• Once Upon a Haunted Moor

  • The Tyack & Frayne Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Harper Fox
  • Narrated by: Tim Gilbert
  • Length: 2 hrs and 57 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (1,764 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It's not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he's gutted - he's a level-headed copper who doesn't believe in such things, and he can't help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.

But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee's insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon's heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It's cost him one lover, and he can't believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.

Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones - Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who's begun to restore his faith in his own heart.

©2013 Harper Fox (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Once Upon a Haunted Moor

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

Excellent start, terrific narration

Once upon a Haunted Moor was an excellent start for a series and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Sure it was a bit rough around the edges, and I would’ve loved for it to be a full-length novel. But I enjoyed it all the same - and you can't have it all (unfortunately).

Even though this was such a short novel it was packed to the brim. The tale Fox created was wonderfully atmospheric. It's set in a small town named Dark, and the name truly fits the feelings Fox evokes with her words; a quiet town with mysterious creatures haunting the moors. At times you could feel the creepiness come crawling, scratching on your door, wanting to be let in. Just remember; "let naught but love enter in."

I liked both Gideon and Lee, they were good together. They are so very different, but they somehow just fit, I loved the fact that there was an attraction, between them, but that it wasn't insta-love. It ended with a tentative HFN; "let's see where this takes us" kind of thing. And I'm glad for that. I love when relationships have are able to progress naturally. Which is one of the reasons why, after finishing this book you immediately want to dive into book 2. You just *have* to know more.

Tim Gilbert was a good choice for narrating this book, His voice really contributes to the feelings, and the hauntings fox created with her words. Gilbert takes her words and makes them come alive.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes Reviews

53 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Will it get better?

I liked the story and narration, but it was too short. Not much character building. The mystery was solved quickly and predictably. I’ll listen to the next one, but if it’s not longer and more in-depth, I probably won’t finish the series.

46 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not What I Thought!

I thought this was going to be a short murder mystery. it failed to keep my attention. sorry that I purchased it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Kd
  • 12-12-17

Atmospheric mystery romance

3.75 for story & overall
I was enjoying this short story, but started to enjoyed it more with the introduction of Kai (old Cornish word for dog), Gideon's dog, an adorable, love-seeking, past herding female collie with a charming fluctuating personality. Who can resist?
The story is such a small taste of detective Gideon Frayne's life on the moors; that's probably the only disappointment. Included in this tale is clairvoyant and love interest, Lee Tyack, who was called in to help Mrs. Kempt find her missing daughter, Sara. Gideon was bothered by Lee's presence and help. The story had very likable characters. I even had pity for the culprit. And I enjoyed the small village feel. The mystery is ok, intriguing enough for a short story. There's a supernatural element that's left unanswered and remained an intriguing mystery at the end of the story, perhaps to continue in books to follow.
It has 1.5 brief M/M intercourse scenes and 1 spoken of in past tense. The narrator's ability and accent brings the story to life. The story is complete, but it's the start of a series, which is why it is insufficiently short. I wish there was more.
At the end, listeners get a preview of Tinsel Fish but no idea what the mystery will be.

21 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A gay romance sold as a mystery novel

I got this book for $1 and and I'm glad I got that deal. The book is rushed but well written, the narrator is good and the whole thing can be finished in one sitting. The plot and pacing is nothing special but it is competent despite having a very disappointing finale. This is more of short story than anything.
Where I take issue is the romance bait-and-switch. The summary would have you believe this is a mystery novel. It's not. There is a mystery yes, but the focus of this book is the romance. I can accept heavy romance in other genres but only as an aside, I do not read mysteries for prolonged descriptions of love-making. The romance in this case is homosexual and it feels like the author is preaching to his readers. The "sneak-peak" into the sequel literally details nothing of the plot and is entirely about the romance between the two leads. To me that speaks volumes on this series' priorities; not to craft a good mystery, but to chronicle a gay romance. Very disappointing.

31 people found this helpful

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Don't waste your dollar!

Sorry to be so negative, but if you can't like or relate w/ the main character there's not much driving the story! Could not get through even more than an hour. Not a very interesting story other than the clairvoyant.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Haunting, Sexy & Intense!

This was a Daily Deal so I took a chance. I am so glad that I did. This author writes with passion. This narrator was perfect. I am hooked now and will listen to all in this series for sure!

4 people found this helpful

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Not as expected-wish i wouldv'e read reviews

Story felt a little rushed and hard to follow at times. Was caught off guard when it turned into a steamy romance novel. Was glad that the sex scene didn't go on too long but it was more descriptive than I was ready for. Stayed with it until the end but I think it felt more like a short intro story to set up the next book. Looks like it's a long series so there must be an appeal for a bigger audience - but not for me. Liked the narrator's voice and accent.

7 people found this helpful

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A haunting mystery!!

