• Murder in the Museum

  • A Fethering Mystery
  • By: Simon Brett
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Howard
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (387 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Carole Seddon and her bohemian neighbor Jude find that even the cultured can be crass when it comes to murder.

The life of noted man of letters Esmond Chadleigh, poet, children's author, essayist, fantasist, is celebrated in the halls of Bracketts House. However, despite the efforts of the house's trustees, most of Chadleigh's work remains out of print, leaving the once famous literary figure out of sight and out of mind and Bracketts out of funds.

An American literature professor with a big interest in Chadleigh, and an even bigger bankroll from the university where she's tenured, can keep Bracketts running, in exchange for assistance on her Chadleigh biography. But the mistrustful trustees are afraid the biographer is only interested in rooting out the skeletons in Chadleigh's closet, especially after uncovering one in his garden.

Now, Carole and Jude must risk tarnishing the sterling reputation of a beloved author to learn whether his sword was mightier than his pen.

©2003 Simon Brett (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Another marvelous mix of social satire and traditional cozy."(Booklist)
"Howard narrates with clarity and pacing that suits the gentle nature of the writing." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Murder in the Museum

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

Simon Brett - always fun to listen to

These books are slightly on the silly side which is a nice change from the darker mysteries I often listen to. The plot is intriguing and the characters are interesting - the main characters are likable women who like to solve mysteries the police have trouble with. Lots of twists and turns kept me going until the end.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Anytime You Feel the Pain, Hey, Jude, Refrain . .

Oh, this one is sooooo good, regardless of what the critics say . . . Our Jude has her heart on her sleeve part of the time as she welcomes in an old lover to her cottage . . . a chain smoking, hard drinking, professor of literature . . . who long ago broke her heart . . . who's now dying of cancer, and refusing treatment . . . The case that Carole and Jude have inadvertently slipped into (because Carole is on the Board of Directors of a historical home/museum, Bracketts House, where a skeleton has been discovered in the kitchen garden). It turns out that the whole thing is right up Jude's friend, Laurence Hawker's alley. Anyone who knows anything about nonprofit organizations and how they operate will agree that this story has it correct, with meddling board members and a director with her hands tied. I love the part of the story where Jude is holding counseling sessions at the local prison, and the prisoner's friendship with the young mentally handicapped man. There's always SO much going on in this series. The American literature professor who so badly wants to write the biography and gather the history surrounding Bracketts House . . . Excellent story with so many twists and turns it will give you whiplash 🤪 and an ending well worth the wait.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite in the series

So, as the title says, I didn't love this book...

Jude's secrecy about her background and her casual evasiveness about telling Carole about herself is getting annoying. In this book she also allows herself to be treated badly by a horrible ex who reappears from her past. He cheated on her and caused her a great deal of misery. Now he's dying from his wretched lifestyle and apparently needs someone to sponge off of and a free nurse. She takes care of him. Nice.

Carole is unbelievably stupid in this book. She doesn't catch on about Lawrence's illness even though it's so obvious (and really Jude ought to have told her--Jude's life is intertwined with Carole's and certain parts of Jude's life ARE Carole's business at this point). Jude is terribly cruel to her friend by withholding important information that leads to Carole making the wrong assumptions, which predictably makes her feel bad later on. Slight spoiler--there is a trap. It almost has a neon sign flashing saying "TRAP" on it, but Carole walks in anyhow. So much for her ol' Home Office smarts.

The murder mystery introduced in the first pages of the book takes the entire length of the book to be resolved. And in the end, it was pretty simple and the police probably figured it out within a couple of hours of doing a DNA test.

The board meetings were ponderous and went on for far too long. So much sniping and in-fighting over trivialities. Honestly, if this appeals to you then you probably love condo association meetings.

People are described as "academics" without explaining what exactly is meant by that. It seems to be a term that completely explains the person, though to me, it tends to mean someone who takes a lot of classes. Is that a job in the UK? It sounds way cool since you apparently get to do a lot of research but you don't have to teach classes, just produce a random book on a topic of your choosing every several years.

To further embroider the misogyny (with which this book is rife), a murderer is comforted by someone telling him that he'll find lots of women ("good" women) that he won't want to kill when he gets out of prision. Again, nice.

The narration was not great... The Californian "academic" (again, what exactly does this mean?) was voiced like a cabbie from Brooklyn (in a Philip Marlowe novel!). I'm not fond of this narrator as he reminds me of someone parodying Cary Grant. Occasionally he manages some emotion in his presentation, but mostly, he could be reading a weather report.

This was OK to listen to while doing repetitive computer tasks. Not Simon Brett's best work and a little painful to get through in parts. I'm starting to dislike Jude. She is controlling of other people and needs to feel superior to everyone, so she never shares any of herself and strictly deals with people in crisis. Her relationships are never equal--and if they might be (like with Carole), she gives herself an edge through her annoying secrecy. I kind of hate her!

2 people found this helpful

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Research and Heritage

Interesting. This book was read by Ralph Cosham but the book title lists Geoffrey Howard as the narrator.
Are they one and the same?
Ralph Cosham’s voice is what caused me to get through the book. Even though he is not listed as the reader, I definitely recognized his voice. He is greatly missed.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Luke warm about this one

I'm currently listening to this series. I enjoyed the first three books, but this one - not so much. Not bad, just not as good as it's predecessors. I'm finding Mr. Howard's habit of beginning a sentence with "a"... irritating. Example: "a...what do you think about that?" I doubt this is in the book! Also, his narration of the American professor (female) is awful! He makes her sound like a member of the mafia! I noticed that Mr. Howard does not narrate later books in this series. I can't help but wonder why?? I DO plan to continue the series, however.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining

This is an entertaining addition to the Fethering series. Jude and Carole do a splendid job of investigating a murder. There are more information and insights into Jude's private life. Carole does her best to put up a stiff upper lip and not pry into Jude's life. Worth the time effort and credit.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Same old, same old

Unfortunately, Brett relies on the same plot twist to up the excitement of his tales: either Carol or Jude is trapped/captured/threatened with certain death, usually through incredible stupidity that any reader over the age of five can see through, just to be saved at the last minute. The only difference here is that Carol saves herself. You can just imagine the movie audience moaning, "No, Carol, NO! Don't go in there!" And of course, she does.
Also very irritating was the author's dislike of Americans, exacerbated by the reader's ludicrous accent. I have seen this often in British literature, especially in the less capable authors, e.g., Manhattan dowagers who sound like they come from the hollers of West Virginia. ("Wal, I reckon thet...")

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Another great listen.

Great storyline, credible and interesting. Characters remain true to themselves from book to book. I enjoyed this book.

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Interesting Mystery

I enjoy this mystery series but tire of the anti-Catholic bias that flows throughout, written by someone who, from what I’ve read here, has very little understanding of Catholicism. This mystery is interesting though. I did find Jude’s narcissistic former lover to be a little ridiculous in his intense smoking and drinking while coughing up blood from lung cancer, or whatever he had that eventually kills him, and how that seemed to be romantic and just fine. The narrator was very good.

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Soooo Dull

This title is included in my Audible membership. I gave it a chance because it was free. I found the story to be tedious and plodding. I was not invested in any of the characters; this made it challenging to continue listening. I stopped and started several times and ultimately ended listening halfway through the book not caring to finish the book.