• The Mangle Street Murders

  • The Gower Street Detectives, Book 1
  • By: M. R. C. Kasasian
  • Narrated by: Lindy Nettleton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (783 ratings)

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The Mangle Street Murders

By: M. R. C. Kasasian
Narrated by: Lindy Nettleton
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Publisher's Summary

The first in a charming, evocative, and sharply plotted Victorian crime series starring a detective duo to rival Holmes and Watson.

After her father dies, March Middleton has to move to London to live with her guardian, Sidney Grice, the country's most famous private detective. It is 1882, and London is at its murkiest yet most vibrant, wealthiest yet most poverty-stricken. No sooner does March arrive than a case presents itself: A young woman has been brutally murdered, and her husband is the only suspect. The victim's mother is convinced of her son-in-law's innocence, and March is so touched by her pleas she offers to cover Sidney's fee herself.

The investigation leads the pair to the darkest alleys of the East End, and every twist leads Sidney Grice to think his client is guilty. But March is convinced he is innocent. Around them London reeks with the stench of poverty and gossip, the case threatens to boil over into civil unrest, and Sidney Grice finds his reputation is not the only thing in mortal danger.

©2013 M. R. C. Kasasian (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Mangle Street Murders

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    375
  • 4 Stars
    227
  • 3 Stars
    117
  • 2 Stars
    36
  • 1 Stars
    28
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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    59
  • 2 Stars
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    190
  • 3 Stars
    108
  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    29

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Witty and clever British mystery

M. R. C. Kasasian has written a charming and mischievously witty mystery which takes place in 1882 England. Audible gives us the option to "view the series," but this is the only book that shows. There must be more somewhere, because, as fun as this book was--especially to listen to (kudos to the delightful reading of Lindy Nettleton!), it unfortunately ended with almost all of the major points cleared up, except one: who is the mystery person that March Middleton, the newly claimed ward of Sidney Brice--detective who is known by all the city, is writing to?

It opens with March Middleton leaving her home, after her father's death, and going to the home of Sidney Brice, a well-known (Sherlockian-style) detective to live as his ward. She finds him shockingly outrageous, overly dramatic, seldom patient with her, often rude to everyone, and yet, somehow, she forms an attachment to him. We find ourselves in yet again another Watson-Sherlock knock-off. This one most resembles Laurie King's Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series.

At first I wanted to yawn and just get through it, but then I realized it was growing on me. In King's series, Sherlock has formed a genuine attachment to the young Mary Russell, but in this one, although there are brief moments when Sidney Brice appears to have some personal care and concern for his new young ward, they are fewer and farther apart. Brice is similar to Holmes in that he has the incredible ability to see clues where others don't, which leads to solving crimes, but even as remote from emotions as we view Holmes, I would say that Brice is created to be a bit more blatantly narcissistic, and somehow it does not work quite as well. I was a tiny bit put off by his character, even while basically enjoying the book as a whole.

I felt it was a credit well-spent, but since the author left things unfinished with one character (minor to the reader I guess, but very important to March Middleton), the purpose of whose very existence is left somewhat unclear, it would seem that there must be another book in this series to pick up where this leaves off. But Audible does not seem to have it (perhaps will in the future). It will not hurt in listening to the story, since he is not central to the solving of the crime, but it just left me feeling a bit disappointed. Guess I just like things to be neatly tied up at the end :-)

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Uneven

Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot is vain, clever, and quirky, as is Kasasian's Sidney Grice. What makes Poirot work and Grice not is a set of redeeming qualities; Poirot keenly pursues justice and expresses compassion for others. Grice is merely annoying--greedy, self-serving, complacent, dishonest-- so much so that I found it difficult to get through the book. Worse, about two-thirds of the way through, the author seems to change his mind about Grice. In the course of any novel, a gruff character may be shown to be kind underneath, or a character the reader thought mistaken may be proved to be right; but these changes must be justified in terms of the plot. If the writer manipulates characters for the sake of plot instead of the other way around, it shows.

The inspector and other characters are one-dimensional. Narrator March Middleton is the most fully drawn and has some attractive qualities that will carry her through a series. She smokes and drinks at a ladies' club, for one thing. We are given to understand that she is grieving, but that part of her character is oddly disassociated from the rest. It's supposed to be the reason she drinks but doesn't affect any of her other actions or thoughts. She is sometimes intelligent but sometimes not.

