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A Case of Murder in Mayfair

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When Hollywood star Dorothy Dacres plummets six floors from her hotel terrace on the night of her greatest triumph, it initially looks like a tragic accident. But her death is so very convenient to her many enemies that press-man Freddy Pilkington-Soames, who was there on the night she died, begins to suspect foul play. And when cocaine is found in her room, it only compli When Hollywood star Dorothy Dacres plummets six floors from her hotel terrace on the night of her greatest triumph, it initially looks like a tragic accident. But her death is so very convenient to her many enemies that press-man Freddy Pilkington-Soames, who was there on the night she died, begins to suspect foul play. And when cocaine is found in her room, it only complicates matters further. Soon Freddy is chasing across London on the trail of drug dealers, in reluctant company with his deadly rival Corky Beckwith, the most unscrupulous reporter in Fleet Street, who will do anything for a story. With the future of a film studio at stake, can Freddy find the culprit—and get one up on Corky—before he becomes the killer's next victim?


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When Hollywood star Dorothy Dacres plummets six floors from her hotel terrace on the night of her greatest triumph, it initially looks like a tragic accident. But her death is so very convenient to her many enemies that press-man Freddy Pilkington-Soames, who was there on the night she died, begins to suspect foul play. And when cocaine is found in her room, it only compli When Hollywood star Dorothy Dacres plummets six floors from her hotel terrace on the night of her greatest triumph, it initially looks like a tragic accident. But her death is so very convenient to her many enemies that press-man Freddy Pilkington-Soames, who was there on the night she died, begins to suspect foul play. And when cocaine is found in her room, it only complicates matters further. Soon Freddy is chasing across London on the trail of drug dealers, in reluctant company with his deadly rival Corky Beckwith, the most unscrupulous reporter in Fleet Street, who will do anything for a story. With the future of a film studio at stake, can Freddy find the culprit—and get one up on Corky—before he becomes the killer's next victim?

30 review for A Case of Murder in Mayfair

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lady Wesley

    3.5 stars, rounded up because I laughed out loud (when offhandedly Freddy spins a tale about his sidekick Basil's parentage). I have enjoyed Clara Benson's Angela Marchmont cozy mysteries, so decided to give Freddy Pilkington-Soames a try. The setting is London in the early 1930s. Freddy is delightfully wry, and his rival reporter, Corky, is annoying but makes an excellent foil. The mystery plot was well developed, and all the clues were there. Nevertheless, there are a couple of surprising twist 3.5 stars, rounded up because I laughed out loud (when offhandedly Freddy spins a tale about his sidekick Basil's parentage). I have enjoyed Clara Benson's Angela Marchmont cozy mysteries, so decided to give Freddy Pilkington-Soames a try. The setting is London in the early 1930s. Freddy is delightfully wry, and his rival reporter, Corky, is annoying but makes an excellent foil. The mystery plot was well developed, and all the clues were there. Nevertheless, there are a couple of surprising twists at the end. Gethyn Edwards is a new narrator to me, and overall he was excellent. He gets Freddy just right. My only complaint is with his American accent. Like so many native speakers of British English, he overemphasized the "r" when voicing an American character. Recommended for a light, quick read/listen

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Enjoyable “game afoot” to solve. Author’s up to her usual par. Narrator, Gethyn Edwards, is a pleasant male voice and is easily understood.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Ross

    This is the second in the spin-off series from the author’s Angela Marchmont series or murder mysteries set in the twenties. This time, Freddy Pilkington-Soames, insouciant man-about-town, finds himself in the middle of a drugs-and-murder case amongst a set of film people. A famous Hollywood actress somehow falls from a high balcony during a party announcing her landing a plum part. She wasn’t the nicest person in the world, so no shortage of suspects with a grudge against her, including another This is the second in the spin-off series from the author’s Angela Marchmont series or murder mysteries set in the twenties. This time, Freddy Pilkington-Soames, insouciant man-about-town, finds himself in the middle of a drugs-and-murder case amongst a set of film people. A famous Hollywood actress somehow falls from a high balcony during a party announcing her landing a plum part. She wasn’t the nicest person in the world, so no shortage of suspects with a grudge against her, including another actress, a cameraman, a producer, the actress’s sister and so on. Freddy joins forces with another journalist, the less than scrupulous Corky Beckwith, to investigate. This series has one advantage over its predecessor - Freddy is able to take a far more active part in events than the ladylike Angela. So there’s a great deal of creeping about at night, sneaking into suspects’ houses and getting into fights. Freddy’s also rather resourceful, although there’s sometimes an element of luck involved in placing him at just the right spot for things to happen. This one wasn’t quite as light-footed as the first in the series, and I’m hoping that Freddy gets out of town occasionally in future books. Angela got about quite a bit - Cornwall, Scotland, Italy spring to mind - and several of her books had a country-house feel to them redolent of Agatha Christie, which I marginally prefer to the seedy side of London. But a good entertaining romp, nevertheless. Four stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Judi Easley

    This must be quite the series. This second one in the series is brisk, amusing, interesting, and has twists that I certainly didn't see coming. The characters are well done. The period isn't overdone, just done nicely. And the little snobberies between the Americans and British are funny. I'd like to read one or two more to see how this series really holds together since book one and two were so very different. Recommended This must be quite the series. This second one in the series is brisk, amusing, interesting, and has twists that I certainly didn't see coming. The characters are well done. The period isn't overdone, just done nicely. And the little snobberies between the Americans and British are funny. I'd like to read one or two more to see how this series really holds together since book one and two were so very different. Recommended

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    A thorough romp. Freddy loses a little insouciance when the story is from his POV, and tends to be a little more sensible altogether than my impression of him from Angela's books, but still an enjoyable story. A thorough romp. Freddy loses a little insouciance when the story is from his POV, and tends to be a little more sensible altogether than my impression of him from Angela's books, but still an enjoyable story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scot

    Another charming Freddy novel. Lots of colorful; characters that would be at home in a Noel Coward comedy. An aging actress from Hollywood, ambitious to stay on top and in London to promote herself starring in a planned forthcoming film--one of those new talkies to help you date this in early 1930s--dies from a mysterious fall from her penthouse suite during a party she threw to honor herself, and a range of those she had wronged throughout her career were in attendance. So was Freddy, and that' Another charming Freddy novel. Lots of colorful; characters that would be at home in a Noel Coward comedy. An aging actress from Hollywood, ambitious to stay on top and in London to promote herself starring in a planned forthcoming film--one of those new talkies to help you date this in early 1930s--dies from a mysterious fall from her penthouse suite during a party she threw to honor herself, and a range of those she had wronged throughout her career were in attendance. So was Freddy, and that's how we get a fun mix of Hollywood culture and glamor into the regular character ensemble of the press, police, and well to do folk with whom fun loving Freddy interacts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Jane

    Freddy is better.. ..than Angela! There's a comedic turn about the Freddy series that gives it an edge over the Marchmont series even though the characters overlap somewhat. The Ace reporter finds himself in some tricky situations and has a rather interesting way of getting out of them. His clues don't seem to be dropped in quite so obviously or heavily, which helps, although the description of places and scenes of crimes could be clearer and more detailed. The terraces do become harder to follow i Freddy is better.. ..than Angela! There's a comedic turn about the Freddy series that gives it an edge over the Marchmont series even though the characters overlap somewhat. The Ace reporter finds himself in some tricky situations and has a rather interesting way of getting out of them. His clues don't seem to be dropped in quite so obviously or heavily, which helps, although the description of places and scenes of crimes could be clearer and more detailed. The terraces do become harder to follow in this with the multiple rooms access, also not very clearly defined, making it a bit of a grey and fuzzy area.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    I've been listening to these as audiobooks and have been completely charmed by the narrator. He just a fantastic job differentiating the various characters and it really sucks you into the storyline. It's about a 7-hour book, so it's not too long not too short. It's the perfect length for a day. I enjoy the audio books because I'm able to do other things while I'm listening, like crochet or cross stitch or cook. Another enjoyable read in the series. I've already downloaded book 3. I definitely r I've been listening to these as audiobooks and have been completely charmed by the narrator. He just a fantastic job differentiating the various characters and it really sucks you into the storyline. It's about a 7-hour book, so it's not too long not too short. It's the perfect length for a day. I enjoy the audio books because I'm able to do other things while I'm listening, like crochet or cross stitch or cook. Another enjoyable read in the series. I've already downloaded book 3. I definitely recommend these historical fiction murder mystery books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Freddy Pilkington-Soames has been invited to a party held by Hollywood Star Dorothy Dacres, as a guest of actress Augusta Laing, aka Gussie Lippincott. But the evenig does not go as planned as Dorothy Dacres falls from the sixth floor terrace. Accident or murder. Inspector Eintwistle and Sergeant Bird investigate. With the help of Freddy, and reporter Corky Beckwith. An enjoyable and well-written cozy mystery

