• Manna from Hades

  • The Cornish Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Carola Dunn
  • Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,244 ratings)

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Manna from Hades

By: Carola Dunn
Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
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Publisher's Summary

Eleanor Trewynn is a widow of some years living in Port Mabyn, a small fishing village in Cornwall, England. In her younger days, she traveled the exotic parts of the world with her husband. These days she's retired and founded the local charity shop. Her niece, Megan Pencarrow, transferred nearby and was recently promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant. Perhaps the only downside is that she is now working for a DI who doesn't approve of women on the police force and who really doesn't much approve of Megan's aunt Eleanor, as she is something of a thorn in his rather substantial side.

All of these factors collide when, the day after collecting donations, Eleanor and the vicar's wife find the dead body of a long-haired, scruffy-looking youth hidden in the stockroom of the charity shop. Then they discover that some donated jewelry thought to be fake is actually very real, very expensive, and the haul from a violent robbery in London. Making matters more complex, the corpse found in the storeroom is apparently not one of the robbers.

Carola Dunn's Manna from Hades is a confounding Cornish case of daring theft, double-cross, and a wily older woman confronted by a case of murder most foul.

©2009 Carola Dunn (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Manna from Hades

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    21

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

not so much

the main character was ridiculous. the plot was predictable. disappointed in Ms. Dunn, her Daisy Dalrymple stories are much better.

18 people found this helpful

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

No Thanks

Around 2/3 of the way through, I lost the thread of the story . . . and didn't care. Wanda McCaddon's narration couldn't bring this tedious, dated story to life for me.

16 people found this helpful

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

Fun Mystery, 10 minutes too long though

Fun cozy, interesting characters, and a good solution. Definitely worth a listen. Not sure why the author tacked on the part at the end. Seemed pretty pointless.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A little dull

It’s not a bad story. The writing is okay. It’s very... wholesome. But the characters are a little too two dimensional and not very interesting. The story sort of goes on and on, while not much happens. The narrator has a pleasant voice, but she can do about 2 different voices (and those are pretty similar). I didn’t mind listening to her but if I zoned out (the novel was a little dull) I didn’t know what characters she was reading

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't hold my attention

I've been reading cozy mysteries like they are going out of style and quite enjoying them. I really wanted to like this one. The main character is so hapless and incompetent it just got annoying. It finally dawned on me that it was like "Mr. Magoo" without the comedy. I finally gave up, deciding to find something else that I enjoyed more.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

I really loved this book. The story was very interesting and as a Doc Martin fan, I find Cornwall beautiful. I voice of this performer was pleasant, but all her characters sound alike, that was the only drawback.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Body in a Thrift Shop

In Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn, set in 1960s Cornwall, Eleanor Trewynn, a widow returned after a lifetime of adventures all over the world on behalf of LonStar (London Save the Starving Council), comes downstairs one morning to discover the murdered body of a young man unknown to anyone in her area. Eleanor had spent the previous day collecting donations for the thrift shop that raises money for LonStar. Upon unloading her car, she found a briefcase anonymously left in her car filled with jewelry that she assumes to be paste. Living above the LonStar shop, Eleanor finds the body amid the new donations piled up in the store room. With her absent-mindedness about locking her doors and using her keys, often forgetting them anywhere, including in the door or car, the young man could have easily entered the building. But why anyone would have even wanted to get into a charity thrift shop confuses the police, which includes Eleanor’s niece, Detective Sergeant Megan Pencarrow.

Eventually Eleanor remembers the jewelry in her safe, which her friends push her to notify the police about, and the police recognize the very valuable jewelry as some pieces stolen from a jeweler in London. This sheds light on the possible motive for someone to break into the shop and maybe for the murder too. But it takes plenty of police work on Megan’s behalf, working with her Scotland Yard detective former boyfriend, to find out the identity of the dead young man.

The book carries plenty of culture, both Cornish and 1960s. We see the rural life that both Megan and Eleanor live in Cornwall, with such details as the views of the countryside, the local citizenry, and the community. The book also illustrates life in the 1960s, such as the difficulties that Megan experiences as a woman in the constabulary and the homeless hippy runaway teens who live together on the streets in Bristol.

