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Summary

Brian Cox stars as the Edinburgh detective in nine episodes of the BBC Radio 4 series. Inspired by the real-life memoirs of a Victorian inspector in Scotland, James McLevy prowls the dark streets of 1860s Edinburgh bringing criminals to justice, with the assistance of Constable Mulholland.

  • Pilot episode: The detective’s first adventure.
  • "For Unto Us": McLevy goes on the trail of an ingenious cat burglar.
  • "The Trophy Club": McLevy tries to solve the murder of a prostitute.
  • "The Second Shadow": The detective is distracted from his work by a woman.
  • "The Burning Question": An unsolved murder brings vigilantes onto the streets.
  • "A Good Walk Spoilt": A game of golf has desperate stakes.
  • "Wild Justice": A ghost from the past returns to haunt McLevy.
  • "The Wild Spark": A tobacco warehouse goes up in smoke.
  • "Stab in the Back": A hired killer roams Leith’s dark alleys.
  • Siobhán Redmond costars as Jean Brash and Michael Perceval-Maxwell as Mulholland in these nine BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations.

©2015 BBC Worldwide (P)2015 BBC Worldwide

What listeners say about McLevy, the Collected Editions: Part One Pilot, S1-2

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic components but assembled so very well

Any additional comments?

At its heart, McLevy is a very standard police procedural. The characters are the stereotypes we've seen a hundred times before: the brilliant detective who doesn't play by the rules but always gets results; his long-suffering boss; his unimaginative but doughty sidekick, and the whore-with-a-heart-of-gold who he flirts with.

Where it manages to go beyond all these is in the way it's put together. The Victorian Edinburgh setting is unusual enough, and beautifully-realised, but what really makes it stand out is the writing and the performances. Brian Cox and Siobhan Redmond work beautifully together (and apart) and together with the rest of the cast have managed to keep me listening to this and its sequel for nearly twelve hours across the past couple of weeks. It's never dragged once, and the whole experience has been a delight.

14 people found this helpful

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Excellent series set in Edinburgh

Would you listen to McLevy, the Collected Editions: Part One Pilot, S1-2 again? Why?

Yes, excellent stories, interesting characters and the interplay between them.

What was one of the most memorable moments of McLevy, the Collected Editions: Part One Pilot, S1-2?

Jean Brash's dogs chasing McLevy

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Evokes the time and place, the Scottish accents help too!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Mclevy S1-2

Who better than McLevy and Mullholland to keep you safe in Victorian Leith. The stories have kept me listening for hours over the last weeks . The glimpse into the world at that time and the punishments meted out are a revelation. I have been listening to McLevy on the radio for years, but hearing it on audible allows me to hear all the subtle humour that is this twosome's banter. Love the the books and the programmes. I can't t wait for the most recent one to be available. This is a masterclass in both writing and acting. Think I am a little in love with this character

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing. What a fantastic time

Loved this so much. Was sadden when finished then so excited to get more! Next chapter!!!

2 people found this helpful

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fantastic

loved it, fantastic listen. Great performances and characters. can not wait for the next one.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Old Fashioned Radio plays after Sunday Lunch.

I was not sure I would like these stories to begin with. They are so different from today's Police murder mysteries. But as they are only 45mins a story, I kept listening. By book 3 I found I was enjoying them immensely. They reminded me of my childhood days sitting round the table after Sunday lunch, listening to the radio. Good times. I love the lack of respect handed out by most of the key players and liked the easy humour amid the different offences. These stories are set in a town just like many oldy world locations where poor people had to make ends meet alongside the police and the criminals. I even found the lack of respect in the discussions around the bodies amusing. An enjoyable easy listen for a Sunday afternoon.

1 person found this helpful

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my hero

love the stories, the characters,the performances and looking forward to the next series. altogether terrific.

3 people found this helpful

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Sorry ... not for me ...

It was just a wrong pick ... strong story and characters ... but not for me ...

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The other Scottish play

Oh my goodness, I could not leave it. I had to listen in one session. Brian Cox at his best with an amazing talented cast to join him. Although serious storyline, there was quite a bit of humour in it. Well worth listening to.

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Atmospheric

An excellent series of detective radio plays set in nineteenth century Leith. Performed by highly professional actors and with wonderful background sound effects that made it sound as if you were there.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrea Fisher
  • 19-12-16

Rich Storytelling at Its Finest

I happened upon this series entirely by accident, and it was pure serendipity! Everything about these radio dramas is superlative....the acting is excellent, each character as carefully portrayed as in a stage play. The voices conjured up such vivid images in my imagination that I could give you a physical description of each character. Best of all, these fine actors have an equally excellent script with which to work. This is some of the best writing I have had the pleasure of experiencing in a long, long time. David Ashton (who also gives voice to the character of Lieutenant Roache) obviously loves words, and crafts intricate and engrossing plots for each story. The humor, by which I was taken by surprise, at times made me laugh out loud! I highly recommend the entire series to any lover of mystery. Great, somewhat gothic, classics!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Christina Chen
  • 02-02-16

hardcore Mclevy who have a soft spot

Would you listen to McLevy, the Collected Editions: Part One Pilot, S1-2 again? Why?

Yes.
Even though it is hard to get into the story at first ( for someone who is so used to Sherlock Holmes), it gets more entertaining later on.
Instead of being so accurate at pin point the criminal, one gets more storylines in the main characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jean Brash. She is the woman who walk in the grey area. She is her own master and act her own justice.

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

This is a radio drama, so have ing different professional narrators or actors to perform this drama can give the listener more straight forward idea of the characters. In books, the readers would have to pick up the characteristics through hints that weaving in the writer's words.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy
  • 16-08-18

Nice oration and performance

The acting is great. Characters are believable. The only fault is the stories are highly scripted and there is no real surprise or mystery in how they go.

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  • Robert Graham
  • 17-11-17

Inspector McLevy (Parts 1 and 2)

Terrific acting performances by very talented individuals, wonderful world class sound effects, good plot, captivating storyline.

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  • A. Gold
  • 20-10-17

loved it

loved them all. wosh there more. would eat thrm all up. no more words. damnit.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • verlit
  • 17-07-17

Boooring story.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Victorian crime story set in London is something that always catches my eye.

What was most disappointing about David Ashton’s story?

This particular story has been really flat, though. For most of the book we are taken from one location to another, endure lengthy and not very interesting description of the said location...and then go somewhere else to start over again.
Is is a shame, since the first chapter and the characters were promising. The promise was not exploited, though. We are supposed to be intrigued by the mysterious detective figure (forgot his name, sorry) but he is not engaging enough to inspire such interest and his assistent, Llewelyn, has thin backstory and is left with little to do. Instead of bringing to life dark and dirty Victorian London, it reminds me more of one of those long and boring pamflets, written by 19th century scholars.