This audio whodunit stands out because it is beguilingly set in fin-de-siècle Cracow. Featuring a self-important amateur snoop addicted to reading cozy mysteries, it should be stylish period fun, like Benson’s Mapp v. Lucia stories. Unfortunately, given the shrill bossy voice Moira Quirk gives our social-climbing housewife sleuth, Zofia Turbotynska, she comes across as insensitive and snobbish rather than hilariously transparent, and she’s not nearly as much fun to spend time with as she should be. Quirk’s European pronunciations are wonderfully atmospheric, and the plot, featuring murders in a fancy retirement home that only Zofia believes are connected, is engaging. The lost world of nineteenth-century bourgeois Polish society is the real draw here, and the period detail and social history are well worth the listen. B.G. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2020]
Trade Ed. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020
DD ISBN 9780358343455 $15.99
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