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Passing Strange [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Catherine Aird , Bruce Montague
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

October 2003
A murder takes place in the heart of rural Calleshire for which there seems to be a total absence of motive, means and opportunity. Detective Inspector C.D. Sloan of the Berebury CID is called in to solve the case and discover the identity of a girl whose past, present and future seem a mystery.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From AudioFile

Pour yourself a cup of tea, relax, and listen to this very British murder mystery, which methodically solves the murder of the village nurse, who is found strangled at the Almstone Flower show. Detective Inspector Sloan seeks clues as to opportunity, means, and, most perplexing, motive through painstaking interviews, crime reenactments, and deductions. The author plays straight with the listener. We all should have figured out who the villain was, but most likely few of us did. Reader Bruce Montague guides us through the investigation, making the town of Almstone believable and its many citizens real. His is a sensible portrayal with no falsetto-voiced females or plethora of country accents. He has a clear, well-modulated voice, which is easy to listen to, and his dignified delivery matches the cerebral nature of this mystery. D.L.G. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Verrry, verrry British this one! Nov. 4 2003
Format:Hardcover
This is a perfect little British mystery. We have a village flower show, the British firm of Terlingham, Terlingham and Owlet and loads of tea and ploughman's lunches. In this sparkler the village nurse/midwife is found murdered behind her fortune teller's tent at the flower show. Who would want to kill harmless, well-liked Nurse Cooper? Sloan and Crosby are sent to the village to discover the murderer. It all seems to hinge around a case of verified identity for property that is to be probated. The hardest thing that he has to determine is motive, but never fear, he manages to figure that out along with the identity of the murderer.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death at the flower show April 27 2002
By Michele L. Worley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:
She wished she had not heard it...
- _Othello, The Moor of Venice_ by William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene 3
Like Desdemona, Joyce Cooper was strangled, but the similarity appears to end there. Far from being the beautiful victim of a jealous rage, District Nurse Cooper was a homely middle-aged spinster who lived for her work; her only hobby was her post as Almstone's church organist. (All the chapters are named for organ stops.) So it was that she asked for the fortuneteller's tent at the flower show on the Priory grounds, since she didn't have time for fancy cooking or gardening, and liked being useful. But when the tents were struck at the end of the show, Joyce Cooper was found dead just the same.
Inspector Sloan has a murder that's out of the ordinary run of stranglings, where the greatest controversy of the show up to that point was why Ken Walls' tomatoes didn't take first prize. Almstone itself is a quiet village going through a growth spurt, where developers like Maurice Esdaile can make a lot of money if the new owner of the Priory will sell off some land. But who is the new owner? Richanda Mellows, daughter of the famous anthropologist killed in South America, is the heir - but she was brought up among the people her father studied, and her identification was stolen.
Did someone kill the local midwife because she could identify Richanda - or because she couldn't?
Lots of well-drawn characters and subplots here; as usual, Aird has given us a good book as well as a good mystery. Fred Pearson and his friend Ken Walls' tomato grievance is itself a small mystery, pursued by the Flower Show secretary. (Walls' pursuit of the perfect tomato, incidentally, is his way of living with a bad marriage.) One of Calleshire's recurring-character law firms, this time Terlingham, Terlingham, and Owlet, puts in an appearance as the executors of the Mellows estate. Aird also has fun with the Almstone attitude to newcomers and development, especially some of the wealthy newcomer farmers and the Preservation Society.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mistress of the British Mystery June 3 2010
By drkhimxz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Inspector Sloan is, no doubt, less well known than other British Inspectors who have had the benefit of long running television series; nonetheless, he is a member in good standing of the witty, character-rich British Mystery Books with law-enforcement officesr possessing rock-solid integrity and a bit of a twinkle in the eye. In this audio version of her book, Sloan's author, Catherine Aird, is very well served by the reader, Bruce Montague, who not only portrays Sloan and his sidekick, Crosby, admirably, but gives distinctive voices to the assortment of villagers who have attended the Fair at which the District Nurse has been foully done to death. What possible motive can have moved the evil-doer to murder the well-beloved spinster, devoted as she was to her patients. Can it have something to do with the stranger whose hired red car had blocked the local farmer from carrying out his chore of milking his cows, when the cows most certainly had to be milked. With Sloan on the job we can be sure that the knotty problems will be solved with a keen mind and firm but benign interaction with all with whom he is involved.
Not for those who need a good dose of violence amidst the harsh urban realities. Very much for the person who likes to listen to a puzzle in which the people are more interesting than the sound of falling furniture and crashing cars, and in which decent people act decently or foolishly in the way of common folk.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Passing Strange by Catherine Aird July 13 2009
By jjmachshev - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Another cozy British mystery from Catherine Aird. "Passing Strange" is a story from her Inspector C.D. Sloane series about the bucolic English countryside and the murders that occur for a host of unusual reasons. This time, Inspector Sloane tackles the murder of the county nurse at a Horticultural Society Flower Show in the village of Almstone. Clues include a possible inheritance, a question of identification, a drunk cup of tea, and flower-arranging wire.

Aird's stories always conjure up images from my sojourn in England--small villages, insular societies, fabulous accents, and all. Those who don't understand British humor or slang may find her stories a bit heavy going, and be sure to bone up on your Bible, French, and Latin since she always includes quotes from at least one, if not all, the previous.
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring March 23 2012
By Avid Mystery Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been hooked on Catherine Aird novels for the last several months. I have ordered several and have enjoyed most of them. This one, although it has a hope of a good story, was just plain boring until I got about 2 chapters from the end. This is about a village nurse who is strangled to death with thin wire used to put flower arrangements together. The hero or detective of the story Chief Inspector Sloan, has his hands full trying to find out who and why she was killed (the motive was a long time in coming in the story). There is a lot of dialog between Sloan and his sidekick Constable Crosby. Although I generally enjoy this dialog, in this particular novel it was boring and trite. It took me about 3 weeks to finally get through this little over 200 page novel. I just could not read it in long stretches. When I finally got two chapters from the end, it was like another novel. The pace picked up, the details were splendid, and it was like, wow! "I can't believe that it ended on such a high note." Anyway, this is not one of her better novels in my opinion. Although always a bit slow moving, this was way too slow and draggy. I almost lost interest and gave up but I'm glad I stuck it out.
4.0 out of 5 stars Verrry, verrry British this one! Nov. 4 2003
By S. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a perfect little British mystery. We have a village flower show, the British firm of Terlingham, Terlingham and Owlet and loads of tea and ploughman's lunches. In this sparkler the village nurse/midwife is found murdered behind her fortune teller's tent at the flower show. Who would want to kill harmless, well-liked Nurse Cooper? Sloan and Crosby are sent to the village to discover the murderer. It all seems to hinge around a case of verified identity for property that is to be probated. The hardest thing that he has to determine is motive, but never fear, he manages to figure that out along with the identity of the murderer.
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