoyed the novel. Jilly Bond did a particularly grand job of voicing Kate and Lady Broome.

But for those who want a true feel for the characters, read the book, please. It's a gothic tale, but with heart.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • tona
  • 12-10-15

Review

Listening to this book became almost a chore. I found nothing fresh in the story plot and at times the characters seem to just fade away. The narrators voice was also distracting. Kate the title character is supposed to be strong, yet she comes off sounding like a simpering Pollyanna. I would not recommend this book very highly.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine M.
  • 27-09-14

What an overwrought ninny

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Way too much exposition, way too much whining and hand wringing. I was hoping for one of Heyer's plucky and positive heroines, but this book definitely doesn't deliver.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I think the narrator was saddled with a very tough text to strike the right tone, but I think she could have tamped down the overwrought drama. She makes Kate sound like a ninny that Heyer's usual heroine would hold in positive distain.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Annoyance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gash
  • 22-09-14

Heyer's attempt at gothic horror romance.

Not the usual Heyer. A sad tale and a bit tedious, but Jilly Bond's performance is wonderful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jacqueline Gomez
  • 18-09-14

A wonderful touching Georgette Heyer story.

Any additional comments?

Romance, suspense, and emotional upheavals in this different type of story. I liked the heroine and hero for their straight forwardness. My heart broke when the story dealt with Torquil, he was so tragic. Another one for the keep shelf.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • AnnieFannie
  • 07-03-17

A cerebral Gothic horror story, not Heyer's usual.

With two characters subject to mania that is analyzed at length, and little of the humor and charm that Heyer's characters often show, this is my least favorite of her romances. Jolly Bond's narration is well paced, her accents are charming, and her plummy vowels beautiful, but I find her voice too high pitched for easy listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nena
  • 19-02-16

Great story, but spoiled by narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Not really. I'd recommend the book though.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jilly Bond?

Phylida Nash

Any additional comments?

I have stopped listening after three hours. I'll read my ebook again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • 29-10-14

Awful narrator, cannot recommend this one!

What would have made Cousin Kate better?

A different narrator! Even at half speed she squeaks, squeals and chirps everything the heroine of the book utters. Completely maddening!

Would you ever listen to anything by Georgette Heyer again?

Oh yes, I do love the storytelling, and have enjoyed books by the same author a great deal before. Will steer clear of this narrator in future though.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The voice she's chosen to give the heroine of the book is completely annoying, much too squeaky and chirping. No one speaks like that, it completely blocks out any impression I might have had of other things, and characters.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Intense irritation, disappointment.

Any additional comments?

Please don't waste a credit on this one unless you're very fond of high pitched screeches and screams instead of normal sounding voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • cricketstomper
  • 15-10-14

Love the Story, BUT

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have another rendition of Cousin Kate and it is narrated 100% better. This narrator makes Kate sound insipid. Kate is not insipid. I listen to the other rendition as I go to sleep and Kate is a lady...in this one she is a wimp. I should have listened to the whole sample. I would not recommend this rendition. I am sure the public library has this book, to be rented out. Phyllida Nash is the best in my opinion.

What other book might you compare Cousin Kate to and why?

Georgette Heyer's women are such strong, non namby pamby women. I have collected her books over the years and love them all. The Grand Sophy is a talented woman, no nonsense. Venetia, Faro's Daughter...OK all her books.

How could the performance have been better?

Sarah is too rough sounding...no class, and Sarah as a Ladies maid would not have talked that way. I am only 1 hour into the book, maybe I will get use to the voice. Fingers on the chalk on the chalk board this far.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Look before you leap.

Any additional comments?

I hope they are not made into movies. My imagination is much better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful