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Summary

Gower Street, London, 1882: Sidney Grice, London's most famous personal detective, is expecting a visitor. He drains his fifth pot of morning tea, and glances outside, where a young, plain woman picks her way between the piles of horse-dung towards his front door. Sidney Grice shudders. For heaven's sake - she is wearing brown shoes. The Mangle Street Murders is for those who like their crime original, atmospheric, and very, very funny.

©2013 M. R. C. Kasasian (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"One of the most delightful and original new novels of the year, this is the first in a series that could well become a cult. Grice and Middleton promise to become a positive treat. Catch them now." ( Daily Mail)

What listeners say about The Mangle Street Murders

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Tries too hard

This Sherlock Holmes inspired pastiche tries too hard to be funny. Unlike Conan Doyle, Kasasian doesn’t give his anti-hero detective any redeeming qualities so he just comes across as unlikeable. I won’t be listening to the rest of the series.

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lighthearted,fun victorian who done it.

Any additional comments?

Absolutely enjoyed this Victorian who done it starring Sidney Grice and his young ward, March Middleton. A successful personal detective Sidney has few redeeming qualities. He is rude, lacks compassion and is sure he is always right. What makes this novel so different is the wonderfully witty dialogue between he and March and the fact that March more than holds her own.
Although I must say the author must be glad Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain,this book does not just pay homage to it-it positively steals from it.A brilliant personal detective, who has been befriended by a London police inspector, despite being anti-social to the extreme, has a protege who he reluctantly allows to help solve cases. And the protege happens to have a wealth of medical knowledge.His protege is a women who gained her knowledge helping her father who served as a medical officer in India (close enough!).
OH and he wants his protege to write about him and the cases he solved...sound familiar?
However I did find this book a breath of fresh air in a genre that often is rather serious and gory.
I would recommend this to anyone wanting a light ,none too serious listen...but if you like something to get your teeth into this will not be for you.

12 people found this helpful

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I'm surprised that the detective isn't murdered!

Oh he's an arrogant beast! But the fun thing is his ward's lack of being intimidated by him, This was a really light and witty read - I thoroughly enjoyed it - Grice is so awful - I had to laugh at him and 'like' him, March, his ward is such a bright lady that she sorts him out and they seem to be able to get along.

Quite different from anything else in this genre that I have read and I was very pleased to have chosen this book.

7 people found this helpful

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Not Quite My Pot of Tea

Attracted by the number of positive reviews I decided to give this one a spin. It's clearly being enjoyed by a lot of people. It just wasn't on my frequency though, I've possibly read one or two too many books where it's a smugness competition between two equally clever and dumb lead protagonists.

It's well read by Emma Gregory. I thought her performance and delivery suited the book very well. Indeed there were some very good parts. March's childhood memories of being taken to a hanging by her father were powerful. There were also one or two genuinely amusing scenes including the two police constables with the grappling hooks by the marsh.

In the end though, it didn't quite grab me as it obviously has others. I think the smug characters came dangerously close to caricatures and once the lack of humanity in the Grice character failed to make me laugh it was uphill going. The publisher describing the book as "very, very funny" definitely felt a shade over-optimistic.

Still, lots of others like it and it does have a clever plot so there are certainly worse ways to spend a credit!

55 people found this helpful

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Bravo and now for the next book!

I purchased this book on a whim and expected it to be a light hearted but fairly vacuous spoof. Instead I was delighted to find that this is a witty but gripping detective story with two very engaging characters in the lead. March is a beguiling heroine, brought up on the battlefield by her army doctor father and with the sensibilities of a modern woman living within the constraints of Victorian society. Her guardian Sidney Grice is a notorious detective with uncompromisingly despicable views. Their relationship is therefore a thunderous war of attrition and the joy of this story is their entertaining and occasionally hilarious sparring matches. Listen out for March's brilliant retort to the despicable police officer and Sidney's battles with his too large glass eye. Absolute gold dust.

The narrator pulls this of brilliantly and this was a fabulous listening experience. I am so happy there are more books in this series and will undoubtably purchase them all.

19 people found this helpful

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A very good read

This detective story did not disappoint. The main character was absolutely brilliantly constructed. The relationship between him and his ward was extremely entertaining.

The narration was perfectly performed, allowing the story to flow seamlessly.

I would definitely recommend this book to those who want to read a light and entertaining book.

12 people found this helpful

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A great book, made even greater

If you could sum up The Mangle Street Murders in three words, what would they be?

Aint not just a Sherlock-Holmes-spin-off (66.67% over target).

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Mangle Street Murders?

There are so many very, very funny bits that it is very hard to remember them, but the arrival of March Middleton in London - wearing brown shoes!!! - and the way she is welcomed sets the scene for what to expect very well.

Which character – as performed by Emma Gregory – was your favourite?

Sidney Grice or Molly, hard to choose. Sidney Grice because a lot of the time when he makes seemingly rude remarks he is actually just pointing out other people's mistakes, lax language etc. I have ASD and can take language very literally and it is great to have a character I can identify with in some aspects. Molly because she means well but just gets things sometimes so wrong and is so harshly reprimanded ... but still puts up with her employer. Such a loveable and immensely loyal character.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh!

Any additional comments?

Emma Gregory reads the book very, very well indeed. The accents, male and female voices, Molly's funny way of talking ... it is all there and listening to it was even more addictive than reading it.

4 people found this helpful

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Good Fun

How to describe this story?? Homage? Parody? Satire? Whatever it's described as, if you enjoy the Holmes stories but are not a purest or scholar, you should enjoy this book. The main character has many of the traits of the great man but also, in some case, the opposite. I will not give anything away but I found this book witty and quite enthralling. There are many 'in jokes' which raised a smile. Looking forward to more.

14 people found this helpful

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meh.

listened all the way through, but Grice ls an unlovable character which makes it tough at times

3 people found this helpful

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it is not funny

bought due to the synopsis in particular the very very funny promise. Highly misleading I spent ages waiting for humour sadly it didn't appear. The pace is dreary the story over engineered, the characters hard to engage with. If you are looking for adventure and wit look elsewhere.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Eleni
  • 18-12-16

Easy listening detective story

I enjoyed the book. I made for an easy listening. The only points which were a bit annoying was the constant effort put into by both male and female characters to remind us that back then men thought they were clever and women hopeless. Although true in effect I doubt men would spend so much time making the point and women taking every opportunity to set them right. This "modern"day attitude towards women's rights kind of killed the atmosphere at times