Comments: 8
Murder by Death 4 weeks ago
Putting aside the fact that I will have to see if I can get the audio editions that have Cumberbatch doing narration for Marsh's books, which book of hers do you recommend I read first? Start at the start? (I have two on my piles already, but you've said previously they weren't the best to begin with, so I've not looked at them again.)
You don't need to start at the beginning, no. (In fact, the first Marsh novel I ever read was her very last Alleyn book, "Light Thickens"!) I'd either start with one of the books set in the theatre or with a village setting. Perhaps for a cat lover "Scales of Justice" would be a good beginning, otherwise "Hand in Glove" ... or for the theatrical settings, "Enter a Murderer" (which is in fact the second Alleyn book) or "Death at the Dolphin". If it were Christmas, I'd also suggest "Tied up in Tinsel", which is a country house mystery, as incidentally is "Final Curtain" -- certainly one of the best entries in the series, and a major dig at aging star performers and their families.

Avoid the Cumberbatch readings, btw, and go for Anton Lesser instead. Cumberbatch is a great actor, but he has NO understanding of the material; I was seriously annoyed with him. Lesser understands and appreciates the books and Marsh's intent, and his voice is perfectly suited to portray both the male and the many female characters in the individual books.
Murder by Death 4 weeks ago
re Cumberbatch: really? wow. I'm really surprised, but good to know in advance. I'd have been double disappointed if I tracked it down and then it wasn't good.

Thank you for the list of titles - I have a feeling Mysterterious Bookshop and I are going to be emailing back and forth a LOT in the coming months and they do their best work when I have actual titles to give them.
Person Of Interest 4 weeks ago
Good to know about the Anton Lesser narration. He often portrays less than likable characters on screen but I sure enjoy his acting. My library also has the Murder Most Foul anthology, so I may give it a try. The Allingham story caught my eye, as well as some great narrators.

ETA: I see the Cumberbatch and Lesser narrations are abridged. I'm going to go with the unabridged audiobooks. My library's Hoopla titles includes 15 in the Alleyn series.Yay!
Yes, they are abridged, but the abridgements are well done; you hardly notice them. It's not like some abridgements of classics that I've come across where the material was chopped down to bare bones and the whole flavor of the book (and the writing) went out of the window as well as a consequence.

What irked me considerably more in the Cumberbatch audio was that he hadn't even bothered to get involved with the material enough to know how to correctly pronounce Alleyn's name. It may be a tiny detail to some, but to me it's just the kind of detail that distinguishes between an actor / narrator who cares and one who doesn't. Cumberbatch didn't care -- and it impacted his reading as well. Lesser clearly cared, and you could hear it.

Who is the narrator of the Hoopla unabridged editions?
Person Of Interest 4 weeks ago
Nadia May and Wanda McCaddon. I just started 'Artists in Crime' which is done by May who's good; she's pronouncing Alleyn correctly. I'm leery of abridged books, but it's good to hear you were pleased with these.
These two seem to be ubiquitous -- whatever book I look at seems to have at least one audio version by either of them!
Person Of Interest 4 weeks ago
Yes they are. I think I have a couple of May narrations -- a Christie and something else -- and Mansfield Park by McCaddon.