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Lethal Guardian  By  cover art

Lethal Guardian

By: M. William Phelps
Narrated by: J. Charles
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Publisher's Summary

Family feud....
A real-estate lawyer in Connecticut's moneyed seaside communities, Beth Ann Carpenter, 30, had beauty, brains, and success. But she wanted more - namely guardianship of her two-year-old niece, Rebecca, daughter of Beth's estranged sister, Kim.

When Kim married Anson "Buzz" Clinton, 28, a former male exotic dancer deemed an unsuitable guardian by the Carpenter family, Beth Ann became obsessed with the idea that only his death could ensure that she and her parents would get custody of the child.

On March 10, 1994, along a lonely stretch of road, Clinton was shot five times. His body was discovered by passing motorists.

Misfit murderers....
Behind Clinton's death lay a bizarre murder-for-hire conspiracy that found privileged professionals and local misfits joined in a cold-blooded plot against an innocent man. This homicidal group included attorney Haiman Clein, 52. A husband, father, and successful businessman, Clein was Beth Ann Carpenter's boss - and also her sexually-obsessed, cocaine-snorting, murderously obedient lover. The paid killers were two buddies, organizer Joe Fremut and triggerman Mark Despres, who brought his 15-year-old son Christopher along for the hit.

The aftermath of this brutal crime would set investigators and prosecutors on a long and twisted path strewn with lies, treachery, and deceit that would cross the Atlantic Ocean before finally bringing justice home.

©2008 M. William Phelps (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"A compelling narrative...entertaining and instructive." ( Columbia Daily Tribune)

What listeners say about Lethal Guardian

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Lethal Guardian

Way too much detail...Too many names and dates. I often lost track of who was who.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Approximately 10 hours too long

This book is loaded with facts, names, dates, and little else. The internal lives of the victims--some of the most compelling reading in true crime--was largely absent. I know the author poured his all into this book, but judging by the amount he has written, the author seeks quantity, not quality.

I'd pass this one. Not thrilling. A disservice to this bizarre story. Just Google it. Don't waste your time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

and indepth story of beth carpenter

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes i would.

Who was your favorite character and why?

mark despres--not because he was likable. he was not. but he was such a rediculous person--especially as a parent i fond he held my interest.

buzz clinton was the person i LIKED best.

What about J. Charles’s performance did you like?

it was fine but the audio had some problems...that is not the narator's fault.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no but i did see the story on a tv show called "snapped" so i knew the story. this book goes in depth. despres made me groan with his rediculous ways.

Any additional comments?

i loved hearing so many towns in ct as i live there including my home town of greenwich, it is cool to hear so many towns in my state of which i am familiar with.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Narrative too confusing

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

No one

What was most disappointing about M. William Phelps’s story?

This would have been a good story, but it was all over the place in description of events and characters.

Would you be willing to try another one of J. Charles’s performances?

I have tried several of his performances. He is monotone.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Lethal Guardian?

I would have assembled the entire book differently.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I'm a sucker for Phelps

Great story. I've seen a couple of episodes about the case and this book fills in all the missing information.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good but tedious

I personally thought that the writer brought a ton of humor into the presentation of this incredible story, however, there were times that felt very tedious with details that could have been left out without hurting the overall narrative.

I'm honestly not sure that I have giggled nearly as much and any other true crime book that I have read... not sure that that's a good thing but it was at least entertaining.