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The Scandal At Bletchley (Hilary Manningham-Butler Book 1) Audiobook

The Scandal At Bletchley (Hilary Manningham-Butler Book 1)

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Publisher's Summary

"I've been a scoundrel, a thief, a blackmailer, and a whore, but never a murderer. Until now...."

The year is 1929. As the world teeters on the brink of a global recession, Bletchley Park plays host to a rather special event. MI5 is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and a select band of former and current employees are gathering for a weekend of music, dance, and heavy drinking. Among them is Sir Hilary Manningham Butler, a middle-aged woman whose entire adult life has been spent masquerading as a man. She doesn't know why she has been invited - it has been many years since she left the secret service - but it is clear she is not the only one with things to hide. And when one of the other guests threatens to expose her secret, the consequences could prove disastrous for everyone.

©2014 Jack Treby (P)2015 Jack Treby

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (7 )
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4.1 (7 )
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3.6 (7 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ruth P 14/08/2015
    Ruth P 14/08/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    Story
    "Gripping tale that keeps you guessing all the way"

    This is an intriguing story with a fast pace and a few surprises along the way. The story is narrated by it's main character Sir Hilary Manningham Butler, who has been invited to Bletchley Park - in the days when it was a private residence - for a celebration of the 20 year anniversary of MI5 and he is not the only guest to be keeping a secret...

    The ending of the book leaves things wide open for a sequel and I'd love to read more stories featuring this cast of characters.

    I received this audio book in exchange for an unbiased review via Audible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norma Miles 24/09/2017
    Norma Miles 24/09/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    152
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    452
    398
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    Story
    "Reading - or some ***awful backwater!"
    Any additional comments?

    I had my reservations about the reading when first I started to listen to this book - authors can rarely give as good a performance of their own books as a professional narrator. But these concerns were quickly put aside: Jack Treby might not be as skillful as the very best but certainly rivals or even excels most. His vocalisation of the numerous protagonists with all of their assorted idiosyncratic accents, is distinctive and great fun. And, of course, he is able to give full understanding to his text. His voice is perfect for the reading, too, as the person recounting the tale in the first person is Sir Hilary Manning Butler, a woman who, from birth, has been known to the world as a man.

    Sir Hilary is invited to a reunion of MI5 operatives at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, then (1929) a private residence. He travels there by car with his valet, Hargreaves, and an old American friend and scoundrel, Harry Latimer, who had also been invited, to the apparent surprise of both. Not all of the other assorted guests are known to them, or to each other. The characterisations of them all is both good and, frequently, very humerous. Games are played, meals eaten and alcohol drunk: because of the secret service aspect of the gathering, and the background politics of a new antagonistic Labour Government, the perfect setup for a closed house mystery is established. So when tragedy does strike unexpectedly, it is down to the people on the scene to solve the crime for themselves rather than calling in the police. Secrecy and security are all important.

    Deliciously written with irony and wit, there are many throw away one liners, such as the comment made by Sir Hilary about his wealthy wife: "If Helen of Troy had the face that launched a thousand ships, Elizabeth had the one that scuttled them." Nicely also capturing the prejudices of the time, this is far from being a heavy read. Instead, it is a delightful and detailed murder mystery which should greatly appeal to fans of Agatha Christie (though this reader found Scandal to be both more entertaining and far better at characterisation). The main protagonist, too, is intriguing, especially given the setting of the 1920s. I was fortunate in being gifted a complementary copy of The Scandal at Bletchley by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. Thank you so much. It was a very enjoyable listen. I note, too, that there is the potential to continue with a new adventure with our main protagonist and chronicler. I do hope so. I will be watching out for it.
    Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deedra United States 16/11/2015
    Deedra United States 16/11/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "The Scandle at Bletchley"
    Any additional comments?

    This book started out very slow,but picked up speed nicely.Written and read by Jack Treby it is a first person account of a time in our history of spies and double lives.The men and women of Bletchlsy did decoding work ,among other things during the war in Britain.This is one story of a woman living a mans life and a nasty bit of bother at a reunion of old comrades face as they start dying one by one.A who dunnit?Give a listen!
    "I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast or MalarHouse

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • kate
    26/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome story tho not about Bletchley!"
    Would you listen to The Scandal at Bletchley again? Why?

