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The Skull Beneath the Skin

Narrated by: Katie Scarfe
Series: Cordelia Gray, Book 2
Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Summary

A Cordelia Gray Mystery.

Marking the return of Cordelia Gray, The Skull Beneath the Skin is a complex mystery which more than lives up to its predecessor, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. Hired to protect a beautiful but neurotic actress, Cordelia Gray soon becomes embroiled in a case as dangerous to her own life as it is mysterious.

Clarissa Lisle hopes to make a spectacular comeback in a production of The Duchess of Malfi, to be played in Ambrose Gorringe's sinister castle at Courcy Island. Cordelia is there to ensure her safety following the appearance of a number of poison-pen letters. But it soon becomes clear that all are in danger. Trapped within the walls of the Gothic castle, the treacherous past of the island re-emerges, and everyone seems to have a motive for sending Clarissa 'down, down to hell'.

©1982 P.D. James (P)2014 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"A fine novel... from its very first pages you feel you are in marvellously sure hands." ( The Times)
"A masterly version of the clue-and-alibi game ... five star." ( Guardian)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Surprised to be disappointed

I've enjoyed reading all the author's Adam Dalgliesh novels and the first Cordelia Gray story, but was disappointed by this one. It's weighed down by too much adjective-laden description of things unnecessary for the story which slows the action to being boring at times. The actual story verges on the preposterous.
I have mixed feeling about the narrator who at times overdoes screechy voices making them caricatures.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Dissapointing

I totally agree with the other three reviews on this book. Too many irrelevant repeated descriptive passages making the book boring at times. The narrator had problems with pronunciation (gunwale - gunnel for example) which became annoying. Perhaps her presentation would be more suitable for a romantic novel than a murder mystery.
The story didn't gather pace till the last few chapters.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Found it so difficult to concentrate on

Just wasn’t as engaging a storyline as her other Cordelia grey book.

Performed well but it was a bit meh

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Good story spoils by narrator

What did you like best about The Skull Beneath the Skin? What did you like least?

PD James in good form. Narrator should learn how to pronounce certain English words. I.e gunwhale is pronounced gunnel. Aubretia is pronounced aubresha. Borscht does not have the t pronounced.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Cordelia Grey. A private eye caught up in something far more sinister than lost cats.

Would you be willing to try another one of Katie Scarfe’s performances?

No. Not for this type of book. Murder needs a less soppy voice. Would be better reading romantic chick lit. She must work on her pronounciation. She nearly spoilt the whole book for me.

Do you think The Skull Beneath the Skin needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Unless one could be written giving Ambrose Gorringe his come uppance.

Any additional comments?

None.

1 person found this helpful