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Surfeit of Suspects

Narrated by: David Thorpe
Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Summary

Following a mysterious explosion, the offices of Excelsior Joinery Company are no more; the three directors are killed and the peace of a quiet town in Surrey lies in ruins. When the supposed cause of an ignited gas leak is dismissed and the presence of dynamite revealed, Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard is summoned to the scene. But beneath the sleepy veneer of Evingden lies a hotbed of deep-seated grievances. Confounding Littlejohn's investigation is an impressive cast of suspicious persons, each concealing their own ax to grind.

©1964 George Bellairs (P)2019 Soundings

What listeners say about Surfeit of Suspects

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

Classic Bellairs

George Bellairs is not to everyone's taste, but if you enjoy his stories, as I do, the this is well worth a listen. Set in small-town England the story quickly gets to grips with setting the scene for the crime and defines a closed set of suspects for Inspector Littlejohn to sort through in order to identify the criminal. Of course each suspect has a back story and each of these sheds light on the central crime and, eventually, the person who committed it. As with all Bellairs stories the characters are slightly exaggerated to emphasise their strong or conversely weak personalities and this provides for a degree of humour throughout. David Thorpe's narration was excellent and he made it easy to tell the different characters apart. However, for me, one question remained unanswered, "How did the villain manage to set off the dynamite without detonators and a timing clock?" Maybe my attention wandered for a moment.

4 people found this helpful

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Brilliant series.

Another really good story, with great characters - am working my way through the books, Such a joy when compared with some of the detectives stories of today.

2 people found this helpful

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An ok listen

I enjoyed the story even though it isn't the best and was fairly predicable - I do like classic old detective stories but this one is a bit hackneyed. But it was an easy confortable listen which is what I like just before bed. However, making it more insipid than it needed to be was some of the stilted mannerisms/accents that the narrator chose to give to some of the key characters. Which was a bit irratating.

1 person found this helpful

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Really superb narration

This is a murder mystery with a slightly different twist, with the underlying motivation being surprisingly current for a book written sixty years ago. The plot is unremarkable, though sufficient to hold the book together; but the real charm is in the combination of the writer's deft way of evoking a character with a brief description, and the narrator's absolutely superb ability to give every character a distinctive 'voice', complete with accent and intonation, that is entirely recognisable and believable. The combination makes the book a delightful ramble through a time populated with the kind of characters I can dimly remember from my early childhood. (The book is set in the 1950's or early 1960's.) I have seldom heard such skilled narration: the book is worth getting just for the pleasure of hearing this panoply of characters march past. Bravo David Thorpe!

1 person found this helpful

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Boring

Narration and story boring... managed to get to the end .. just .. what a waste of a credit

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  • Ms Peach
  • 09-11-19

Wonderful

A marvelous plot! Loved the character of Littlejohn. All the intrigue is very contemporary. Great book

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelli Ryan
  • 26-03-20

Perfect narration for a good listen

Apparently, Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple had a love child named George Bellairs. Just loved this story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CassyLynn
  • 19-10-20

Excellent Cozy Mystery

A very entertaining read. Coupled with a great narrator, it makes for a great read.

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  • J-me
  • 11-04-20

Awful over the top narration.

Quite a clever story. Interesting characters however the narrator was too loud and far too involved with his characters voices. It was like being force fed. He has a wide range of voices but I’m more than capable of creating the scene in my minds eye with a simple schooled voice. Thanks anyway.