    I'm a history buff-I love to learn about little-known war stories. Bletchley Park is a building in the UK where Allies (WW2) deciphered Axis' militaryt codes. Though this story is fun and involves a scandal, it has nothing to do with miltary. It is a fun wicked story though.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Scandal at Bletchley?

    My favorite part of the story was the party where the murders occur. There are several characters and twists and turns, and the way in which Sir Hillary's "secret" is revealed.


    What does Jack Treby bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thought Jack Treby was fantastic. I could listen to him all day long.


    Any additional comments?

    I received this audio book in exchange for an unbiased review via Audible.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Virginia Waldron
    01/08/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved This Book"

    There are delicious twists and turns in this mansion mystery. The author narrated the book really well. I couldn't stop listening to this story. Great escapism.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sires
    Chesapeake, OH, United States
    04/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Knees-up for MI5 at Bletchly in 1929"

    This is one of those first person books where the narrator reveals that they are now old and dying so they can finally tell this story from the past. The author could have just done away with that bit because it doesn't matter. What does matter is that there is going to be a reunion at Bletchley that has nothing to do with code breaking.or World War II. What it does have to do with is a golden age style mystery.

    It is 1929 and Sir Hilary Manningham-Butler has been invited to a reunion house party by his old boss, Sir Vincent, the head of MI5. The party is set at Bletchley in Buckinghamshire, where an improbable group of people, all with their own secrets, are brought together for ostensibly a party. However from the beginning it is clear that all will not be well.

    The narrator is Sir Hilary Manningham-Butler, who is a very interesting charactor. Not likable at first, very much Sir Hilary is unconsciously an elitist,racist, misogynist, heavy drinker and smoker, in short very much a man of the time-- but he isn't really a man. And Sir Hilary, the longer you know him, kind of grew on me. By the end I was rooting for him, although he was still a jerk.

    I liked this book. In fact I generally avoid books narrated by the author like a plague, but Jack Treby does a decent job. I started listening to this over breakfast one Sunday and didn't stop until it was done.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Fascinatingbooks
    Massachusetts
    05/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unique and Well Written Mystery!"
    Where does The Scandal at Bletchley rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was so memorable I would have to say in the top 50.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The character of Hilary Manningham-Butler and the very spot on feeling of time and place.


    Which character – as performed by Jack Treby – was your favorite?

    The character of Hilary Manningham-Butler.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It amazed me, and I was just crazy about the character of Hilary Manningham-Butler.


    Any additional comments?

    I was given a review copy by the author and I loved it! What an amazing, unique and fascinating book. The pace, language, sense of time and place, and characters are all very well portrayed. This made the story easy to follow, I could scarecly stop listening. I loved the ending and I'm hoping it left the door open to a sequel.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • K. Frazier
    23/09/15
    Overall
    "Fresh take on classic House Party mystery"

    I liked the main character 's unique outlook on his world. Several plot twists I hadn't expected. I would be interested in reading more Sir Hilary stories.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sally
    DALLAS, TX, United States
    18/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining"

    This story has nothing to do with Bletchley Park and the wartime activities associated with it. That being said, it's a well constructed and plotted mystery. The characters are believable and most are germane to the story (with the exception of the Smiths). Not great art, but a lovely way to spend several hours.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    08/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, but not enthralling"

    This book was fairly good entertainment to listen to while cleaning the house. It wasn't fast paced by any means. I listened with some interest, but didn't care too much about the outcome. Although I'm not sorry I listened to this one, I wouldn't look for another book from the author. I think there just wasn't enough to make me care enough about the characters. I did enjoy his narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stevie
    TOPEKA, KANSAS, United States
    12/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "quite a good story which kept me guessing"

    a new author for me, I enjoyed the story with the well written characters and a good narration.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • SL Thomas
    Atlanta, GA
    26/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Twist"
    Any additional comments?

    I truly enjoyed this book. While it's categorized as a cozy mystery with a bit of humor, I think the narration kind of took away from most of the humorous moments. There just wasn't enough of a humorous edge to the narrators voice. Don't get me wrong though, the narrator did an excellent job overall just not with humor. What I loved most was the main character. I don't want to give anything away but wow what a nice twist on a main character. You want go wrong with this book, it has everything you need in a cozy English mystery and then some.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nickie
    Louisville,Kentucky
    20/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Very Good Story And Performance...."

    This Was A Good Murder Mystery... The Narrator Is The Author Which Is An Added Plus...Just An Overall Good Experience!

    was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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