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Publisher's Summary

Duchlan Castle is a gloomy place in the Scottish Highlands. Late one night the body of Mary Gregor, sister of the laird, is found in the castle. She has been stabbed to death in her locked bedroom. The only tiny clue to the culprit is a silver fish's scale, left on the floor next to Mary's body.
Inspector Dundas is dispatched to investigate. The Gregor family and their servants are quick to explain that Mary was a kind and charitable woman, but Dundas uncovers a more complex truth.
Soon further deaths occur. Superstitious locals believe that fish creatures from the nearby waters are responsible, but luckily for Inspector Dundas, gifted amateur sleuth Eustace Hailey is on the scene.
©2015 Estate of Anthony Wynne (P)2016 Soundings
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Carl P. Beetz on 06-09-16

Solid "Golden Age" Mystery

In some respects this book made me think of a P.D. James novel. Much of it is filled with gradual revealing of the personalities and interactions between the different characters. The mystery itself is not that fantastic and, for me, not as interesting as the stories of the people. Nonetheless the writing and the story were involving for me.

I found the narration to be well above solid and feel it added a great deal to the feel of the novel.

It is far from a more modern detective or slasher story and one that might appeal only to folks with an appetite for a period piece story. However, for those of us who seek out such novels it might be a real treasure.

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29 of 29 people found this review helpful


By Kathy on 08-06-16

Taut suspense

A haunting story, very tight, clipped dialogue, completely compelling. This one grabbed hold of my mind and would not let go. I couldn't sleep until I finished it. The reader is perfect and impeccable.

Don't read this if you are prone to nightmares, but definitely do if you love a psychological terror.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kl Love on 07-21-16

Unexpectedly absorbing

What made the experience of listening to Murder of a Lady the most enjoyable?

I have been enjoying the release of some of the older 'classic' detective stories, and this is one in that vein. At first I thought it would be a 'mental puzzle - locked room' book, which in a sense it was; but the characters were more interesting than is normally the case in that genre. Then I thought it might tip over into post-Victorian 'blood and thunder' romanticism; but while that was a real risk, and the story is dramatic in the classic sense, with lots of stuff about 'the Highland character' somehow it managed to rise above that and remain genuinely engaging. Perhaps this was partly because it was a convincing example of the thoughts and opinions that were prevalent at the time of its writing, which gave it a kind of authenticity of its own.
At any rate, I found myself gripped both by the twists and turns of the plot and by the characters, romanticised though they were.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Murder of a Lady?

I particularly enjoyed the character of the doctor who is the leading detective. He managed to remain thoughtful, rational and kindly. Some of the plot developments were genuinely surprising; I won't go into any details as I don't want to spoil other readers' pleasure, but they will know them when they encounter them!

Have you listened to any of James Bryce’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the first performance I have heard by James Bryce. As soon as I finish this review I am going to so look for others by him.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This being a detective story, it operates on a cerebral rather than an emotional level. Nonetheless, the central emotional situation, which turns on the manipulative character of the lady in the book's title, is surprisingly believable despite its dramatic exaggeration.

Any additional comments?

Possibly because of my family connection to Loch Fyne, I greatly enjoyed the way the setting was used as part of the overall drama. Small details about life there at the time of the book (e.g. the way the steamboats of fish merchants would go out to meet the fleet as it returned) added colour without breaking up the narrative.
I don't often listen to books a second time, but I will do so with this one. I'm not quite able to put my finger on why I found it so absorbing, but this one really gripped my imagination.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By PFK on 02-10-17

Enjoyable

Would you consider the audio edition of Murder of a Lady to be better than the print version?

This author was new to me, though I do read a lot of older detective/mystery stories. I very much enjoyed it and will certainly look out for this author in future. A good story and a well described setting. I thought it would be something in the cosy line, but there is much more depth to the story than that.

What does James Bryce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

It was well read and I will look out for this reader in future.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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