I loved this novella set in the Cornish Moors!! As always, the setting was a character in full force in Harper Fox’s mystery.

This one involved a missing girl. Gideon, the police constable in the small village of Dark, has been doing all he can to find her.

A psychic offers his services, but while Gideon scoffs at his help, he uses him. Together, they solve the mystery.

I love the set up for this couple and can’t wait to see them in action in all the other books. They are sweet and sexy together.

The audiobook rocked! Tim Gilbert added an element of spookiness to Fox’s excellent setting!

14 people found this helpful

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More Romance than Mystery

The description sounded much more like a murder mystery with maybe some supernatural undertones. It feels more like a steamy romance novel. Got about 1/2 way through and gave up. The mystery wasn't too engaging anyway.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 04-12-18

Fantastic

Fantastic writing and narration. Any Harper Fox book is quality.

But I didn't appreciate Audible Studios adding the first chapter of book 2 at the end of book 1. it gives listeners a false impression of book length and puts the book in a higher price bracket. That's not cool.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Gerard
  • 09-28-21

I had to stop listening

This is a short piece but I couldn’t listen to it beyond the first quarter. I’m not sure who the intended audience is. Young teenagers perhaps. The story was dire. The descriptions of the romance bizarrely adolescent bearing in mind the supposed ages if the protagonists.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mee
  • 08-29-19

Short but enjoyable listen

Nice intro to the characters and lots of atmosphere surrounding the mystery.
Narration is good and it's an easy listen.

Bit irratated to find the last 'chapter' is a sample of the next book, not encountered that gimmick before.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ronald Betts
  • 03-23-22

Bodmin Moor

Interesting close to home story and the local copper who tries to hide his gay side and which all the villagers know about, the strange goings on on the moor and where people disappear and where he finds them. Exciting and well narrated enjoy.

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  • Liam
  • 02-23-22

Very enjoyable

A good balance of mystery and romance. I am looking forward to seeing how the story develops in the next book. As a collie owner I love the dog and that she is more then just a passing point in the story.

The setting of the Moors adds great imagery to the story making it feel very cold, isolated and creapy especially in the night scenes. We have all at one point been out in the dark and heard ominous noises and felt the presence of someone or something near by when nothing is there. Or is there?

This audiobook isn't the longest but it set up the location, introduced the main characters and gave us a taste of there back stories. But best of all was red with great inflection and was really good fun to listen too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BlakWulf
  • 12-26-21

great story and well told

The narrator did a wonderful job on a great story. Cornish accent beautifully blended with the rest.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-21

Very Surprising

I was really surprise by how engaging the story and the performance are! Pitty it's so short but luckily there are more books in this series. I liked the mashup of genres being far from obvious within this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MaryD
  • 01-13-18

Excellent

This is an all time favourite series of mine. I love the mystery and mysticism combining a bit of who done it with things no one can explain.
Tim Gilbert’s narration suits the story so well. He brings both Gideon and Lee to life giving the story extra vitality.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JBo
  • 12-19-17

Very good mystery & paranormal

This is a good mystery about a missing girl and the PC and psychic who find her. The descriptions of the countryside are well realised and the language is beautiful. The paranormal incidents are cleverly done and come across as logical when the process of working out what they mean is set out. The characters are easy to differentiate between although, in my head, Gideon wasn't quite as gravelly as portrayed so that threw me slightly but apart from that the narration was very good and I'm going to carry on with the series. Would recommend.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-19-22

Fun Sexy Short

The narrator's performance was amazing for this quick little snack of a story. Much like a snack, don't go into this expecting something hearty or overly filling. But it is most definitely an enjoyable treat that is worth a spare credit if you have one.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 03-06-22

Atmospheric mystery on the moors!

Lonely and closeted, Gideon Frayne is the village bobby in Dark on Bodmin Moor when a young girl goes missing. He is frustrated by the offer of help from Lee Tyack, a clairvoyant, but the two eventually mesh well together both professionally and personally. This short PRN murder-mystery romance had a haunting, eerie atmosphere and introduces us to Tyack and Frayne as well as the Bodmin Moor district. Frayne is typically dour but softens in Tyack’s more open presence and it will be fascinating watching the two navigate their relationship over the series. Being such a short work (94 pg, 3 hrs on audio), the mystery is fairly straightforward but no less compelling. Audio narrator Tim Gilbert narrates well with some great UK regional accents.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Louise
  • 09-27-21

A great introduction

A great introduction to the author and to this series. The plot itself is fairly straightforward but this audiobook serves well to introduce Tyack and Frayne, who are terrific characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Donna Hirsch
  • 02-26-18

Can't wait to continue the series.

Great narration by new to me Tim Gilbert. Love the story of Tyack and Frayne. The abducted little girl storyline just added to the suspense