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STORY (murder mystery) - Giles, a butler, reluctantly must host a murder mystery game on a small Caribbean island. There are 10 co-workers who have been "rewarded" by being trapped for a week at the luxury resort where Giles works. Someone is killed each day, and the survivors must compete with each other to solve each murder. They are allowed to visit either the murder scene, the morgue or the last place the deceased was seen alive. Some work alone, and others are trusting enough to form alliances. The winner may rest assured he has been spared from becoming the next victim.
The book is short (about 6 hours) and moves quickly. Since there are multiple murders, the riddles and clues are not very detailed. The murders are pretty grotesque, but the author moves quickly to the participants trying to solve the murder and doesn't dwell on the gory details. I'm pretty squeamish, and I was okay listening to this book. The murderer is revealed in the end, and the book comes to a satisfactory conclusion.
PERFORMANCE - The narrator had an awesome "butler voice." It was very low with an English accent, and pompous enough to sound like the butlers you see on TV. He made a pretty good attempt at giving the characters different voices and even did a halfway decent teenaged girl.
OVERALL - (actual rating 3.5) Can't go wrong with this freebie. There's another called Murder in Mystery Manor, which I plan to hear as well. There's no cursing and only slight references to sex, but you must be prepared for some brief grisly descriptions. It's definitely not a high-quality listen, but I still found it entertaining. Check it out.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Really enjoying the Whodunnit series so far. Especially it combined with the TV show. This book keeps with the solid history of the two for a good mystery with solid characters brought together by Gildart Jackson's excellent performance.
Lets begin with Gildart Jackson. His performance, in book and TV form, really brings the story together. He is the central figure in the world and seems to have moved from third party to active participant as he is realizing his bad luck is inescapable. He never relishes in his role as primary puppet but he does work towards cutting the strings and making it his own. A bit like Watson telling the story for Sherlock.
Beyond that, the story he is given has pretty good characters and puzzles to solve. There are two minor week points in this story that isn't necessarily negative but does prevent a 5 star rating.
First, the killer unlike the first book and TV show, was a little more obvious I found. Even though I found myself not really thinking about the killer through most of the book, he or she was easier to pick out. The person with the highest chance of winning quickly became obvious too which was also disappointing even though it did create a desire to pull for an underdog(s) and keep reading hoping my underdog was part of a twist.
Second, the rule breaking. Part of what holds the series together previously is the following of the rules and consequences. While the story has nice twists but when the game is afoot, the game should be played. It felt this story, partially by its location, was a little too free with the rules by the end even though the beginning starts strong. Part of that falls on the fault of the killers overreaction/lack of patiences.
Yet these are minor gripes in the overall story which is easy to be lost in especially for the people who like solving the puzzles along with the characters. The world feels alive and characters feel real. The idea of business retreat with characters familiar yet not was actually a creative setup. It is the most familiar yet unfamiliar environment working in a large corporate environment and opened up some fun scenarios and instant teams that the first book and TV show had to flush out.
Overall, this book was a fun murder mystery. Outside of my few little plot points, you will find every mystery a chance to figure out howdoneit and you will enjoy the same guessing game as the previous novel and TV show.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful