Murder at Mallowan Hall

Murder at Mallowan Hall

by Colleen Cambridge

Narrated by Jennifer M. Dixon

Unabridged — 9 hours, 29 minutes

Murder at Mallowan Hall

Murder at Mallowan Hall

by Colleen Cambridge

Narrated by Jennifer M. Dixon

Unabridged — 9 hours, 29 minutes

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Overview

Tucked away among Devon's rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses . . .



The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha's Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor . . .



It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands-along with a distracted, anxious staff-but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered-this time, one of her housemaids-Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot's footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans' guests is the killer.

Editorial Reviews

JANUARY 2022 - AudioFile

Narrator Jennifer M. Dixon sets the perfect pace for this clever series debut set at the fictional estate of mystery writer Agatha Christie. Phyllida Bright, Christie’s capable housekeeper, channels her boss’s famous character, private detective Hercule Poirot, when she investigates the murder of an unexpected guest at a weekend house party. Dixon animates the dialogue, highlighting the relationships among the below-stairs staff: the power struggle between Phyllida and the butler, the problems chambermaids have with unruly guests, and the bustle of the diligent kitchen workers. From the moment Phyllida discovers the body, she is fully aware of the irony of a murder at the great author’s home, and after talking with the bumbling local police, she’s determined to use her “little grey cells” to solve the crime. C.B.L. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine

Publishers Weekly

08/02/2021

Set in Devon, England, circa 1930, this solid series launch from Cambridge (the Lincoln’s White House mysteries as C.M. Gleason) introduces Phyllida Bright, the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall, a “modest manor house with fifteen guest rooms” that’s home to Agatha Christie and her second husband, Max Mallowan. Phyllida is an unabashed fan of Hercule Poirot, and one reason she’s currently unwed is “that she had yet to find a man who met the standards set by the proper Belgian detective.” Early one morning, Phyllida goes to draw the curtains in the library and finds one of the Mallowans’ house-party guests lying dead on the rug, a fountain pen protruding from the side of his neck. Another murder follows. The general ineptitude of the local police offends Phyllida, who decides to use her little gray cells to solve the case. That Agatha and Max stay on the periphery of the investigation may disappoint those expecting a more active role for them, and keeping track of the large cast of servants, guests, and hangers-on can be hard. Still, readers will want to see more of the clever Phyllida. Agent: Maura Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Assoc. (Nov.)

From the Publisher

Praise for Colleen Cambridge

“Cambridge pens a thoroughly intriguing mystery, told in a unique manner from the perspective of the staff belowstairs rather than the upper class above, in this splendid first installment in a new series. Her heroine, Phyllida Bright, is the confident, shrewd, and eminently capable housekeeper for none other than the grand dame of mystery herself—Agatha Christie—and a great admirer of Christie’s fictional detective Poirot, whose methods she seeks to emulate. Fans of Tessa Arlen and Jennifer Ashley will be delighted.”
—Anna Lee Huber, bestselling author of the Verity Kent Mysteries 

"Marple and Poirot have nothing on Agatha Christie's housekeeper, Phyllida Bright. Details and diligence being the tools of her trade, Phyllida puts them to good use whether she's arranging a country house party for her employers, or determining which of the guests is a crazed killer. You'll love this new Christie-inspired series!"   
—Alyssa Maxwell, author of A Lady & Lady's Maid Mysteries and The Gilded Newport Mysteries 

“What if Agatha Christie’s housekeeper was the best detective of all? In this delightful book, she is! You will love watching Phyllida spot the clues the authorities miss when a dead body shows up in Agatha’s library. An outstanding start to what promises to be a winning new series.” —Victoria Thompson, USA Today bestselling author of Murder on Wall Street 


“Agatha Christie’s indomitable and mysterious housekeeper Phyllida Bright takes on a killer in this exciting new series from Colleen Cambridge. Fans of historical mysteries—and Christie herself—will love this well-imagined homage, and the clever twists and numerous suspects will keep readers on their toes. I’m already looking forward to Phyllida’s next adventure!” —Erica Ruth Neubauer, author of the Jane Wunderly mystery series

JANUARY 2022 - AudioFile

Narrator Jennifer M. Dixon sets the perfect pace for this clever series debut set at the fictional estate of mystery writer Agatha Christie. Phyllida Bright, Christie’s capable housekeeper, channels her boss’s famous character, private detective Hercule Poirot, when she investigates the murder of an unexpected guest at a weekend house party. Dixon animates the dialogue, highlighting the relationships among the below-stairs staff: the power struggle between Phyllida and the butler, the problems chambermaids have with unruly guests, and the bustle of the diligent kitchen workers. From the moment Phyllida discovers the body, she is fully aware of the irony of a murder at the great author’s home, and after talking with the bumbling local police, she’s determined to use her “little grey cells” to solve the crime. C.B.L. © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine

Kirkus Reviews

2021-07-28
Finally it can be told: One of Agatha Christie’s most popular novels was inspired by a murder at her (fictional) manor house solved by her (fictional) housekeeper.

Since Phyllida Bright was a nurse’s aide during the Great War, she doesn’t turn a hair when she discovers the body of Charles Waring, stabbed in the neck with a fountain pen. The murder is a bit of an embarrassment, though, since Waring was a guest at Mallowan Hall, though an uninvited one who’d arrived only the night before, and since he doesn’t really work, as he’d claimed, for the Times of London (which first-time novelist Cambridge calls the London Times). The mystery of who killed him seems less impenetrable than the mystery of why archaeologist Max Mallowan and his wife, famed mystery writer Agatha Christie, would have given the interloper a bed for the night and asked him to dinner with their invited guests: Paul and Amelia Hartford, Odell and Dora Budgely-Rhodes, Geoffrey and Tana Devine, and two single gentlemen, Tuddy Sloup and Stan Grimson. But Phyllida, once she gets over her initial reaction (how will they clean up those bloodstains?), briskly gets down to it, searching the forgettable guests’ rooms for incriminating evidence, questioning the Mallowans’ 14 servants for further information, and preparing an elaborately self-serving denouement, all the while overlooking the disdain of DI Cork and the severely limited participation of Mrs. Agatha, who comes across as a scatterbrain mainly interested in mining the leading situation for her vastly more successful novel The Body in the Library.

Christie fans can expect a series. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940177304311
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Publication date: 10/26/2021
Series: Phyllida Bright Mystery , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
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