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Summary

On a fine autumn weekend Lord Aveling hosts a hunting party at his country house, Bragley Court. Among the guests are an actress, a journalist, an artist and a mystery novelist. 

The unlucky 13th is John Foss, injured at the local train station and brought to the house to recuperate - but John is nursing a secret of his own. Soon events take a sinister turn when a painting is mutilated, a dog stabbed and a man strangled. Death strikes more than one of the house guests, and the police are called. Detective-Inspector Kendall's skills are tested to the utmost as he tries to uncover the hidden past of everyone at Bragley Court.

©1936 Estate of J. Jefferson Farjeon (P)2020 Soundings

What listeners say about Thirteen Guests

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

David Thorpe is an adequate narrator

And yes I'm damning with faint praise. He doesn't do anything spectacularly wrong, he's just not that good and he makes what isn't a corker of a book kind of dull to listen to. It's a shame because with the better reader this could be a good, solid book.

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Cleverest whodunnit of Golden - or any? - Age

I just tweeted #CrimeFiction 15/x Joseph Jefferson #Farjeon (1883-1955) hugely underrated: 'Thirteen Guests' (1936) arguably the #cleverest book in the genre. If u #read it, u might miss the elusive allusions of some #scintillating dialogues; v well read on
@audible_com

The book is very well read insofar as many of these clever dialogues are highlighted; whereas if one read it, I / you / one would probably miss their point or even skip them. That suggests the text might be very well done on stage. Some of the protagonists especially the journalist Bultin and the artist Pratt talk about things without exactly specifying what; such exchanges could be seen as a form of understatement.
Pratt as portrayed in the reading as gay, and his relationship with Pratt as one full of latent sexual energy e.g. they share a room in a stately home.
In comparison most of the <Greats> of pre-WW2 eg Christie, Sayers, Marsh, and Allingham seem banal in comparison. None of them are in the same class for what Dorothy Sayers wrote of Farjeon, "(unsurpassed for) creepy skill in mysterious adventures." Great escapism provided you aren't put off by the stately home setting; in this book it's peopled by plenty of rounded figures 'warts and all'.
Hard to explain its attraction; best that you listen

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Monotonous Tone

Three times I tried listening to this book and, I am still unsure what happened. The repetition of information by various two dimensional characters added to the boredom. I know that a murder, possibly two, was committed and a surprise guest with an injured ankle, that ensures he NEVER leaves a room for ANYTHING, suddenly joins forces with a supposed Vamp to burble on about everything.

Meanwhile a journalist who loathes everyone and thing else, makes copious notes that he repeats to the police. (They arrive in cliched diligence.) The journalist’s sole companion with whom he has a love-hate relationship, the are the anthesis of each other, is an artist who turns out to have also have noticed ‘things’ such as, an unlocked door and the reason his latest painting has been destroyed.

After that.... a horse, a hysterical wife, lots smoking of various cigarettes, verbally back stabbing, supercilious comments ....

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  • Sarah
  • 19-04-20

Could not finish

I like murder mystery books, and I'm looking for something to take the place of Agatha Christie books since I've finished all of those. This was not it! It had potential at first, but was too boring and I couldn't finish it.

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  • CassyLynn
  • 02-12-20

My all time favorite Narrator

No matter what the story is, I can listen to any book narrated by David Thorpe. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this one. My first mystery written by Farjeon. The plot was good although a common one from the mystery classics. Although I must say that I was almost disappointed at the end thinking that it was going to be obvious and an anti-climax. However, there was a twist at the end.

I like the direct and abrupt characteristics of the inspector and would have probably enjoyed him as a detective in his own series. He doesn’t fit the classic mold of a gentleman detective. But was also disappointed that he didn’t completely solve the mystery.