The audio version is narrated by Wanda McCaddon. I enjoyed her performance, and I think the book was enhanced by her reading it.

I have long been a fan of Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple series, so I was excited to see that Dunn’s Cornish series is now being made available on Audible. This book seems to fit with the mood of the era, though I like the Daisy Dalrymple books better. I give the book four stars.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Delightful

A lovely cozy mystery! The story was enjoyable, the characters were fun, and I thought the narrator was delightful.

6 people found this helpful

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Manna from Hades

Great mystery! Carola Dunn creates lovable characters that you don't want to leave! I'm on to the next book in her series!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator Wanda McCaddon’s grating voice, or voice fry, not an enjoyable listen

Relatively enjoyable story, interesting characters, cozy mystery style
Sadly, Narrator Wanda McCaddon’s grating voice, or voice fry, made for difficulty following story and not a very enjoyable listen overall

5 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer Patricia
  • Kindle Customer Patricia
  • 04-28-17

Manna from Hades

This amiable mystery meanders around Cornwall. I wondered if it would ever reach the end. The characters are mainly likeable though not quite believable. It all resolves nicely, though I was left thinking - well I never! The narrator is easy to listen to but some words are pronounced very strangely which made me wonder is she was a native English (UK) speaker. And I never made any sense of the title.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-15-18

More please!

I absolutely love the characters and stories from Port Mabyn! Unfortunately Carola DUNNE will not be writing more because her publisher says they weren't popular.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Renka
  • Renka
  • 09-06-17

Manna from Hades

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not really - the story is OK but the character Eleanor is just too dippy to be believable.

What didn’t you like about Wanda McCaddon’s performance?

Where did this narrator learn to pronounce English? Her pronunciation of some words is very strange - e.g. niche pronounced 'nitch'.

Did Manna from Hades inspire you to do anything?

It only inspired me not to purchase any more books in this series.

Any additional comments?

Eminently forgettable book!

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DH
  • DH
  • 08-25-21

Mediocre

Persevered with the book as it was free. It was quite tedious. The narrator wasn't terrible, though her South African accent was a blend of Swansea and Indian, definitely not South African. I wouldn't be tempted to listen to more by this author as this lacked a hook to really engage me and was a little bland.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-28-22

Soo Slow!

Had to give up as the pace was so unbearably slow and meandering, with possibly the most dim-witted main characters I have ever come across. The narration was very good though.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Celia 22
  • 08-10-22

Tends to drag on a bit.

Long story that seems to go round in circles.
Dreadful accents.
Pity, because the main characters aren’t badly written and are believable.
Okay for free.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs Linda H.
  • Mrs Linda H.
  • 08-07-22

OAP listener

A good holiday listen for those that lose keys, constantly. A cosy police procedure,well read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PPod
  • PPod
  • 07-20-22

Not Heavenly nor Hellish

A charming story that kept me company during the very hot weather. The narrators South African accent is awful and I noted a couple of mispronounced place names but overall I enjoyed it

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ms Marple
  • Ms Marple
  • 09-03-21

Cornish Mystery

I’d had this book in my wish list for a couple of years & I’m glad it was included in the Plus Catalogue. The narrator had a clear voice, although as other reviewers have said she did pronounce some words strangely & her South African accent sounded more like a Welsh Indian. I also found it difficult to differentiate between which characters were speaking, as she didn’t have different voices for each character.
As for the story, I found it to be rather weak, & I think I only persevered to the end because I wanted to know how it ended. I also got rather fed up with the repeated use of “the incorruptible” & Eleanor constantly forgetting to lock her doors.
Finally, although there is no mention of this in the synopsis on Audible, this story is set in (I would imagine) the late 1950s.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Maureen Roux
  • Maureen Roux
  • 11-27-22

An easy enjoyable listen.

I did smile at the slip up of the phrase “in one fell swoop” which was read as “in one swell foop”. I listened to it over and over to make sure I had heard correctly! The narrator was good though.