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Emily has noticed that, since returning from her holiday in Scotland, her friend Vicountess Fieldhurst has been restless and despondent. Her diagnosis is instant - Julia needs to take a lover. To that end, she organises a dinner party to be held at her house to which she invites six eligible gentlemen from whom Julia can make a selection. But it all goes wrong when one prospect is shot dead and the Bow Street runners are called. John Pickett is back on the scene. But this time he is not just an investigator. Earlier that day, John had learned of an unexpected development which had followed himself and Lady Fieldhurst from Scotland which seriously impacts on both of their lives.
Another delightful and well written murder mystery who-dun-it? with the additional pleasures of watching a juggling of niceties of a bygone era, again deliciously narrated by Joel Froomkin,. His reading is well paced and articulated and suitably English accented, everything delivered with the lightest of touches, emphasising the comedic content but never simply playing it for laughs. I did however, increase the playback speed very slightly to fully enjoy his excellent performance.
In part an historic comedy of manners, part blighted romance, all wrapped into a really good story of murder and intrigue, with realistic characters and an above average narration, this is a book to be enjoyed by everyone with a delight in crime thrillers. My thanks to the rights holder of Dinner Most Deadly not only for freely gifting me a complementary copy, via Audiobook Boom, but also, in so doing, continuing my association with the John Pickett series. The follow on book, Too Hot to Handle, does not yet seem to be available on Audible but I will be looking out for it.
A real pleasure.
This book is part of a series and yet a standalone listen. I love how the author wrote a murder mystery which I did not figure out who the killer was until the very end. Sheri Cobb South is exceptionally talented and has a wonderful way of having multiple things happening in the story which fit perfectly together, yet can also be standalone items. The selection of having Joel Froomkin narrate these books is brilliant. He has so many distinguishable voices for various characters and adds so much emotion and authenticity to the books. I do not like to give away spoilers in my reviews, but I am eager to hear the next adventure of John Pickett and Lady Fieldhurst. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review
This was my first John Picket mystery and I am just sorry I had not discovered them sooner. The book was entertaining and fun to listen to as it contains many of the things I like to read about. There’s a mystery to solve, a romance to sigh over and it takes place during Regency England, a time period that I find fascinating, especially from a social history perspective.
Though the romance between John Pickett and Julia, Lady Fieldhurst develops across the series, you can pick a book midstream – like I did – and not be lost. Each mystery begins and is solved during the one book and the romance arc develops nicely. You understand what has gone on before but there are no detailed spoilers.
The writing is wonderful. There is no purple prose here. It’s crisp, expressive and articulate. The openness of some of the characters may not be in keeping with the times but it works well in telling this story to a 21st century audience who may not understand the nuances of Regency times; It was definitely a time where you could say much without using words at all.
Joel Froomkin’s narration is excellent. His portrayal of each character is very well done. The character of John Pickett is the star. His romantic feelings for Julia, his resignation at not being ‘the right sort’ for her, his desire to honour the man who helped him rise to his current position in society all come through in the narration.
The identity of the murderer is kept until the end. I did not guess who it was, but then I rarely do. I could find no fault in the steps and logic taken to determine who committed the murder. In fact, it’s a nice change of pace to read about solutions that don’t rely on technology to help solve a crime.
Finally, a special mention goes to the character of Emily Dunnington. She is an excellent representation of what was expected of and what was condoned for a woman of her standing but underneath this, she was still a person with thoughts and feelings who was trapped by her circumstances. I loved hearing about her life and listening to her advice to Julia.
Most highly recommended.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I read books one and two, missed book three, and now with book four, I got to enjoy John Pickett again. What a great character!!
The mystery is the same level of I-did-not-see-that-coming. The relationship between John and his Lady Fieldhurst is pretty special. It got a bit more special with this listen and I Iove that there is more to come.
The narration is beyond exceptional. If you've never listened to Fromkin, do yourself a favor and experience this guy.
I don't know how many books are in this series but I'm ready for them all.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful