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The Affair of the Thirty Nine-Cufflinks

Narrated by: Cornelius Garrett
Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (334 ratings)

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Summary

Understandably, Lord Burford had some misgivings about hosting another house party at Alderley, his beautiful country mansion. After all, the previous two could at best be described as disastrous, since a couple of their guests were bumped off during their stay on each occasion. But with family members travelling down for the funeral of an elderly relative, the Earl really had no choice but to offer them accommodation.

And it didn't take long for things to start to go wrong. One of the guests claimed she had knowledge that would ruin the others' reputations, but nobody took her seriously enough to take offence.

At least, not until her body was found...

©2006 The Estate of James Anderson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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

If you're a fan of Ngaio Marsh's Alleyne, you'll LOVE this!

I'll be honest, the set up (ingeniously done btw), was so much like a Roderick Alleyne novel that, once the murder was committed, I was slightly non plussed that Superintendent Alleyne & Breer Fox were not called to investigate! However, I was not disappointed with their replacements and you won't be either! There were some strands that, you just didn't see coming, and others that you might suspect but don't know how, and on top of it all, you are nicely entertained.

This is one of those novels that are lightly undemanding, if you don't need it to be, and amusing enough without being farcical. So not bordering on the ridiculous, like PG Wodehouse. But not staid and proper like Agatha Christie. A good blend of both!

Throughly enjoyable. I'm off to read another immediately!

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Mystery with lots of red herrings

I have read a James Anderson before and felt it was a bit too much of a farce to feel very Agatha Christie like, but this book contained more real characters (although still quite exaggerated) and a more likely story. I like that the detective always solves it not the amateur who 'gives it a go'. I'm not a huge fan of the farcical evening movements but it at least confused me such a lot. This narration is mostly very sharp - a couple of times at the beginning some characters accents mix slightly. However Wilkins is brilliant and totally conjures the image of the description throughout. I will look out for another one in the future. These books would make a fabulous dramatisation.

15 people found this helpful

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P.G. Wodehouse meets Dorothy Sayers. And she loses

If you could sum up The Affair of the Thirty Nine-Cufflinks in three words, what would they be?

Jolly good fun.

What other book might you compare The Affair of the Thirty Nine-Cufflinks to, and why?

Reminds me of Wodehouse's 'Blandings' stories, only with murder. Convoluted and fantastically silly

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Loved any scene involving anyone trying to explain anything to Penny.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Moved me only to laughter

Any additional comments?

Dashing good blarney. Spiffing plot.

6 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable

An involved puzzle that is unravelled by the inimitable Wilkins. Recommended to anyone who enjoys a good country house detective story. The only fly in the ointment is that Anderson only wrote three novels in the series.

5 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

I found it difficult to pause listening to these mysteries. very addictive listening. A detective Chief inspector who spoke in a broad Yorkshire accent, could speak French and Russian AND did the Times crossword over breakfast. He topped Poirot every time.

3 people found this helpful

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Absolutely fabulous!

What did you like most about The Affair of the Thirty Nine-Cufflinks?

What is not to like?! Brilliant writing, brilliant reading, another mystery at Audleigh, loveable characters, laugh out loud funniness... For those who love Agatha Christie/Marjorie Allingham/Ngaio Marsh (etc) novels, this is a treat. But read/hear the first two before this one!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Too many lovely characters that, in this third book, now feel more like friends.

Which character – as performed by Cornelius Garrett – was your favourite?

Mr Garrett is brilliant, I love all the Saunders, but he brings life to everyone in the book.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

If you love classic murder mystery, watch this! Sorry it's a bit lame, I'm not really into films!

Any additional comments?

I absolutely loved this book, can't praise it enough. If only there were more!

3 people found this helpful

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Such wonderful convoluted fun

I am a thriller fan usually, but sometimes a need for a gentler theme requires satisfying. This is one of three books in the series written by James Anderson, and I sincerely hope he will write more. . Great charm and well sketched characters in this old fashioned country house style murder mystery, read by the estimable Cornelius Garrett, master of every voice. I loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Listening

If you, like me, appreciate a gentler more civilised genre of detective fiction then give these books a go. Wonderful characters. Love the policeman. Funny and mysterious with little twists and turns. A riveting listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

What did you like most about The Affair of the Thirty Nine-Cufflinks?

