There are only two things in life that interest Stanley: solving crossword puzzles, and getting his hands on his mother-in-law’s money. For 20 years, the puzzles have been his only pleasure, the money his only dream. It has never occurred to Stanley that his mother-in-law would try to outsmart him and the money would never be his. Until now.
It is only now that Stanley, so clever at misleading double meanings and devious clues, decides to construct a puzzle of his own - and so give death a helping hand.
What members say
Suspenseful and entertaining
A book like this is well suited to the audio format, being both entertaining and easy to follow. It has an intriguing set-up in the battle of wills between a rich old woman scheming to drag her downtrodden daughter away from her no-good husband, and the no-good husband scheming to inherit his mother-in-law's money. There is a current of suspense running through the story that is Hitchcockian in tone, with twists in the plot to the end.
Nicky Henson is a clear and expressive narrator. True, the mother-in-law does sometimes sound like she's wandered out of a Monty Python sketch, but otherwise the characters are well differentiated and the pacing and phrasing are excellent.
Ruth Rendell's writing features precise and descriptive language with well-rounded characters. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and will seek out more of her backlist I've never got around to reading.
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