Monday, April 29, 2013
Audiobook Review: The Frozen Shroud
The Lake District Mysteries, #6
Author: Martin Edwards
Narrator: John Lee
Unabridged, Length 8.5 hrs
Publisher: Blackstone Audio 2013
Death has come twice to Ravenbank, a remote community in England’s Lake District, each time on Halloween. Just before the First World War, a young woman’s corpse was found, with a makeshift shroud frozen to her battered face. Her ghost—the Faceless Woman—is said to walk through Ravenbank on Halloween. Five years ago, another woman, Shenagh Moss, was murdered, and again her face was covered to hide her injuries.
Daniel Kind, a specialist in the history of murder, becomes fascinated by the old cases and wonders whether the obvious suspects really did commit the crimes. He spends Halloween at a party in Ravenbank—only to find death returning to this beautiful but isolated spot. Once more, the victim is a woman; once more her damaged face is shrouded from view.
The Frozen Shroud has some of the things I like in a mystery. It's set in England, there are murders to be solved and a narrator who is one of my favorites. But it did not live up to my expectations.
The second and third murders were interesting but similarities seemed contrived. The ghost story could have been interesting but the ghost never showed up except in conversations. Maybe it was because most of the story was told through conversations. For instance, when murder historian Daniel Kind made a startling discovery, we don't know what it is until he's talking with DCI Hannah Scarlett. John Lee gave a flawless performance but even with his expertise, there were so many characters I occasionally lost track of who was speaking. It's entirely possible that I would have liked The Frozen Shroud more if I had read the series from the beginning. However, I did enjoy trying to figure out who the murderer was in all three cases. I like it when the solution isn't so obvious and no matter which person I suspect, I get it wrong. It had enough plot twists and red herrings to keep me listening to the end. I give it 3 stars.
Review copy provided by Blackstone Audio.