All the men make misogynistic remarks typical of fictional portrayals of the era. March sometimes responds in an entertainingly clever but realistic fashion. The horrors of poverty are portrayed to a near caricatural extent, again for effect rather than to support plot or theme.

What about that plot? The book is very slow for the first two-thirds, which can be a good thing if you're listening while driving or performing other tasks that require attention. I'm not bothered by the improbabilities connected with the murders. By the time I get to the big reveal, I don't know that I care.

Readers may hope for improvement as the series goes on.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A New Favorite Author --Hope this becomes a series

Where does The Mangle Street Murders rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

March Middleton makes this book. She is intelligent and naive at the same time. The relationship with her guardian makes this a duo you want to hear more from.

What did you like best about this story?

That even the best intentions are not a substitute for experience or a cunning understanding of character of 19th century Londoners.

Have you listened to any of Lindy Nettleton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first time listening to Lindy Nettleton. Now, I will make it a point to look for more books narrated by Lindy.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There are moments when you find you are smiling to yourself because you can relate to the situation or the emotion March is experiencing.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible

This book portrays women as stupid and annoying, the main female character is constantly telling people to be nice. It’s a throw back to the way women were shown in the 1950’s on TV. The worst trick of it is, that it makes u think that she is going to be right in the end. Having women drink and smoke is not liberated or intelligent.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible. Asshat male secondary right in his abuse

Main character never allowed to get out of under secondary asshat domineering character who is in the end proven to be correct in being completely dismissive and belittling of her intelligence. Main character is in the end proven to be too stupid to live and function on any level in the world on her own. Damn! I wish I had dumped this book long before finishing but I kept waiting for her to put this absolutely horrible man in his place and OH MY GOD, IT NEVER HAPPENED!!! HE WINS IN THE END!!! Ehat kind of backwards crap is this?!?!?!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Weak story and underwhelming narration

This book might be better read than listened to but I'm not sure it will make a difference.

I was confused to say the least by March Middleton, at once both a girl who had never been kissed and a woman who had been engaged to a soldier in India. It was as if she had a split personality but the reader never got to see where they overlapped. I was also perplexed by the side story involving a woman March meets on a train in the opening scene and the women's club March joins. The only point of the subplot seemed to be to emphasize that March was a modern woman who liked to smoke and drink. Yet for being so modern, she meekly stood by while all the male characters in the book, even some minor ones, told her how unattractive she was. Her lack of emotional response to such attacks was disturbing. I was not surprised to find out the author is a man-a man who doesn't appear to understand women. Maybe doesn't even like women much. All the female characters are flat. Actually, I think March will discover in a future volume that the main male character, Sidney Grice, is actually a cross dresser. The author has already thrown out a few hints.

I didn't like the narrator and doubt I would listen to other books she reads.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Stopped listening after second dead infant

What did you like best about The Mangle Street Murders? What did you like least?

The dead infant theme was poignant but gratuitous. I don't need that in my 'fun' reading.

Would you recommend The Mangle Street Murders to your friends? Why or why not?

No.

What about Lindy Nettleton’s performance did you like?

It was fine.

Do you think The Mangle Street Murders needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Well, not really. I'm not terribly committed to any of the characters, except maybe the cop.

Any additional comments?

No.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Victorian Murder Mystery!

Would you listen to The Mangle Street Murders again? Why?

Yes I plan too because I really found it well written and performed. Interesting and sometimes humorous characters, as well as many twists and turns during the investigation. The attention to detail by the author is excellent, it can be quite morbid and graphic at times with a pinch of humor which I really enjoyed. It also brings to life the London of the time period it takes place in.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Mangle Street Murders?

The "roving" eyeball!

Have you listened to any of Lindy Nettleton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first performance I've listened to by Lindy Nettleton, and I would love to listen to more books narrated by her! Her performance was excellent.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible spoof like mockery of Sherlock Holmes

This book is terrible. The main protagonist is an obnoxious mean spirited egotist. He is a mockery of Sherlock Holmes. His “Doctor Watson” is his female ward, who puts up with his condescending arrogance for no apparent reason. The solution to the mystery is ridiculous and the protagonist fails to explain how he arrived at his solution. This was a complete waste of time, hours which I will never get back.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't finish this. Don't bother.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Can't say. The reader was so awful that I couldn't stand listening.

What didn’t you like about Lindy Nettleton’s performance?

Her overly expensive voice was absolutely grating.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Mangle Street Murders?

Can't say. The narrator was too annoying to finish the book.

3 people found this helpful