Hamlet, Revenge! : Inspector Appleby

  • by Michael Innes
  • Narrated by Matt Addis
  • Series: Inspector Appleby
  • 11 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At Seamnum Court, seat of the Duke of Horton, The Lord Chancellor of England is murdered at the climax of a private presentation of Hamlet, in which he plays Polonius. Inspector Appleby pursues some of the most famous names in the country, unearthing dreadful suspicion.

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Customer Reviews

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A Marvellous Classic

Most lists that attempt to choose ???the 25 best mysteries of 20th century??? will include ???Hamlet Revenge,??? a tour de force of the British intellectual mystery thriller. There is much to relish here ??? an abundance (perhaps overabundance) of characters, baffling murders, spies hunting secret documents, psychological insights both spurious and penetrating, a theatrical insider???s view, a Shakespearean appreciation, a love story -- and I probably missed a few. There is plenty of dry British humor, but there is also the shadow of war. Published in 1937, the story never overtly brings up historical politics, but clearly evokes the sense of urgency and foreboding that must have gripped the people of Britain as hopes for peace evaporated and Europe girded for a terrible war. Today we take it for granted that ???the good guys??? ??? and that most certainly included the English ??? won WWII. Innes obviously didn???t know that outcome when he wrote this book, and the psychological aspect adds to the story???s fascination.

I respect Michael Innes???s novels and have enjoyed several of them, but think most of them too obviously try to show off the author???s prodigious intellect at the expense of the reader. ???Hamlet Revenge??? does *not* fall into that category. Yes, it requires concentration and attention and you probably (almost certainly) won???t pick up on every literary allusion and erudite play on words. But it???s an extremely human book, and rewards your efforts with a satisfying sense of having gotten to know some real (and admirable) people and of having experienced a time, place, and events of importance.

I'd been hoping to see this book on Audible for some time, and was both excited and nervous as I ???experienced??? the first couple of chapters. It is an amazingly complex and difficult book to narrate, so I was thrilled (and relieved) to discover that Matt Addis does a superb job. From the Lord Chancellor to the Scottish gardener, from the American philologist to the Hindu Brahmin, his accents come across as effortless and unforced. Even the passages from ???Hamlet??? are handled with elegance and a sense of atmosphere. An important performance. Kudos to all involved.
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- Carol "Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!"

I liked it so much I bought the print version

I bought the print version for one main reason: to give to my wife, who always figures out the whodunnits while I am still floundering amid the clues and red herrings. Let's see her sort THIS one out!

You won't be able to say that the clues are obscure or concealed. Inspector Appleby reviews the facts and summarizes the case frequently, just in case you might have missed something. There was one bit that I thought was downplayed a bit for all its significance, but since my wife is an RN she should probably pick up on it. We'll see.

Anyway, it's classic stuff, English manor house, motives, means, opportunities, spies, a very clever mystery writer guest, and an even more clever inspector. There's an anagram that's about as subtle as Rumred, and a little forensic stuff for good measure. High society and political bigwigs in antebellum (WWII) England round out the cast.

Some knowledge of Shakespeare's Hamlet will help, maybe just the Cliff Notes or Wikipedia version.

Great narration. My first Matt Addis, and I'm looking forward to many more.

The only downside to reading this book is, I feel a little like I did when I first read Ngaio Marsh and then discovered that she had written scores of like books! Innes wrote a lot of books too. So many great books, so few credits remain. Maybe Audible will let me renew early.
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- Bull "Doctor Bull"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios