Friday, July 29, 2016

The Nine Tailors (audionovel): Review

The New Year holiday finds Lord Peter and Bunter traveling to the fen country to stay with friends of his lordship. On the way, the Daimler has a misunderstanding with a narrow, hump-backed bridge and the pair find themselves nose down in a ditch. They make for Fenchurch St. Paul and soon become acquainted with most of the main characters in the upcoming mystery. A bout of influenza has also arrived in Fenchurch St. Paul and the Rector finds himself one man short for the bell-ringing scheduled to bring in the New Year. Fortunately, Lord Peter has rung a bell or two in his time and he gallantly offers to fill the gap. This gives him the opportunity to befriend and exchange gossip with most of the central actors.

A couple of months later finds a grave being opened to bury Sir Henry Thorpe with his wife (who had succumbed to the 'flu over New Year's). The gravediggers are surprised to find an unexpected corpse--the body of an unknown man, with features disfigured, and no coffin. The Rector decides to call in Lord Peter and he assists Inspector Blundell in the unraveling of the this very complicated case. Who is the man in the grave? How and when did he get there? Does it have anything do with the emeralds that were stolen at Sir Henry's wedding many years ago?

When I took off for a three-hour trip to visit my parents last weekend, I took along Lord Peter Wimsey, Mr. Bunter and the rest of the folks that we meet at Fenchurch St. Paul. Or rather the remarkable talents of Ian Carmichael who brought them all to life. I thoroughly enjoyed Carmichael as Wimsey in the visual adaptations and only wish that things had worked out when the project was first broached so Carmichael could have played him when younger. Ideally, of course, they would have started at the beginning and been able to go all the way through to Busman's Honeymoon (if only those dratted rights could be wrestled away from MGM). Carmichael did a splendid job voicing the multitude of male characters--from Wimsey and Bunter to the Rector and all the bell-ringers to Cranton, the jewel thief. The female voices were bit tougher for him, but he still managed to produce distinctive tones for Mrs. Venables, Hilary Thorpe, and the others. Since the story is so very familiar to me (I can't tell you how many times I've read it), I was able to lose myself in the storytelling and the miles just flew by on my journey there and back. A thoroughly enjoyable audio novel--with a story from one of the Queens of crime. ★★★★


Clothes In Books said...

Such a great book. Like you, I have read it multiple times, and would take it in any format. Occasionally I visit the area where it's set - I really should get an audiobook to accompany me.

fredamans said...

Sounds like a hit! Usually a print book is better, so if audio captured you to give it five stars, it has me piqued.