• Marriage Can Be Murder

  • Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries, Volume 1
  • By: Emma Jameson
  • Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (319 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Murder in Haunted Cornwall

On the eve of World War II, Dr. Benjamin Bones is at war with himself. While most young men are being sent away to fight the Germans, Ben is chosen to serve on English soil. Ordered to move to wild, beautiful Cornwall, he must trade his posh London office and stylish city life for the tiny village of Birdswing, which has a population of 1,221 souls.

But leaving his home and shelving his career ambitions aren't the only sacrifices he faces. His unfaithful wife, Penny, is accompanying him to Cornwall in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage. But moments after their arrival, Penny is run down in the street, and Ben is almost fatally injured. And while the villagers assume Penny's death to be an accident, Ben quickly deduces it was murder.

As he convalesces in Fenton House, which the locals call haunted, Ben meets Birdswing's eccentric inhabitants. Mr. Gaston, the volunteer air warden who's obsessed with defending his remote village against Nazi spies; Mrs. Cobblepot, a thoroughly practical housekeeper who believes in fairies; and Lady Juliet Linton, a prickly, headstrong aristocrat who won't take no for an answer.

While adapting to life during Britain's "War at Home," a time of ration books, victory gardens, bomb shelters, and the Blackout, Ben sets about solving the mystery of Penny's murder - with a little help from Lady Juliet and the Fenton House ghost.

Marriage Can Be Murder is the new cozy mystery series from New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Emma Jameson.

©2014 Stephanie Abbott (P)2015 Stephanie Abbott

What listeners say about Marriage Can Be Murder

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bland Dr. Bones

I had mixed feelings while listening to this book. The plot was interesting but not complex. I had the who and why figured out long before the end. Lady Juliet is fun, if a bit obsessive about her looks and personality. She is an individual with a distinct persona. Dr. Bones, our supposed hero, on the other hand, is bland and one-dimensional. His lack of interest in his wife's death is odd. He never asks about the funeral or how her family reacted. Even the secondary characters are more interesting. I don't think the author was able to get in touch with her "male" side and Bones suffers for it. Of course the narrator's laconic, at time dismissive, reading of Bones doesn't help. I doubt I will revisit the series.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it very much!

The book really had the flavor of Agatha Christie. I enjoyed the campy supernatural element. The author did a good job painting the historical setting that the story takes place in--early WWII. I was intrigued by Dr. Bones' story and I look forward to learning more about other characters in the book as well. I also really enjoy this narrator. That comes down to personal preference as I know some others did not. Fun British cozy... I'm looking forward to the next in the series!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I liked This!

Gladly this story was not all about the crime. It was filled with peripheral characters with their own stories. Also, it made me laugh!

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good start then becomes a disappointment

This started with potential and dropped like a bomb. The reviews were divided, so I thought to give it a try. It had a good start.

Ben is a widower his first night in his wife’s hometown. Penny, his wife, was from Birdswing where, as the cliché says, everyone knows everyone's name. Birdswing is, the on the Cornwall coast in pre-WWII England.

Ben, is moody; he can’t walk, he is stuck in a dark second-floor bedroom, and he feels more grateful than guilty about his wife’s death. He and Penny got married quickly and did not know each other. This trip to her hometown was an opportunity for them to reconnect. Ben was ready to divorce, but the shame made the act less desirable.

His services were needed, and he is taken to the town’s wealthy matriarch. This seems to be a good opportunity. There is no doctor between this town and the neighboring one. He is a male over 16 and under 65 and a doctor. They even set him up in a house/office, staff, and equipment. The equipment was antiquated, but it just demonstrated the effort the town went through.

With all the warm welcome, yet someone killed his wife and no one wants to speak ill of the dead.

This gets him motivated to solve his wife’s murder. The town is rich with quirky and charming characters which make it entertaining to read. The story is set in WWII. After each introduction, there was the question of did they do it. With 4 hours left in the book, the plot drops and things start to drag. I was disappointed. I should have gone with the other reviews. Oh well.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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crushing for Dr.Bones!

Suspense and hilarity all together! Emma brings out the particular nuances of each characters personality with great care and detail! Lady Juliet being my favorite.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent story and plot, but poor narration

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

yes, the characters were real and funny, and the mystery was good

What did you like best about this story?

the interaction between Lady Juliet and Dr. Bones

Would you be willing to try another one of Matthew Lloyd Davies’s performances?

I would rather have a different narrator because he whispers or drops many phrases, such as the thoughts of the characters, so that it is impossible to understand him. I re-played many passages, and often never understood his words.

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

It made me laugh and feel sympathy for the characters

Any additional comments?

great series; ask the narrator to speak more evenly!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Just did not hold my interest

I listened (seriously, repeatedly re-winding and trying to stay with the story) over three or four evenings. But then, with only the last chapters remaining, I simply gave up. I had kept telling myself that this book had all the elements of the kind of British mysteries I typically love. (In theory, it did.) Think I ultimately got turned off by the suggestions of the supernatural, but that was only after realizing that believing I "should" find a story interesting was not good enough reason to keep making myself listen to it. To me, it simply was just boring. Good narrator, though.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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GOOD. ENJOYABLE AND INTERESTING VILLAGE LIFE.

I like this first series in the Dr. Benjamin Bones mysteries. Well written and the narrator, Matthew Lloyd Davies performed the different characters. His female voices were alright easily disquintable. The mystery was quite good and I did not known who the murderer until almost the end. Very good start to a new series, glad I did not listen to the bad reviews.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Quirky mystery with really interesting characters

Really enjoyed this book and the one that follows. Set in an interesting time period (in the lead up to WWII) and with really interesting characters. I've read other series by Emma Jameson, but I think this is my favorite. Wish that there were more books in this series.

2 people found this helpful

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Could not listen to this narrator

I could not bear to listen to more than a few minutes of this book. The narrator's voice annoyed me. He alternated between practically whispering to speaking so loud that I almost turned the volume down. I encourage those who might have an interest in this book to listen to the audio clip before buying. I DO have a hearing impairment, so that may have something to do with it. But I've listened to many audio books and have never encountered this situation.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Marple
  • 07-08-20

Enjoyable

I love Emma Jameson's writing, however this first in the series didn't grab me. It started out well and the ending was good but the middle bit was a bit slow and I didn't warm to the characters. I will however give the 2nd in the series a try at some point. Wonderful narration as always my Matthew Lloyd Davies.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Antony
  • 11-08-21

Enjoyable mystery

I could listen to Matthew Lloyd Davies narrating the Yellow Pages - his voice, especially for attractive English gentlemen, is heavenly. Works for me! The story was entertaining, with characters one will enjoy getting to know in future books in the series. That said, the Americanisms grated and, she is not alone in this but it spoils the story, she gets the titles ALL wrong! Sir Oswald Mosley was a baronet, not a baron; and the widow and daughter of a baronet do not have the honorific “Lady” in front of their Christian names. Still, with MLD reading the next books - and the growing relationship between Ben and Juliet to be followed with interest - I am looking forward to more from this author. Maybe a British editor/proof reader could iron out the few mistakes.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-22

great story

loved it - lots of back story - with a strong plot - recommended

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 02-26-19

did not enjoy at all..

Usually enjoy mysteries, but this one left me flat- persevered to the end . not a fan .