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The Curse of the Giant Hogweed

Narrated by: John McLain
Series: Peter Shandy, Book 5
Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
2 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Field trips and eerie accidents...

Professor Shandy, propagator of the world's most renowned rutabaga and Balaclava College's best amateur sleuth, takes on the case of the Giant Hogweed - a garden pest about to wipe out Britain's lovely hedgerows. With colleagues Dan Stott and Timothy Ames at his side, he leaves the groves of academe for some fancy fieldwork deep in the heart of Wales. But never in their wildest dreams did the three professors expect the bizarre events that awaited them.... Where Miss Hilda Horsefall's recipe for homemade lye soap becomes as valuable as Dan Stott's knowledge of The Chronicles of Narnia...and where pursuing the wild asparagus...or rather the Giant Hogweed...becomes a dangerous expedition indeed.

©1985 Charlotte McLeod (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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Profile Image for JMay
  • JMay
  • 26-08-13

Mystery readers beware.

This fantasy stuck in the middle ages is not what you'd expect from the author of the Peter Shandy mysteries. Going on and on in a middle ages fantasy is not what you want Dr. Shandy to be involved in. Sorry. I really like this mystery series but this story does not belong. My recommendation is read it if you want but I was very disappointed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for SN Rubin
  • SN Rubin
  • 16-03-13

Strays (madly) into fantasy, not just mystery

If you’ve listened to books by Charlotte MacLeod before, how does this one compare?

If you are reading the Peter Shandy series and expect another Balaclava mystery, be prepared. It doesn't take place at Balaclava College by a long stretch. On the other hand, the story stands up to expected quality, even if it falls down the rabbit hole with Alice (McLeod's own allusion).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Chalis
  • Chalis
  • 22-02-13

Not What I Expected

I read many mysteries written by Charlotte MacLeod in the mid 1980's. I found her stories to be gently amusing with plenty of plot twists. I was delighted when I discovered that her books were available in audio editions. I don't remember reading "Curse of the Giant Hogweed". Even so, I chose it for my first MacLeod audio book.

The first chapter was the type of story I remembered, bringing smiles and chuckles. Then the story took an abrupt turn into a sort of fantasy world set hundreds of years in the past. It just didn't work for me. The humor is still there, but it seemed forced. The mystery is there, but was not enhanced by the "fantasy" setting.

The dialogue in the "fantasy" world was somewhat annoying to me. For instance, the fantasy world characters often added "eth" to their verbs, i.e. "heareth". I found it distracting and a little annoying. Perhaps it flowed better in print.

The narrator has a pleasant, deep voice. However from time to time a character would speak with an English accent. I'm not sure why. To me, his female character voices sounded a little like parodies.

The publishers blurb mentions The Canterbury Tales. I haven't read any part of The Canterbury Tales for many years, and don't remember much about it. It is possible that there is humor here that I missed,

I plan to listen to more Audible titles by Charlotte MacLeod. In this case I just chose the wrong one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee Breeggemann
  • 20-12-18

Faux medieval language makes impossible to listen

I really enjoy Peter Shandy mysteries but this one.... I like fantasy stories, but this isn't a great one and even worse the fake medieval incorrect "forsoothly" language was impossible to take. The narrator did his best with it, but I couldn't listen post the third chapter.

I'm sorry I wasted a credit on this instead of one of the others in this series

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for G. White
  • G. White
  • 22-12-15

Really dislike this one

Would you try another book from Charlotte MacLeod and/or John McLain?

I went through about a third of the book. It is not a typical Charlotte Macleod story. I wouldn't have like this story under any circumstances but with the expectation of another humorous and charming Peter Shandy novel my disappointment escalated as I tried to wade through rediculous, nonsensical plot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Emily K Wagner
  • Emily K Wagner
  • 09-01-19

Great book, poor narration

If this is your first exposure to Charlotte MacLeod and Peter Shandy, do yourself a favor and read the print book instead.

This is one of my favorite Peter Shandy books. It's a complete departure from the rest of the series, being a fantastical and hilarious journey into English/Welsh mythical past, rather than a straightforward mystery set in modern Massachusetts. However, this quirkiness is what makes me love it so much.

Unfortunately, the story is almost spoiled by the poor narration by John McLain. He clearly has not heard the correct pronunciation of a number of words. "Buffet" meaning a physical blow is pronounced completely different than "buffet" meaning a spread of food. And I will have to check my print copy to find out what word he means instead of "adroit." There are also odd pauses and inflections that make me wonder whether the narrator even knows what he's saying at times.

I'm soldiering on, because I love Charlotte MacLeod, but I may not bother with any other audiobooks in the series. And I would certainly not choose any other audiobooks by this narrator.

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Profile Image for Becca T.
  • Becca T.
  • 17-11-18

Hilarious

Charlotte MacLeod is known for her witty turn of phrase. This is a delightful romp into the type of world made known by the likes of CS Lewis and Lewis Carrol. She takes Peter Shandy with her on this adventure, and those of us who love that series will enjoy this to no end. I laughed out loud many times.