• The Bloody Tower

  • Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries, Book 16
  • By: Carola Dunn
  • Narrated by: Lucy Rayner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (697 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In early 1925, the Honorable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher - recent mother of twins - resumes her journalistic career by agreeing to write a piece about the Tower of London - the Bloody Tower - for an American magazine. Invited to observe the centuries-old ritual Ceremony of the Keys, she's spending the night (her first time away from her babies), since the complex is locked and guarded, and the high walls are surrounded by a disused moat.

Having been given a tour of the Crown Jewels, interviewed and observed the Yeoman Warders, and met the Raven Master, Daisy has more than enough material for her article and decides to leave as early as possible the next morning to return to her family. But when walking down the stairs, she almost trips over the dead body of one of the Yeoman Warders. That there's something seriously amiss cannot be denied due to the pike sticking out of his back. With her husband, Scotland Yard DCI Alec Fletcher, assigned to resolve the case, Daisy once again finds herself in the middle of a case of murder most foul.

©2010 Carola Dunn (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Bloody Tower

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

A great Daisy book with interesting historical mat

Daisy Fletcher, nee Dalrymple, stumbles over yet another body in Carola Dunn’s 16th Daisy book, The Bloody Tower. Daisy gets commissioned by her American editor to write a series of articles on the Tower of London, her first article job following the birth of her 2-month-old twins. Spending a few days exploring the Tower, she is guided by several of the guards who work there. She gets to see the Crown Jewels and the tower where the young princes were killed by Richard III, according to Shakespeare (for a fascinating debunking of this myth, read Josephine Tey’s mystery book The Daughter of Time). Having friends, the Tibbets, who live in the Tower as relatives of the governor of the Tower, Daisy gets invited to spend the night with them in order to observe the Ceremony of the Keys, a ritual performed since the 14th century in which the Chief Yeoman Warder and the Yeoman Warder Watchman secure the gates and give over the keys to the governor, meaning General Carradeen in this case. Early the next morning, Daisy, missing her twins badly, gets up and sneaks out to rush home to her babies. But instead of getting home, she stumbles over the body of the Chief Yeoman Warder, Crabtree, with a partizan, a type of medieval weapon carried by the warders, sticking out of his back. Curiously, though, what has killed Crabtree is a broken neck and not the pike.

Thus, Chief Detective Inspector Alec Fletcher gets a call to hurry over to the Tower of London to investigate the death. He faces a challenge because there are two elite groups that guard the Tower. The Yeoman Warders are all Sgt. Majors, sworn special constables of the Metropolitan Police, making them superior in rank to Alec’s team who must interview them. Then, the Hotspur Guards are an elite military unit that do not get along with the Yeoman Warders. This is going to prove to be a difficult investigation, made even more complicated by the fact that the fog was so bad the previous night that it will be difficult to find any witnesses. Causing even more confusion is the question of whether the murderer intended to kill Crabtree or whether he mistook Crabtree for a different man.

The Bloody Tower has some fun characters that I really enjoyed. General Carradeen’s two nieces, in their late teens, have bubbly personalities and chase after the officers who serve in the Tower. Mrs. Tibbet, Daisy’s former neighbor who has moved to the Tower to oversee the girls, is refreshing as a senior woman with a liberated attitude. I also enjoyed being reunited with Daisy’s neighbors Melanie and Sakari, the latter being the wife of an Indian high official, though the latter, a particularly favorite character of mine, appears in only one chapter.

This book deals with a major historical location and artifacts, and I really appreciated the fascinating stories from history incorporated into the plot of the book. We learn some of the history of the Crown Jewels, including fun cases when someone tried to steal them. There are also wild escape attempts from the past, all told within the context of the story in the book. I thought Dunn did a terrific job of working the stories into the book and making them enliven scenes that could have gotten dreary from long discussions.

Lucy Rayner narrates this book very enjoyably. Her voices come across very believably, well suiting the nature of each character, though I did feel that her voices for Daisy and some of the other women were a bit too shrill. She is actually more effective in her voices for the male characters than the female ones. In trying to create a strong enough contrast between the men and women, Rayner sometimes goes too far in raising the pitch of the women. But this issue does little to mar the quality of the performance.

I really enjoyed The Bloody Tower, with its historical elements and creative plot details. I especially love the setting and the atmosphere of this book. I give the book five stars.

10 people found this helpful

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narrator ruins story

the story is good. the narrator was horrible. Screeching and high pitched inflection when representing women. quite off-putting. I won't get the next one if the narrator is the same. annoying in the extreme.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Better read than listened to!!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Good thing I was driving so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Voice too high and grating. Accent too heavy with some characters to understand. For light reading, it should not be a chore to listen to!

Any additional comments?

i go back a long way with Ms. Dunn. Have read previous books with enjoyment, but first and last time for audio. What a drag!!

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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That sing-song voice, nooooooooooo!

Another great story and once again the author shows great fortitude by tackling sensitive and unpleasant subjects head on. My one complaint is the narrator. She does a good job with different dialects,etc, but her female voices can be so sing-song that I want to tell her to get ahold of herself. However, I was able to put aside my hatred for parts of the narration and I continue to enjoy this series.

4 people found this helpful

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a good mystery but I wanted to see more

it is another excellent Daisy and Alec mystery. Alec is given more of a center stage with his police work and questions. Daisy of course is crucial to the puzzle but it is clear Alec could have solved it with out her eventually.

as usual a wonderful cast of characters for alec and daisy to play off of and this time the tower of london is a great setting for the crime. a good adventure and even if you figure out the malefactor. i was interested enough that I hope some of these people return for future stories.

my one critique is that I would have enjoyed seeing fhe actual reaction of Belinda, Alec, Daisy, and all their families and friends to the fact Daisy had twins. With such a diverse and engaging cast of characters I would have enjoyed seeing that part even if it jsnt crucial to the main plot.

2 people found this helpful

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5 stars

The Bloody Towers are another good addition to a highly entertaining cozy mystery series. I look forward to the next one.

2 people found this helpful

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Could only listen to a couple chapters. Narration horrible .

Daisy’s voice was high pitched and screechy . Story may be good but I just couldn’t listen

2 people found this helpful

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I agree with “Melanie”

Generally a decent story but more historical information than I plot. Basic but doable story

2 people found this helpful

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pay attention

Always a challenge to keep all of the suspects straight. The person who committed the murder is always a suprise. Enjoyed!

1 person found this helpful

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Confusing cast of characters

The plot was good, but keeping the supporting cast and suspects straight was impossible. Guess you needed to be English to understand all of the military titles, especially those of the royal Beefeater ranks and job titles. Otherwise a quite interesting read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • debbie.horsham
  • 04-15-22

Unfortunately spoilt by the narration

Although I’ve persevered through the previous books, even though the narrator isn’t my favourite, I abandoned this one part way through.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charlie Watson
  • 04-13-22

I love these books, …

… even love the reader, but I do wish she could get English pronunciations. For example, Devereux she pronounced Devereux not Devereau, and similarly with Beauchamp, which should be pronounced Beecham. There were others, but you get the point.

1 person found this helpful

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  • from UK
  • 12-17-21

Narration is grating

Not one of best story lines but nice enough. Most challenging is to follow the audio due to narration being two dimensional. Women seem to have to shrewd and over tip their voices and men sound constipated and gutter all. Narration makes such a farce of characters, it is a shame.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Claire Kendall-Price
  • 10-11-21

Full of Unlikeable Characters

Virtually all unlikeable characters and an unfathomable setting full of steps. Everyone seems to be going up or down them the whole time. I fell asleep near the end and can't be bothered to rewind what I missed.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DAVID G ROGERS
  • 04-18-22

Excellent narration of an excellent story

I generally like Carola Dunn's stories in the Daisy Dalrymple series; this one is particularly good. Lots of highly accurate little historical details (and a couple of words that are no longer in common use) added to my pleasure.

Lucy Rayner's narration is excellent - good accents (with one exception too minor to change my 5 star rating) and perfect understanding of what she was reading.

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  • Peter Hutchison
  • 03-25-22

Enloyable!

Listened to this on my way to and from work most enjoyable
Odd cover picture shows houses of parliament no the tower of london?

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-19-21

it's a 'no' from me

Great Scot. What a trail getting through this. Bloated, flatulent story that never gets off the ground; paired with breathless, squeaky, irritating narration. Shove the whole thing down the stairs and drive a pike through it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steph H
  • 12-13-21

Excellent as usual

A very good next installment in this series, as usual you can listen to any of these in any order, but it does help with backgrounds and character personalities to have listened to them in order.

Great idea to have one set at the Tower of London.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Carôle
  • 12-12-21

When Will The Story Start?

I’m at chapter 18. Chapter Eighteen! The story hasn’t started as yet! She’s still setting it up!

I’m sorry, but this time it’s just too much! Too tedious. Silly characters. No substance. I’m done. (Not even the narration can save it - 2 teenage girls, 1 limp Dr’s Wife who’s described as a good representative for her husband, but who comes across as limp and timid and weak - the voices are all wrong)!

As much as this may be a freebie, it’s still not worth perusing, in my opinion.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. C. Hunt
  • 10-28-21

The Bloody Tower

Another great story with fun, shock and horror stories through out. Read brilliantly by Lucy Rayner.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-30-17

the Bloody Tower is a lovely Cosy mystery.

I enjoy the little bit of history thrown in Daisy's stories. the relationship between Daisy and Alex is lovely. Such Fun

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Janice B. Turbill
  • 04-06-17

Not my sort of book

The narrator put me off to start with. Tried to stick with it but just couldn't get past 4th chapter. Waste of money!