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Summary

Called to the peaceful churchyard of St-John's-at-Hampstead, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose faces one of the most audacious murders of his career, leading him to Cambridge, where both Josephine Tey and Archie's previous lover, Bridget, have settled down together.

It is uncovered that there has been a series of vicious attacks against women in town, spreading fear in the community. Archie and Josephine must race to stop another attack in this beautifully written, intricately plotted mystery.

©2017 Nicola Upson (P)2017 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Historical crime fiction at its very best." ( Sunday Times)
"For fans of period British crime fiction, this...delivers deft plotting and evocations of the era through charming descriptions." ( Library Journal on London Rain)

What listeners say about Nine Lessons

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

Excellent addition to the series

This story takes the stories of MRJames as it’s starting point rather than a real life murder, and it works as well as Upson’s other Tey novels. The continuation of the emotional lives of the characters is believable, though I’m hoping it gets less rather than more complicated. It’s the problem with multiple volume tales, like soap operas they have to have things happen - though things don’t happen in real life. Should art imitate life? Yes - or what else is it for, and anyway it’s been the modus operandi of this series of novels.

One small point - in real life people don’t nod. They say yes. Enid Blyton’s eponymous character does, but he’s a doll.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the best

One of the best in this series. Archie has a bigger than usual role which I liked as he’s such a good character. The Cambridge setting works very well. The interview between Sandra Duncan and Nicola Upson at the end of the book is an interesting bonus.

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Wow! Absolutely brilliant!!

This book, whilst heartbreaking in places, was absolutely brilliant!! And Nicola Upson has really come into her own.

This book again featured on Archie, with the right amount of Josephine Tey to balance it beautifully! and whilst I did guess earlier than usual, who were the perpetrators, it didn’t in anyway detract from the overall enjoyment of how brilliantly written this book was.

Whilst it does deal with heartbreaking issues, Nicola Upson was correct in her following interview, that it does focus on good, Justice and right being done.

She was also correct how much a great narrator matters to Audio and Sandra Duncan is just amazing and breathes life into every story.

Whilst I miss Lettuce and Ronnie for a little lightheartedness, this felt like I was reading a Novel of characters, that I had grown up with and were now mature and beautifully faceted!

Absolutely brilliant!! Thank you x

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    4 out of 5 stars
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M R James provides the backdrop

Set in Cambridge this story brings Josephine Tey into a series of rapes and separate murders being investigated by Archie Penrose, a policeman with a very wide remit!

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The best of the series so far

I've listened/read a number of these stories featuring Josephine Tey, her old friend Chief Inspector Penrose and her lover, Marta. The earlier books generally have more about their relationships than actual detection, whereas the present book has the reverse and a more cleverly constructed story referencing the ghost stories of the Cambridge scholar M.R. James. There are also more murders and more violence. I felt that some of the characters bordered on caricature particularly Marta's new daily help and Penrose's boss. The latter yet another fictional senior police officer who is rude and over-bearing: an over-used cliché of detective fiction Despite these criticisms I enjoyed the book, and think it the best in the series, but, like with the others, I was bored the over-long monologue by one of the characters explaining why he'd perpetrated the crimes, whereas the other criminal's identity is pulled out of the hat.

The narrator is excellent. At the end of the recording she interviews the author.

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Best story I have read in ages

The characters are so believable and are very likeable too. The story is gripping and the narrator is fantastic you almost believe it is a play as she brings the character to life. A great read can’t wait for the next book.

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Gessed the murder from near the start but do not care

I really liked this book because it seemed like there were a lot of themes explored in it that were sensitively and well handled. I was less quick to like some of the most resent books in the series i think because for what ever reason the motives and the behaviour of the people in the stories and their actions did not quite become coherent and there seemed to be some misery for misery sake (fear in the sunlight comes to mind) (i know i know i am an avid listener to crime fiction so glass houses perhaps) however by comparison though very dark this book avoided being that way. As for guessing who did i am still sticking up for the book as it was a powerful motive and i did not see the exact reason why. If it helps get a feel of what guessing the murder means to me in terms of a book it usually spells doom and i often don't bother to read all the way but jut flip to the end. I have to like and be interested in the people and if your like me then you may well wish to give this book a go. I do have one competing interest in that i lived in cambridge for a wile and it had that added fun of recognising locations but on the flip side i love and have visited portmarion many times and that did not make me feel very well disposed to the book set there.

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Superb!

Would you listen to Nine Lessons again? Why?

This was absolutely riveting and Sandra Duncan really brings the characters to life. I highly recommend this series by Nicola Upson and, although references are made in each book to the story line in previous books, this just adds to the depth of the characters. I sat on the sofa with a cup of tea and listened for two hours, just couldn't wait to listen to more.

What other book might you compare Nine Lessons to, and why?

Not sure I would be able to compare Nine Lessons to any other book. For me it's incomparable.

Which character – as performed by Sandra Duncan – was your favourite?

Josephine Tey was my favourite character and Sandra Duncan made me feel that I'd met all the characters. A close second was Bill Fallowfield, he seemed to be a warm human being.

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I loved it

I love this series, I have enjoyed all the books and I am looking forward to the next book. This one was sad and I missed some of the usual chemistry between the characters but it was good. I couldn't stop listening and when I reached the end I felt a real sense of loss.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

corrupted

unable to read book as it is corrupted. need a refund please or extra credit