Good but guessed who did it and how from the murder. Still enjoyed it though

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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My favourite of the 3 James Anderson mysteries

Proper 'Golden Age' detective story. Escapist fun. The same narrator as the other two but, for me, so much more enjoyable without the overdone Texans and movie moguls of the other two narrations..

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hilary
  • 12-11-11

Relaxing entertainment

All the ingredients for a classic murder mystery - English aristocratic country house, many suspects with possible motives, detective with hidden talents and, of course, a butler. If you love detective stories maybe a little predictable, so four stars for story, but this does not make it any the less enjoyable.

No need for violence or horror, just light hearted and amusing with wonderful narration by Cornelius Garrett. His skill in making each character clearly distinguishable is amazing. Excellent entertainment and highly recommended.

It appears to be the third of a series, I hope the others will also be available on audible soon. This was a very good sale bargain, but I would happily pay full price for this author and narrator.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Virginia Waldron
  • 11-04-11

Entertaining Escapism

Cornelius Garrett is simply brilliant in his reading. HIs accents and style bring this light novel to life. I like the way he took me to a fascinating world of manners, luxury and quirkiness. Lots of fun.

8 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 13-09-11

Absolutely delightful listen!

What made the experience of listening to The Affair of the Thirty Nine-Cufflinks the most enjoyable?

One of the best narrations I have ever heard. The plot is witty and the dialogue occasionally makes you chuckle out loud. The sound quality is also good - that is all to often not the case even when downloading in enhanced format.

What about Cornelius Garrett???s performance did you like?

CG gives every character his or hers own special voice and he knows the value of pausing to let the dialogue sink in without being at all slow!

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

Absolutely!

Any additional comments?

Please audible - do give us more from this mystery series a true delight!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Poppisima
  • 14-05-15

Amazing and funny, full of period detail

If Agatha Christie and P. G. Wodehouse had collaborated on a mystery novel, this would have been the result. Great fun!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amy Holman
  • 14-02-16

Superbly Told

I've read two other James Anderson humorous mysteries and decided it would be fun to listen to one read. The mystery twists are enjoyable. But what elevated this storytelling was the narrator, Cornelius Garrett with his distinct voices for every single character. Not one was the same, even with a few soft toned women speakers, a few direct ones, an American, all the men of different character, professions and classes. Accents, tones, pacing. Absolutely delightful. Let him read me anything British. Garrett's repertoire of voices defined Anderson's storytelling.

1 person found this helpful

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  • yvonne dennis
  • 02-03-15

wish James Anderson had more titles

I have enjoyed James Anderson''s three titles immensely and wish there were more. the performer was great.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gae Ann Dudley
  • 21-01-20

Perfect In Every Way!

Great characters. Talented narrator. Interesting crime. A sly sense of fun with dialogue every once in a while. Very enjoyable golden age mystery.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • ButterflyRose
  • 28-08-19

Really dry and boring

I could not stick with this dull, dry, long winded tale. The first twenty minutes were so dull & boring, that it seemed like an hour. I had no interest in ANY of the characters. The dialog was dull, and there were no descriptions of the setting or the characters. Really a bad book. Many reviewers have compared this series favorably ts to Agatha Christie novels. There is no similarities between these two authors. Agatha Christie can write an excellent rural style mystery. This author cannot.

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  • Sharon
  • 06-12-18

Very happily surprised!

This was my first read of this author -- so happy to find another author in the Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Catherine Aird, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh genre -- interesting, complex plotting, fun assortment of well written personalities, stately manor setting, dignified butler, English tea, a intellectual mystery with all the trimmings from the Golden Age of Mystery writers. Loved it.

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  • J. M. Prentice
  • 22-05-18

This series is highly entertaining!

Perfect narrator once again this series is one of my favorites I listen to frequently.