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The Viaduct Murder

Written by: Ronald Knox
Narrated by: Mike Grady
Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Marryatt (the clergyman), Carmichael (the retired don), Reeves (the former member of the military intelligence), and Gordon (the vacationing golfer) are playing golf in Paston Oatvile when Reeves slices his drive from the third tee. In searching for the ball, they come upon the dead body of Mr. Brotherhood below the railroad viaduct. When they find Brotherhood’s hat 15 yards away from the body, they suspect dirty work is afoot, and so the foursome sets out to solve his murder.

A witty, clever and thoroughly delightful classic British mystery story, The Viaduct Murder is the first of Ronald Knox’s detective novels and the only one that does not include Miles Bredon.

©1925 Ronald Knox (P)2012 Audible Ltd

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • connie
  • 20-01-13

witty but dry & donnish vintage detection

Late middle-aged amateur gentleman sleuths bumble about their very Brit golf club some time after WWI, joking about Sherlockian logic while postulating how a convoluted murder "hangs together." The mystery is secondary to the eccentrics and their exchanges. It's no surprise to learn the author was an academic priest writing mysteries as his hobby. He probably inspired the young Michael Innis in his craft!

This deserves to be revived for fans of Sherlockian satire. The narrator is wonderful for the old fashioned but melodic dialogue. You may like it if you're a fan of old fashioned British cozies and can ignore some of the dated (but tongue-in-cheek) philosophizing.

27 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 16-01-20

You Can Explain a Lot by Overlooking the Facts

It’s all rather reminiscent of Chesterton—laughs (my title is an example), the illuminating play of paradox and irony, gentle yet pointed social and cultural criticism—but with the advantage that Knox displays a lighter touch. The result is both thoroughly entertaining and (yes, I mean this) spiritually edifying. So far from being "out of date", the philosophy espoused is merely out of fashion.

After three attempts to write this review I’ve decided that, if I’m not going to spoil it for you, that’s about all I can say. Mike Grady is superb at the mic, giving the four friends who try to solve the murder distinctive voices and, even more importantly, reading the story in the spirit in which it was written.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Regina
  • 15-05-13

Very enjoyable, old fashioned mystery

You don't have to like golf to like this story, but I'll bet it helps. Elderly English golfers living around a golf course team up to solve a murder, discovered by them on the weeds surrounding their beloved course. I never heard of Ronald Knox, but this is a very elegant and funny book. He deserves to be remembered for it.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 15-04-13

A Slightly Academic Who-Dunnit

Certainly this book was well read and it kept my attention. I was not familiar with Ronald Knox's work before and I look forward to exploring more of his work. I do not want to spoil your enjoyment by revealing the plot. I would, however, note that there is something of a dry, academic feel to this book as the evidence is reviewed over and over again as theory is piled on top of theory. That said, I shall certainly listen to it again and, I suspect enjoy it all the more the second time around!

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin
  • 11-02-18

Entertaining, clever, (but not pure whodunit)

What made the experience of listening to The Viaduct Murder the most enjoyable?

Entertainingly written.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

A more wholehearted commitment to detective convention. Finished the book with rather a feeling that I had had my leg pulled by a very clever author.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Liked -The non-dialogue parts.
Disliked - the dialogue - poorly differentiated, the characters seemed mostly to be old-buffer robots.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I would like to try some others by Ronald Knox to see if he can take the genre a bit more seriously.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul Cook
  • 20-05-19

Don't expect a traditional mystery

While this is Knox's first book, he already knew enough about the mystery genre to humorously deconstruct it here. That said, the focus is more on the main 4 characters trying to solve the case than it is about the crime itself. I didn't like it when i thought it was a traditional mystery, when i saw it was more of a comedy I changed my mindset and liked it far more. The narrator does an acceptable job but isn't as energetic as the guy who voices the other Knox books on audible.