Thursday, October 13, 2011

Death at Wentwater Court

Death at Wentwater Court, by Carola Dunn
(audiobook read by Bernadette Dunne)

Hm.  I begin to suspect that I may be too harsh a critic... This was another case of "not bad, but not great... and only mildly good".  It's a very light, fluffy mystery with a romantic subplot (which will clearly be carried over into subsequent books in the series).  The bad guys are very, very bad (irredeemable), and (most of) the good guys are just too good to be true (sickeningly so, at times).  Daisy herself strikes me as a little Mary Sue-ish.  She's "cursed" with one of those faces that inspire confidences, so of course everyone tells her his/her life story with hardly a moment's hesitation.  (If this is going to be a "thing" in this series, it's going to get old fast.  In fact, it was already old, by the middle of this book.)  I'm a bit disappointed; I'd been looking forward to this series (possibly based on the name "Daisy Dalrymple" alone), and now I find it merely "alright".  Still, if you like British-style mysteries set (if not written) between the wars, this is probably worth a look.  I'll likely give another book or two a try in the hope that the author was just finding her feet with this first entry in the series.

As I noted above, I listened to the audiobook version-- and yet again we have the narrator "doing voices".  She was decent on the women's voices, I guess... Though her Annabel got on my nerves, that might've been the character's fault as much as the narrator's whispery rendition.  Overall, I didn't like her intonation, much of the time, with sentences ended on a raised inflection that I think should usually be reserved for questions. Then there was the way she pronounced "pater"-- like "patter" instead of "pay-ter".  Evidently, that is an accepted pronunciation, but I don't approve-- and since it was in the prologue, it started us off on a bad foot.  Oh well.  I'm picky about audiobook narrators, it seems.  (What a shock.)

Side Note:
This was another library check-out.  This was the first time I've tried listening to an audiobook on the Kindle (as opposed to the computer or MP3-player) from start to finish.  If I wasn't careful, I'd return to resume listening only to find that the Kindle had forgotten my place in the audio file-- and it's a true pain to find your place again when you can only skip ahead 30 seconds at a time in an hour-long clip.  (The book was broken into six pieces each of approximately 60-75 minutes.)  At first, I wasn't sure what was going on (and still am not, entirely), because one time the Kindle would remember my spot just fine, then the next time it would have taken me back to the beginning of the clip.  I think I've figured out that to ensure my spot is bookmarked, I have to pause the file, then go back to the home screen of the Kindle before putting the device to sleep.  If I just pause it without returning to the home screen, the Kindle forgets my spot.  It's weird, and I can't figure out why it works that way-- fortunately, I've never had that issue with a regular e-book-- but for whatever reason, that seems to be the situation.  It's not a big deal, so long as I remember to pause and hit the "home" key before shutting down.