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This is my first Detective Lavender mystery. The prose is excellent, although the plot is more or less transparent. I have to take on faith what English society was like in the early 1800's, but the author apparently has immersed herself in the period. Lavender is persistent and thoughtful but sometimes unbelievably blind-eyed. The narrator added a lot to the reading, differentiating characters by tone and accent. He had more difficulty with female voices, but even so, did a good job. I prefer 20th century period pieces to the 19th century, so I'm not sure how soon I'll take up another Lavender mystery.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The book dwindled from a passable mystery to a drawn out bodice ripper. The narration is superior.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Interesting story of an early detective in Bow Street, Coventry Garden, a very different place than the touristy place it is today. The story evokes something of the dirt, poverty and harshness of life in England during the wars with Napoleon's forces.
Lavender and Wood make a good detective duo and it will be interesting to see how these characters are developed in future stories.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Where does The Sans Pareil Mystery rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I would rank this in my top ten. I enjoy murder mystery books with some relational depth to and between the characters, the combination of Karen Charlton's writing and imagination with Michael Page's excellent narration is a great find. I have a job that has more than enough tension and real life concerns, so it is therapeutic to get lost in a good book.
What other book might you compare The Sans Pareil Mystery to, and why?
There is a warmth and depth to the book, just enough edge and murder mystery, but warmth in the unfolding of the key characters. I would compare it to the Max Tudor series, different century, but the characters have a steady reflective no nonsense approach, but with a nod to their romantic and family lives.
What does Michael Page bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Michael Page is an excellent narrator and performer. He gives depth to the characters, I've enjoyed his narration of all the Max Tudor series, and Elizabeth Edmonson's final three books. It has been a pleasure to find him narrating the Inspector Lavender series
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Gentle tension at times, and occasional laughter.
Any additional comments?
Karen Charlton is an excellent writer, it is a great pleasure to find her books being read by some one as skillful as Michael Page.
I enjoyed this second audiobook of the Detective Lavender and Constable Woods series. The two main characters are very likeable and it is a delight to listen to their interactions.
We meet Woods' redoubtable wife, Betsy in this story and after only hearing about her previously from the point of view of her hulking, but henpecked husband, one would not have expected quote such a delightful character. We also learn more of the beautiful but secretive Spanish widow whom Stephen Lavender has fallen in love with.
Michael Page's narration is, as ever, brilliant. I fell in love with his voice with his narration of the Max Tudor series.
The story holds one's interest, even if there was more than one instance of being able to quests a plot point.
Being a great reader of many a book set during Regency times, I was surprised that the author had women attending a burial. It is my firm understanding that this did not happen during the Regency and indeed, up to and including the Victorian Era.
But regardless, this was a very worthwhile audio experience. I give the overall, 4 1/2 stars.
Lesley, from Victoria.