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I've loved the two narrators of all the other Carola Dunn books I have in my library. This narrator is so bad that I can't follow the story even after four tries. I am returning this book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Daisy gets to move to a new, larger home when her husband, Chief Detective Inspector Alec Fletcher gets left a home in a higher class community by his uncle, leading to her latest adventure in Black Ship by Carola Dunn. While preparing for the move, they get visited by former FBI detective Lambert, whom we met in Daisy's adventures in America in The Case of the Murdered Muckraker. We saw him throw in his badge in terror while trying to guard Daisy in that book. Now he has joined the Treasury Department and is out to catch bootleggers during America's Prohibition Era. He has been sent to England to track down British companies who have been smuggling alcohol into the U.S., but, true to Lambert's style, he has managed to get himself mugged and has lost all his money and documents. Helping Daisy get her new home in order while waiting for those documents, he is excited to learn that her new neighbors are in the wine business. Without any evidence that they are involved in smuggling alcohol into America, he keeps skulking around their area, not very successfully keeping the Jessups under surveillance. Meanwhile, Daisy finds her new neighbors delightful and is thrilled to find one the mother of young children a little older than Daisy's twins.
Then one morning, shortly after the Fletchers have gotten properly settled into their new home, the new parlor maid takes their dog, Nana, out for a walk, and Nana finds a dead body in the bushes. Of course, this being a Daisy Dalrymple book, we have come to expect such an occurrence. But this time Alec doesn't have to do more than go out into his front yard to investigate. And using their home as the base of the investigation gives Daisy an opportunity to keep up to date on happenings as possible. The dead man seems to have some connection to the Jessups, but what? And what has become of Lambert?
This book really is a delight, one of my favorite Daisy books so far. I enjoyed learning about black ships, which would stop off the U.S. coast line to sell their alcoholic offerings to those trying to sell liquor illegally in this country. I liked seeing the development of this interesting story. Even though it telegraphs the "who" fairly obviously, the fun is in learning the details of how and why. And I love just to follow the wild capers that Daisy always gets involved in and sends us on. I do have to comment, though, that I'm a little disappointed in the way that despite her musings in earlier books that she prefers the middle class lifestyle of being more hands-on as a mother, Daisy seems to be on the road more towards a higher class lifestyle, with a nanny who does most of the work. She just comes into the nursery when she feels like it to play with the children. The nanny made her feel guilty for taking her son out while she was visiting, saying that Daisy returned with him fussy because he is hungry. Clearly, Daisy has made no effort to breast-feed her babies, and we don't see her bottle feeding them either. In fact, we see a conversation that she has with her 12-year-old step-daughter, Belinda, that Belinda might have to learn how to change a baby's nappy (British for diaper) because times are changing for domestic laborers, and Belinda might not be able to have a full- time nanny.
Lucy Raynor returns as narrator of the book. I like her portrayal of Daisy and her adventures. Raynor puts a good feeling into her performance.
I really enjoyed listening to Black Ship. I have loved the whole series, but as with any author, some books are better than others. However, this is one of the better ones. I really look forward to the rest of the books in the series coming out on audio! I give Black Ship five stars!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Story OK but narrative irritating. Too sing song. I won't listen to this reader again.
Any additional comments?
I'm a great fan of this kind of cosy mystery, and I would definitely read further stories by the same author, but unfortunately the narrator of this one has put me off listening to any more. She was so affected and so stilted in her reading that it felt almost as if she was patronising both the author and the listener. I realise she was being 'posh' on purpose simply because the main characters are, on the whole, 'posh', but it felt as if there was an undertone running all the way through it. So it may have put me off listening, but not off reading.