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The Frangipani Tree Mystery

Crown Colony
By: Ovidia Yu
Narrated by: Crystal Yu
Series: Crown Colony, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

First in a delightfully charming crime series set in 1930s Singapore, introducing amateur sleuth Su Lin, a local girl stepping in as governess for the acting governor of Singapore.

1936 in the Crown Colony of Singapore, and the British abdication crisis and rising Japanese threat seem very far away. When the Irish nanny looking after acting governor Palin's daughter dies suddenly - and in mysterious circumstances - mission school-educated local girl Su Lin - an aspiring journalist trying to escape an arranged marriage - is invited to take her place. 

But then another murder at the residence occurs, and it seems very likely that a killer is stalking the corridors of Government House. It now takes all Su Lin's traditional skills and intelligence to help British-born chief inspector Thomas LeFroy solve the murders - and escape with her own life.

©2019 Ovidia Yu (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Simply glorious. Every nook and cranny of 1930s Singapore is brought richly to life, without ever getting in the way of a classic puzzle plot. But what's a setting without a jewel? Chen Su Lin is a true gem. Her slyly witty voice and her admirable, sometimes heartbreaking, practicality make her the most beguiling narrator heroine I've met in a long while." (Catriona McPherson)

"Charming and fascinating with great authentic feel. Ovidia Yu's teenage Chinese sleuth gives us an insight into a very different culture and time. This book is exactly why I love historical novels." (Rhys Bowen)

What members say

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Great mystery - almost cozy

Very good story - great narration - worth a listen for fans of baby Ganesh and Agatha Christie!

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  • Bibliophile1963
  • 24-09-19

Good story - unfortunately, poorly done narration

I enjoyed the story - good characters & sense of place & a good initial set up for a mystery series. The narration, however, made the audiobook difficult to follow. Honestly, this book was read, not narrated. There was no difference whatsoever made in my he dialogue voices so he hat throughout I kept having to reverse repeatedly to try and figure out who was supposedly talking. The narrator’s voice was great for Su Lin - lilting & Singaporean accented - but there was no change in tone when it was a man or another woman speaking, except for the voice of Dee-Dee, the 17 year old with the mind of a 7 year old, and that voice was so constantly whining without that it really grates on the nerves. It was all I could do to try & listen all the way through. I would strongly recommend reading this one yourself instead of attempting the audiobook, lest you give up on what looks to be a promising series simply because of the poor narration. I would love this book in the hands of Barbara Rosenblat, Lizette LeCar, or Christine Rendel. Actually, the more I think about it, the problem could be solved by better direction. Christine Yu has a lovely voice, she just needs to be directed to create more distinction between characters and that even the most difficult child in the world does not whine every single sound out of their mouth.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-08-19

Good start to a new series, but...

I see this narrator has the same surname as the author, so perhaps she’s a relative. It’s a shame, because her sense of the story is pretty good, but it’s almost impossible to understand her. Many many final consonants are dropped. The word outside is rendered as “ow sigh”, physical is “fiscal”, wheels is “wills”, told is “toe”. And the word benevolent is rendered as, I kid you not, “belevonent”.
I enjoyed the story and actually would like to know what happens next, but I’m not gonna be able to listen to another one of these unless the narrator changes.