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Summary

The lives of the inhabitants of Swevenings are disrupted only by a fierce competition to catch the Old Un, a monster trout known to dwell in a beautiful stream which winds past their homes.

Then one of their small community is found brutally murdered; beside him is the freshly killed trout. Both died by violence - but Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn's murder investigation seems to be much more interested in the fish...

©1958 Ngaio Marsh (P)2008 Hachette Digital

What listeners say about Scales of Justice

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

Cumberbatch is excellent

Where does Scales of Justice rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is not her best story BUT the narration by Benedict Cumberbatch brings something extra to it. It felt almost like a dramatisation. I sometimes had to remember that this was just one voice and not a radio play with a full cast. Superb!

What did you like best about this story?

The domestic intrigue.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Ensemble scenes

Any additional comments?

In order to get the best out of audible stories and the characters, there must be an 'aliveness' to them, differentiated voices, dramatic rendition of their words, emotions etc. Benedict Cumberbatch achieves this in spades and brings Ngaio Marsh's stories into vivid relief. Excellent!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

A very fishy tale...

SoJ is a mildly entertaining way to pass a few hours, but it's far from NM's best work. Alleyn doesn't show up until 1/3 of the way through and there are some characters that are more caricatures than real people. The narration is 5* and does a great deal to lift the audio version from mediocrity.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable classic English crime novel

This was my first Ngaio Marsh novel but the story follows the rather familiar lines of the English crime novel. The various characters with their eccentricities and their very clear place in the order of things. You’re immediately clear that this is the a more traditional, rural England. I enjoyed the twists of the plot – it was undemanding but still clever. The narration was very well done, with energy, expression and clearly distinct voices for all the characters. Very enjoyable several hours!

1 person found this helpful

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  • PJ
  • 01-08-12

Cumberbatch is a great narrator!

Have you listened to any of Benedict Cumberbatch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

On par with all of his brilliant voice performances. He's very good at keeping the listener engaged.

Any additional comments?

Inspector Roderick Alleyn is a favourite of mine and Benedict Cumberbatch does a great job. Please have him narrate more if possible.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Evova
  • 08-05-12

BC is glorious

Would you listen to Scales of Justice again? Why?

I would listen to it 10 times just to hear Benedict Cumberbatch read. His voice is wonderful. The story is excellent, old England as we all imagine it to be (well, not with a murderer, but the rest).

What about Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance did you like?

His voice is amazing and keeps you coming back for more.

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

Yes.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tammy
  • 14-12-10

enjoyable light-mystery; beautifully read

I liked this book better than 'Death in a White Tie' by the same author, especially the character of the nurse. Honestly, though, I could listen to Benedict Cumberbatch read the phone book. For the most part, he is spot on - especially with female characters, which some male narrators can butcher.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Heather
  • 20-10-11

A wonderful mystery and so well read!

Ngaio Marsh is a Grand Dame of Crime. The mystery is a good length and well read. Enjoyed it in one afternoon.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • in tennessee
  • 15-01-21

Brilliant Narration

I have read and re-read Ngaio Marsh's wonderful mysteries since I was a teenager in the 70's. i must admit that Scales of Justice was not my favorite of her books, but I was tempted to give it another chance when I saw that it was read by Benedict Cumberbatch. I already admired his brilliant portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the, British television series Sherlock, and now I so enjoyed hearing him bring his narrative style to Roderick Alleyn. He breathes life into the rather bizarre inhabitants of this picturesque English village and is the only narrator I feel has done justice to my favorite detective. it is a joy to listen to him.

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  • Gail N.
  • 24-06-20

A paen to the rustic petty aristocracy

I found this story insufferable. All the tributes to the British petty aristocracy seemed antiquated and absurd. The culprit revealed in the last 10 minutes was the most absurd of all. I got the book because I like the actor Benedict Cumberbatch. But he did not shine this time. Except perhaps that the voices he used to portray the universally annoying characters with no redeemable qualities were all very stuffy, pompous, and self satisfied. Still, it sounded like someone imitating these characters rather than the characters themselves speaking. The story is extremely dated and I will not be listening to any more novellas by Ngaio Marsh.

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  • Barbara
  • 08-06-20

Abridged?!

Love these books and Benedict Cumberbatch's voice just wish I would have noticed it was NOT the full book. Now I have to go get the FULL book and read what I missed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheri Dickerson
  • 27-10-19

Excellent.

I love books narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. A perfect pairing with these books by Ngaio Marsh.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Half Pint
  • 28-03-19

I missed exits on purpose

I missed exits on purpose to listen just a little more. Captivating story, amazing performance.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lindsay W Clinard
  • 17-09-18

great story

i loved it. i have all books in the series and enjoy listening to them over and over.