• The Benson Murder Case

  • A Philo Vance Mystery, Book 1
  • By: S. S. Van Dine
  • Narrated by: John Rayburn
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It gives us considerable pleasure to be able to offer to the public the “inside” record of those of former District Attorney Markham’s criminal cases in which Mr. Philo Vance figured so effectively. The true inwardness of these famous cases has never before been revealed by S. S. Van Dine, Mr. Vance’s lawyer and almost constant companion, being the only person who possessed a complete record of the facts and has only recently been permitted to make them public.

After inspecting Mr. Van Dine’s voluminous notes, we decided to publish The Benson Murder Case as the first of the series — not because it was the most interesting and startling, nor yet the most complicated and dramatic from the fictional point of view, but because, coming first chronologically, it explains how Mr. Philo Vance happened to become involved in criminal matters, and also because it possesses certain features that reveal very clearly Mr. Vance’s unique analytic methods of crime detection. If you will refer to the municipal statistics of the City of New York, you will find that the number of unsolved major crimes during the four years that John F.-X. Markham was District Attorney was far smaller than under any of his predecessors’ administrations. Markham projected the District Attorney’s office into all manner of criminal investigations; and, as a result, many abstruse crimes on which the Police had hopelessly gone aground were eventually disposed of. But although he was personally credited with the many important indictments and subsequent convictions that he secured, the truth is that he was only an instrument in many of his most famous cases. The man who actually solved them and supplied the evidence for their prosecution was in no way connected with the city’s administration, and never once came into the public eye.

I am not permitted to divulge the man’s name, and, for that reason, I have chosen, arbitrarily, to refer to him throughout these ex-officio reports as Philo Vance. We now hear the story told by author S. S. Van Dine as though Vance were a real person.

©1926 S. S. Van Dine (P)2022 John D. Rayburn

What listeners say about The Benson Murder Case

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The narrator for this book is horrid

I am sorry, but the narrator for this book is horrid. Their voice is a deep bass, but it always sounds like they are out of breath as they speak. Which makes it hard to understand at times what is being read. I am about 3 hrs into this book and already just want to skip this and see if I can't find a kindle version of this book just to know what is going on.

I wanted to know the original source material for thr Philo Vance movies and radio shows. It appears it won't be this book by a long shot with this narrator.

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Narrator difficult to understand

The story after a while was well developed and interesting. However the narrator was very difficult to understand. There were several places that were repeated and one place where the narrator even says on the recording when he started over that he was speaking in the wrong voice. Some editing would’ve been nice. I know the narrator has been around for years, I just feel that his voice was strained.

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