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wade

    A Case of Murder in Mayfair This book is perfectly serviceable as a second novel in a series. It is not the best novel in the series because it does not match volume one. This is readable and somewhat likeable, but not the best.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Abraham Ne Hartshorn

    Very good. Very intriguing and I adore the time period and the characters . It transports you to another time and you can let your imagination run over. I very much enjoy Ms Benson's books. Easy and light to read and hard to put down. Very good. Very intriguing and I adore the time period and the characters . It transports you to another time and you can let your imagination run over. I very much enjoy Ms Benson's books. Easy and light to read and hard to put down.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    It was really cute. Set in the time of "talkie" pictures. It was really cute. Set in the time of "talkie" pictures.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janet Mahlum

    The story was good, the characters were good, the writing was good. I listened to it on audio and the narrator was horrible.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    3.5 stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Another diverting entertainment with Freddy. A bit more mystery and less rollicking humor than the first book, still good.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Morris-Ken Hines

    A good series I enjoyed this little read of Freddy but a lot of things that happened could never have happened but this is a book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katylocks

    A short but enjoyable book set in the Golden Age of Crime. A bit light but good fun.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    Good reading! Ms. Benson continues to delight! I recommend any of her books any time. You will discover well-written prose, interesting stories, just the right amount of humor, sometimes a bit of pathos, clever dialog, and characters who very soon begin to seem like your neighbors and/or friends.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Three and a half stars. Benson's second novel featuring society gadabout turned Fleet-Street journalist Freddy Pilkington-Soames. In this one, Freddy is present when American film star Dorothy Dacres falls to her death from the penthouse at the Abingdon Hotel in Mayfair. Or was she pushed? I like the way Benson is developing Freddy and his world in this series. It's a little darker than the Angela Marchmont series--there's a drug ring in this one, and the crime isn't ever "solved" in the sense th Three and a half stars. Benson's second novel featuring society gadabout turned Fleet-Street journalist Freddy Pilkington-Soames. In this one, Freddy is present when American film star Dorothy Dacres falls to her death from the penthouse at the Abingdon Hotel in Mayfair. Or was she pushed? I like the way Benson is developing Freddy and his world in this series. It's a little darker than the Angela Marchmont series--there's a drug ring in this one, and the crime isn't ever "solved" in the sense that the perp is brought to justice. And in this novel, Benson introduces a foil for Freddy in fellow reporter Corky Beckwith, whose complete lack of scruples make Freddy look like a paragon of journalistic integrity. The plotting here is good, too, and includes a couple of surprises toward the end that keep the reader guessing. Recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Justin Kneissler

    Another great respite from reality So where do I begin. First you take everyone's favorite Clarion reporter, throw in a dead woman that many would like to see dead, add a dash of Hollywood and a powdering of cocaine. The result is an engaging read. The second Freddy book was another great read that really feels like putting on your favorite sweater. I look forward to seeing what comes next for Freddy. Another great respite from reality So where do I begin. First you take everyone's favorite Clarion reporter, throw in a dead woman that many would like to see dead, add a dash of Hollywood and a powdering of cocaine. The result is an engaging read. The second Freddy book was another great read that really feels like putting on your favorite sweater. I look forward to seeing what comes next for Freddy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    Second Book Is Even Better than the First! I love this series! The characters are likable and interesting. The conflict is resolved in each book, making each book a stand-alone. These are lighthearted, well written mysteries. In book 2, the main character is even more developed, and the plot unfolds nicely. I look forward to reading more in the series!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    As much as I always liked Freddy, I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy his adventures as much as Angela Marchmont's. It's not an issue, I loved this story as much as the rest of Clara Benson's excellent period mysteries. This one involves Hollywood actors and I really enjoyed the unpredictable plot and quirky cast of characters. An excellent read. As much as I always liked Freddy, I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy his adventures as much as Angela Marchmont's. It's not an issue, I loved this story as much as the rest of Clara Benson's excellent period mysteries. This one involves Hollywood actors and I really enjoyed the unpredictable plot and quirky cast of characters. An excellent read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

    Nice mystery Enjoyed this book very much. It was perfect for a quite evening at home. I am looking forward to book number 3 in this series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Diantha

    meh

  25. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Clara Benson's books are a nice easy read. This is Freddy's second case. I like a nice easy read now and then. Clara Benson's books are a nice easy read. This is Freddy's second case. I like a nice easy read now and then.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roshan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Inger

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gina Farrar

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca C Burton

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