Before the Poison

  • by Peter Robinson
  • Narrated by Susan Lyons, Toby Lennet Moore
  • 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Chris Lowndes built a comfortable career composing scores for films in Hollywood. But after 25 years abroad, and still quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, he decides to return to the Yorkshire dales of his youth. To ease the move, he buys Kilnsgate House, a rambling old mansion deep in the country.
Although Chris finds Kilnsgate charming, something about the house disturbs him, a vague sensation that the long-empty rooms have been waiting for him - feelings made ever stronger when he learns that the house was the scene of a murder more than 50 years before. The former owner, a prominent doctor named Ernest Arthur Fox, was supposedly poisoned by his beautiful and much younger wife, Grace. Arrested and brought to trial, Grace was found guilty and hanged for the crime.
His curiosity piqued, Chris talks to the locals and searches through archives for information about the case. But the more he discovers, the more convinced he becomes that Grace may have been innocent. Ignoring warnings to leave it alone, he sets out to discover what really happened over half a century ago - a quest that takes him deep into the past and into a web of secrets that lie all too close to the present.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wow, what book did the other folks listen to?

I'm astonished at the negative reviews that have been published for this book! My experience has been totally different. This is not an Inspector Banks series book and shouldn't be approached as one. Peter Robinson offers a great story with wonderful twists and turns, great characters--and why would you object to hearing what people order in a restaurant? I liked learning about new British beers to try. The performance is good--the voices are pleasant, although Toby Lennet Moore pronounces a few things rather oddly, but that's a personal issue for me and probably wouldn't be noticed by other listeners. Moore does have a fair gift for accents and gives life to characters in that fashion. I also enjoyed the voice of Grace in her diary entries and felt that this convention added depth to the characters and the story.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. Robinson is an intelligent author with a good ear for dialogue and the ability to create interesting characters. He's not always worried bout making his characters perfectly likeable but actually mixes personality aspects in each one that make them richer and more real than a less talented author would be able to achieve.

Don't skip this book because of the negative reviews, please. Make up your own mind!
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- Kindle Customer "SusieQ"

Boring story, big disappointment to this PR fan

What disappointed you about Before the Poison?

The story went nowhere. Don't want to write a spoiler, but there's no


What could Peter Robinson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I'm a big PR fan. I wish the story had been about Alan Banks, but I do understand that writers get tired of doing the same old same old. This character, however, was just boring and unlikeable. As were all the other characters in the book. WAY too much minute detail (who ordered what for dinner, which wine, which brandy, holy crap these people drink a lot). It felt like filler and I commented to friend that Robinson must have had a word quota he was trying to meet. Not up to his usual standard.


Did the narration match the pace of the story?

No, the narration by the male was awful. The woman, Susan Lyons, was fabulous. She was the saving grace of the audiobook and after hearing her, I went in search of her other audio work.


What character would you cut from Before the Poison?

All of them!


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- Lucido

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-21-2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio