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A Study in Murder: 12/01/21
A Study in Murder by Callie Hutton and Rosie Akerman (Narrator) is the first in the Victorian Book Club mystery series. Lady Amy Lovell has broken her engagement to Mr. Ronald St. Vincent. He comes to call on her and ends up stabbed to death. Amy is the prime suspect but with her experience as a mystery author, she feels she can solve the mystery before the police do.
Working alongside Amy is Lord William Wethington. They are both members of a local mystery book club. They're currently reading A Study in Scarlet, although the choice of book has very little to do with Mr. St. Vincent's murder. In most mysteries where there's a book club or a character reading something, the reading material informs or relates to the present day murder. It's unusual that this mystery missed that opportunity.
Much of this first mystery is spent fixated on Victorian senses of propriety. Yes, the British class system and aristocracy is layered and nuanced but I swear the honorifics here are used more as padding than to add a sense of realism. British books with titled characters don't spend as much time with the honorifics as this book does.
I happened to listen to the audio and usually the narrator doesn't get in the way of enjoying the mystery. Here though, Akerman's attempts at doing different voices ends up in panto territory. The best ones are nasally but otherwise in offensive. The detective, though, has a voice that is best suited to Mr. Punch. In the context of this book, it's literally painful. Interestingly, there's a different narrator for the second book.
The second book is The Sign of Death (2021).