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Summary

A twisty new murder story from the best-selling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries. An old man lies dead, and it looks like poison, but his wife isn't the only one who had reason to kill him. 

Brighton, 1965.

When theatrical impresario Bert Billington is found dead in his retirement home, no one suspects foul play. But when the post-mortem reveals that he was poisoned, suspicion falls on his wife, eccentric ex-music hall star Verity Malone. 

Frustrated by the police response to Bert's death and determined to prove her innocence, Verity calls in private detective duo Emma Holmes and Sam Collins. This is their first real case, but as luck would have it, they have a friend on the inside: Max Mephisto is filming a remake of Dracula, starring Seth Bellington, Bert's son. But when they question Max, they feel he isn't telling them the whole story.

Emma and Sam must vie with the police to untangle the case and bring the killer to justice. They're sure the answers must lie in Bert's dark past and in the glamorous, occasionally deadly, days of Music Hall. But the closer they get to the truth, the more danger they find themselves in....

©2021 Elly Griffiths (P)2021 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about The Midnight Hour

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Feminist rubbish

I am an 82 year old woman who has always fancied herself as a bit of a feminist long before my time but I dont like the current aggressive anti all men feminism going on now. Back to the book. I have read all the series and had this one on my Wish List and bought it on the day it was released. I was surprised that the narrater had altered but why became clear in the authors preamble. I wonder how a male author would have justified dropping a female narrater to a male so his male characters could be better read.. I dont know if there were many male characters in the book as I gave up after too many swipes at the way women were so badly treated by chapter 8 I had had it.

2 people found this helpful

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Uninteresting narrator

So sorry the narrator has changed - I much preferred Luke Thompson. Beth Eyre is too monotonous with too little inflection. It is in line, however, with the change in the story and I have to confess I find the enormous emphasis on conditions for women a little tedious as I wanted to listen to a crime story, not a social studies. That being said, the plot itself is very good, keeping you guessing.

2 people found this helpful

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Midnight Hour

My overall impression of the book is of overwhelming disappointment, by a writer who is capable of much better. This was a book with an average plot (see later) and some historical inaccuracies eg the acceptance of showers and duvets instead of baths and blankets/eiderdowns which were prevalent at the time. The fact given to us was that the Beatles music was all pervading at the time, which precludes the prevalence of single and duet performances as being the most important genre then. (Cf Elvis, Cilla, Everley Brothers who were more established than the Beatles.) For the plot - to make a statement and then feeling obliged to “unpick” it, shows a lack of confidence in the reader to be able to work it out for themselves.

1 person found this helpful

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Back on form

I was rather disappointed and bemused by the last book and it’s sudden jump forward in time with the women all feeling out aside. Had I realised that the author was repositioning the stories to focus on them I’d have been pleased. Dull old Edgar and dirty old Mephisto had lost their interest but as more supporting characters, they act well as a foil to the women in a hopefully revitalised series.

1 person found this helpful

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Could not get involved

The change in narration did not help but just could not get involved in this book. Very disappointed as I have all the authors other audio books but am thinking of returning this one unfinished

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an excellent story with wonderful characters

This is another excellent chapter in the series and so good to see what has happened to the characters. A good story but I'm not sure about the reader. I agree that the story needs a woman's voice but the reader is very meak and mild and gentle. in some places her voice is a little too weak. I can understand why she was chosen because if the characters and the era the story is set in but at times I found the voice a little too insipid. That being said I would still buy and listen to any other Elly Griffiths books because she is one of my fav authors.

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Reasonable story.

Main thing is it was repetitive, same words being repeated with no need.
Can’t really see why it needed a female reader - I actually found her a bit annoying.
Yep it’s about feminism but only reflects attitudes at the time - woman’s place is in the home, or for making the tea for the bosses etc - also reflects attitudes to race and social class. Some of those attitudes haven’t changed that much, even after two women PMs.
At least the main character Meg isn’t the same as the man dependent Ruth Galloway in the author’s other series.

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Enjoyable.

It was good to reunite with all the familiar characters from Elly Griffiths' previous Brighton Mysteries. I read the synopsis for the inspiration behind Tudor Grove beforehand, so had already imagined a picture of the location. I enjoyed listening to the story, which gained pace as it progressed steadily.It did have flavours of a Halloween twist.A few hidden surprises along the way for Max and Ruby this time.Personally, I wasn't too keen on the Narrator but difficult to explain why.However, my reservations did not in any way spoil the overall presentation of the audible.The thing I like best about this series set in Brighton, is the decade they are set in, providing an insight into the roles of women in the Police Force at that time.I would definitely recommend this audible even if the listener is not familiar with this series.

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Very entertaining

Ellie Griffiths continues to reward her readers with her varied range of entertaining tales & characters. The female ones in this are very strong whilst Max remains a firm favourite.

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Mixed stories

Too many things going on and all over the place and the country and years.