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Publisher's Summary

A gripping novella from the New York Times best-selling author of the Inspector Banks Mysteries and a "master of the art" (Boston Globe)

Retired Cambridge professor Donald Aitcheson loves scouring antiquarian bookshops for secondhand treasures - as much as he loathes the scribbled marginalia from their previous owners. But when he comes upon an inscription in a volume of Robert Browning's poetry, he's less irritated than disturbed. This wasn't a gift to an unwitting woman. It was a threat - insidious, suggestively sick, and terribly intriguing.

Now Aitcheson's imagination is running wild. Was it a sordid teacher-pupil affair that ended in betrayal? A scorned lover's first salvo in a campaign of terror? The taunt of an obsessive psychopath? Then again, it could be nothing more than a tasteless joke between friends.

As his curiosity gets the better of him, Aitcheson can't resist playing detective. But when his investigation leads to a remote girls' boarding school in the Lincolnshire flatlands, and into the confidence of its headmistress, he soon discovers the consequences of reading between the lines.

©2019 Peter Robinson (P)2019 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Seven Years

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A mystery for book lovers

Simply a fun listen— a tad predictable, but it didn’t matter—a perfect “car-mystery” with an interesting but not complex plot !

5 people found this helpful

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Great short story

Reads like an O’Henry short story!
Narration is superb. Would recommend if looking for an intriguing mystery.

4 people found this helpful

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Great story!

I enjoyed this story. Narrator did a superior job. Listened while cleaning the house. Made the job more enjoyable.

4 people found this helpful

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What a little gem!

I was taken aback when I realized how short it is, but it’s just right. And the narration is perfect!

4 people found this helpful

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Great story

Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this short story by Peter Robinson. Didn’t want it to end. Narration was perfect and I’ll be looking for more books read by Greg Patmore too.

2 people found this helpful

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I love a short story

This is a delightfully unique mystery. I loved all the characters and the story is strong.

2 people found this helpful

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Pleasantly suprised

It was very short with a suprising ending. Great quick read. You will not be disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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fun short story

this was a fun and surprising mystery I enjoyed it. wish it was longer. recommended leostwnimg

2 people found this helpful

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diabolical woman mystery

a quick interesting and engaging listen. a curious man follows a cryptic inscription to a diabolical woman who murdered her husband. highly recommend this for a quickie.

1 person found this helpful

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Delightful!

I’m looking forward to more works from this author. Maybe we can expect the protagonists to pair up to solve future crimes!? The narration was superb.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jan Stone
  • 10-13-21

A gentle listen

The story won’t rock your world or probably be very memorable. It won’t give you nightmares or, sadly leave you searching for other novels by the author. The narrator was very well matched to the content. A pleasant accomplishment to the ironing 🤗

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs LINDA J VRANCH
  • 10-19-21

Great short story, well read

Perfect short read and well read by Greg Pattemore in usual easy listening gentle voice

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. Amanda Hann
  • 10-28-21

7 years

Thought it was slow and boring but, well, how wrong was I. Glad to see there are more by this author

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-21

Great little short story

Enjoyed listening to this whilst recovering from flu in bed, easy to listen to and a nice little twist at the end. 👍

1 person found this helpful

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  • col2910
  • 11-17-21

Enjoyable short mystery

Peter Robinson is one of a long list of authors whose work I want to give some proper attention to, but never actually consider when choosing what to read next, or even next week/month. I'm pretty sure I read either his first Inspector Banks book, or an early standalone years ago, but then moved on. My memory fails me and the recording of my reading was only instigated in 2010. I guess I'll never know unless I happen to re-read it and I recognise elements.

An opportunity to get stuck into something from him not overly long and on Audible (with the flexibility that format affords me) was worth a punt. The fact that it was a mystery from the Bibliomystery oeuvre and centred around books was a bonus.

We have a somewhat crusty retired academic, doing some sleuthing after reading a sinister dedication in a recently acquired book. Professor Aitcheson, nosey old git that he is might wish he hadn't bothered by the end of it. Conversely he may be glad he did.

It was an enjoyable couple of hours nearly, with some book shop browsing, some white lies told, some amateur sleuthing, the odd pub lunch, a girl's boarding school, an unlikely alliance with the possibility of something more in the future, a quarry located, an interview, a confession, and several unexpected consequences.

I quite liked the story, though it was maybe a bit of a stretch initially buying into the creepy inscription triggering everything that followed. I've read names, dates, dedications in books before and they never induce more than a fleeting thought. I think my favourite find at the start of a book is a library stamp and its borrowing history - that gets me thinking. But hey that's just me.

The pace was fairly pedestrian, but I was happy getting where we were going in the author's own sweet time. I liked the style of writing, even if the main character was a bit of an odd-ball. That element probably added to the sense of enjoyment as opposed to detracting from it.


Overall 3.5 from 5

I'll have to keep Robinson in the forefront of my mind when figuring out 2022's reading plans.


Read - (listened to) November, 2021
Published - 2018
Page count - 50 at a guess (1 hr 46 mins)
Source - Audible
Fomrat - Audible

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-21

Average

Unfortunately the narrator sounded like Fonejacker’s ‘Brian Badonde’, which made it rather difficult to take the story seriously.

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  • Caroline O'Dea
  • 10-29-21

Worth a listen - short story

Good story - the protagonist is a bit vanilla and is supported by excellent characters who are electric in their own right and totally evaporate the typical boredom which comes with a plain and common main character.

The female characters totally make this story! Well done. Really enjoyed it.

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  • Pengwen
  • 10-29-21

No wonder it’s free

Imagine the worst of fan fiction and you’d be getting close to this turgid offering.