Authors: Neil Richards, Matthew J. Costello –
Publisher: Lübbe Audio –
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Crime –
Overall rating: 4/5 –
Writing: 4/5 –
Duration: short (but many)
Narrator: Neil Dudgeon –
Narrator/performance: 4/5 –
Impressions: 3/5 –
Performance errors: 0/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 2/5 –
The Cherringham series is delightfully long (43 parts at the time of this review) which is a good thing because these books are a guilty pleasure. They are easy, short, predictable, mention food, drink, family, friends and parties – and always end well. With these qualities, the series has the atmosphere of a gangster tv show made in Denmark in the seventies. It just makes you feel good and takes your worries away. I listen to new parts as soon as they arrive even though I know that I am not the main target of these short productions.
That mentioned, there is something to learn from the series. Every part, though short, has an interesting plot referring to a number of modern societal issues. There are two main characters – an ex cop spending his American pension on a barge in the Cotswolds (UK) and a single mom taking care of her two children and a web design business. Together, they form an uncommon detective alliance based on shared meals in a world where informal is the way to go. The series is a great escape from rules, formalities and bureaucracy. The main characters usually seem unconcerned with liability and responsibilities, breaking into buildings and hacking networks. In this, they slightly remind of Agatha Christie’s care-free aristocrats. Compared with the classic mystery novels, however, Cherringham has a greater variety of settings, ranging from manors to wild forest trails, abandoned sites and simple farms.
The covers for this commercial series are consistent in quality and style.