Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer, narrated by Maureen O’Brien
Published in audio by BBC Audiobooks America
Siblings Peter, Margaret, and Celia, and Celia’s husband Charles have just inherited a ramshackle old house from their uncle. It is a bit primitive, without electricity or phone, but what is really worrying, to the women in particular, are the stories of a ghostly and dangerous monk who haunts the house and the grounds. Peter and Charles are less convinced about the existence of ghosts, so when odd things begin happening, they are sure that there is a logical explanation for the whole thing, and set out to discover what it is.
Thoughts on the story:
I love Heyer’s mysteries so much, even if they are quite general quite predictable. In a mixed blessing, this one had decided less silly characters than the other Heyer mysteries I have read (“Death in the Stocks” really took the cake for insipid yet fun characters, although they also made an appearance in “They Found Him Dead“). This one was a bit different than the others, since there was less of a strong police presence investigating the crime and more a focus on the effected family trying to figure out what, exactly, was going on. And, to my surprise, the ending of “Footsteps in the Dark” was not nearly as predictable as the other two. I was completely wrong in my guess as to whom the Monk was, although I figured out the true occupation of another character quite a long time before Heyer’s reveal.
Thoughts on the audio production:
I’m so-so on Maureen O’Brien as narrator in this production. On one hand, her voice was just as I might have imagined the one belonging to one of Heyer’s stories. On the other hand, she spoke far too quickly in the beginning, so much so that I considered using my iPod to slow down the speed of the audiobook. I’m still not sure whether she slowed down or I simply acclimated to it, but I had a difficult time catching what she said initially. Now, this does fit the feel of Heyer, but it also impeded the listening process, so on the whole I think it was a negative. Also, one of the secondary characters were French, and her French accent was absolutely painful, really the stereotypical bad French accent.
Not mind blowing in story or narration, but still quite enjoyable. Heyer mysteries are a great palate cleanser, I really need to get a backlog of them both in print and audio.
Buy this book from:
BBC Audiobooks America