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After her father dies, March Middleton has to move to London to live with her guardian, Sidney Grice, the country's most famous private detective. It is 1882, and London is at its murkiest yet most vibrant, wealthiest yet most poverty-stricken. No sooner does March arrive than a case presents itself: A young woman has been brutally murdered, and her husband is the only suspect. The victim's mother is convinced of her son-in-law's innocence, and March is so touched by her pleas she offers to cover Sidney's fee herself.
The investigation leads the pair to the darkest alleys of the East End, and every twist leads Sidney Grice to think his client is guilty. But March is convinced he is innocent. Around them London reeks with the stench of poverty and gossip, the case threatens to boil over into civil unrest, and Sidney Grice finds his reputation is not the only thing in mortal danger.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By sherri on 06-04-15
Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot is vain, clever, and quirky, as is Kasasian's Sidney Grice. What makes Poirot work and Grice not is a set of redeeming qualities; Poirot keenly pursues justice and expresses compassion for others. Grice is merely annoying--greedy, self-serving, complacent, dishonest-- so much so that I found it difficult to get through the book. Worse, about two-thirds of the way through, the author seems to change his mind about Grice. In the course of any novel, a gruff character may be shown to be kind underneath, or a character the reader thought mistaken may be proved to be right; but these changes must be justified in terms of the plot. If the writer manipulates characters for the sake of plot instead of the other way around, it shows.
The inspector and other characters are one-dimensional. Narrator March Middleton is the most fully drawn and has some attractive qualities that will carry her through a series. She smokes and drinks at a ladies' club, for one thing. We are given to understand that she is grieving, but that part of her character is oddly disassociated from the rest. It's supposed to be the reason she drinks but doesn't affect any of her other actions or thoughts. She is sometimes intelligent but sometimes not.
All the men make misogynistic remarks typical of fictional portrayals of the era. March sometimes responds in an entertainingly clever but realistic fashion. The horrors of poverty are portrayed to a near caricatural extent, again for effect rather than to support plot or theme.
What about that plot? The book is very slow for the first two-thirds, which can be a good thing if you're listening while driving or performing other tasks that require attention. I'm not bothered by the improbabilities connected with the murders. By the time I get to the big reveal, I don't know that I care.
Readers may hope for improvement as the series goes on.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By SophiaMarie on 03-24-14
A New Favorite Author --Hope this becomes a series
Where does The Mangle Street Murders rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
March Middleton makes this book. She is intelligent and naive at the same time. The relationship with her guardian makes this a duo you want to hear more from.
What did you like best about this story?
That even the best intentions are not a substitute for experience or a cunning understanding of character of 19th century Londoners.
Have you listened to any of Lindy Nettleton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This is my first time listening to Lindy Nettleton. Now, I will make it a point to look for more books narrated by Lindy.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
There are moments when you find you are smiling to yourself because you can relate to the situation or the emotion March is experiencing.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful