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The Dower House Mystery  By  cover art

The Dower House Mystery

By: Patricia Wentworth
Narrated by: Anne Hancock
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Publisher's Summary

Amabel Grey, a widow with a modest income, needs money. Fast. Her spoiled daughter Daphne has an opportunity to go with friends on holiday, and she's convinced it will end with a lucrative marriage proposal. But where to find 200 pounds?

Amabel refuses to borrow money she knows she can't repay and visits a lawyer friend to ask about ideas for employment. She overhears a client requesting the lawyer find someone to live in his Dower House for six months. The stipend is 200 pounds! And she knows the house, having visited 20 years before. The catch? Previous tenants have been driven away by strange happenings, and the village is convinced the place is haunted. The owner wants the rumors to stop.

Will strange noises, closing doors, and rising mist in the hallways intimidate the determined Amabel? Who or what is trying to scare her away and why?

Listeners of The Astonishing Adventure of Jane Smith will again encounter Jane, her anarchist uncle, and Criminal Investigations Chief "Piggy" LeMesurier. The Dower House's inhabitants and neighbors include a long-lost love of Amabel's.

Public Domain (P)2021 Anne Hancock

Critic Reviews

"This classic British whodunit from the Golden Age of mysteries has been recorded to delight another generation. A comely middle-aged widow agrees to reside in what is reputed to be a haunted house for six months to earn money for her spoiled daughter. With panache and practiced skill, narrator Anne Hancock evokes the gloom of the old Dower House, with its peculiar staff and disconcerting neighboring families. Hancock brings to life the winsome widow and endows her with a rational, cultured voice. She also produces many other compelling portrayals, including those of family retainers, local residents, and people of differing ages, genders, and social background. This is a nostalgic treat." (D.L.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine, published June 2021)

What listeners say about The Dower House Mystery

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Excellent!

One of the best who-done-its I've ever read/listened to. Brilliant writing and narration. Highly recommended!

8 people found this helpful

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Another excellent book from Patricia Wentworth

Another excellent book from Patricia Wentworth and Anne Hancock. It had a very engaging story that challenged the reader to figure out the mystery. I listened to this immediately after finishing "The Astonishing Adventure of Jane Smith." It was nice that a few of the characters in "Dower House" were also in "Jane Smith." Having already listened to all the Miss Silver books, some multiple times, I would gladly listen to other non-Miss Silver books from Patricia Wentworth.

7 people found this helpful

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Cute

It's a cute, classic mystery. A bit drawn out in parts but the end was just right. I'd probably have thrown my poor phone out the window if a certain announcement wasn't made at the end though *chuckle*. Definitely worth a listen if you want something nice and relaxing.

6 people found this helpful

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Nice Gothic

Interesting premise, totally predictable ending but getting there is an enjoyable listen. The selfish spoiled daughter was irritating but necessary to drive the plot. In keeping with the genre, it ends with HEA all around (except for the bad guys). Narrator does a fine job.

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I think there are several plot problems

Perhaps I'm being too critical and I realize this book was written in a different age, but I think there are some significant issues with the plot.

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The Dower House Mystery

Patricia Wentworth always pleases. I love her books and although I’ve read most of them, I will continue to get them in audible as well and listen to them again.

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Nice old school mystery!

The narrator did an excellent job and the cozy style story was really very good! The plot was decent but not having read any of of this author’s previous mysteries I found the introduction of a couple of “deus ex machina” characters near the end who I guess are regulars
In her books (?) a little disconcerting. NBD, it was an enjoyable book!

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Grand Ghost Story

Totally kept me envolved...& great ghosts! Only wish it had not ended so abruptly....wanted to linger with the ending longer!

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  • Tab
  • 03-08-21

Give this one a miss

Patricia Wentworth's later books are so strong, and this one is so weak, it's a shame, because her Miss Silver series could lose an audience if this book was listened to first. The only point of interest for me was in realising that Georgette Heyer must have cribbed this plot for her first mystery novel: Footsteps In The Dark. The plot similarities are just too many. Heyer's book is much better written though, and well worth a listen. Give The Dower House Mystery a miss.

5 people found this helpful

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  • M.
  • 11-27-21

Good performance enough but...

Americanisms in pronunciation slip occasionally into this otherwise good performance - mildoo (mildew), noo (new), pahnd (pound).
The story is what one expects from Wentworth so quite satisfying.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AMcT
  • 07-03-22

Childish plot

This might as well have been an Enid Blyton book - coincidences and secret passages. Also, the narrator did well but why not choose an English actor?

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  • M. Hands
  • 06-29-21

Good old mystery!

I know people have been critical of this book. It’s an early Patricia Wentworth and even though it lacks the polish of her Miss Silver mysteries I still enjoyed it. Undemanding to listen to whilst I was painting. It’s got a bit of romance a bit of mystery and a bit of a twist at the end.

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  • Flossie
  • 09-28-22

good/average listen

It was quite a good story but some of it was a bit predictable. The narrator does an excellent job