Carola Dunn's Manna from Hades is a confounding Cornish case of daring theft, double-cross, and a wily older woman confronted by a case of murder most foul. Wanda McCaddon's narration couldn't bring this tedious, dated story to life for me. Dunn, her Daisy Dalrymple stories are much better. Fun cozy, interesting characters, and a good solution. Definitely worth a listen. Not sure why the author tacked on the part at the end. In Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn, set in s Cornwall, Eleanor Trewynn, a widow returned after a lifetime of adventures all over the world on behalf of LonStar London Save the Starving Council , comes downstairs one morning to discover the murdered body of a young man unknown to anyone in her area.
Eleanor had spent the previous day collecting donations for the thrift shop that raises money for LonStar. Upon unloading her car, she found a briefcase anonymously left in her car filled with jewelry that she assumes to be paste. Living above the LonStar shop, Eleanor finds the body amid the new donations piled up in the store room. With her absent-mindedness about locking her doors and using her keys, often forgetting them anywhere, including in the door or car, the young man could have easily entered the building.
Eventually Eleanor remembers the jewelry in her safe, which her friends push her to notify the police about, and the police recognize the very valuable jewelry as some pieces stolen from a jeweler in London. This sheds light on the possible motive for someone to break into the shop and maybe for the murder too.
The book carries plenty of culture, both Cornish and s. We see the rural life that both Megan and Eleanor live in Cornwall, with such details as the views of the countryside, the local citizenry, and the community. The book also illustrates life in the s, such as the difficulties that Megan experiences as a woman in the constabulary and the homeless hippy runaway teens who live together on the streets in Bristol.
The audio version is narrated by Wanda McCaddon. I enjoyed her performance, and I think the book was enhanced by her reading it. This book seems to fit with the mood of the era, though I like the Daisy Dalrymple books better. I give the book four stars. This amiable mystery meanders around Cornwall. I wondered if it would ever reach the end.
The characters are mainly likeable though not quite believable. It all resolves nicely, though I was left thinking - well I never! The narrator is easy to listen to but some words are pronounced very strangely which made me wonder is she was a native English UK speaker. And I never made any sense of the title.
I absolutely love the characters and stories from Port Mabyn! Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not? Not really - the story is OK but the character Eleanor is just too dippy to be believable. Where did this narrator learn to pronounce English? Her pronunciation of some words is very strange - e. Did Manna from Hades inspire you to do anything? It only inspired me not to purchase any more books in this series.
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I bought the book, added the narration and only have the first chapter. This is supposed to Have over 9 Hours narration, I have 10 minutes. Carola Dunn Narrated by: Cornish Mystery , Book 1 Length: Give as a gift. People who bought this also bought T E Kinsey Narrated by: Betty Rowlands Narrated by: Mystery Shorts 25 By: The only person he really looses his patience with is Megan's aunt and I can sympathize with him there. If I was a cop and a vital witness who found a body in her charity shop can't remember if she locked the shop or her flat which is above the store , is incapable of telling me if there is anything missing and only remembers two days later that there was an anonymous donation of jewellery to the shop which could be connected to the murder I would probably yell a lot more than the poor inspector.
It makes sense in context for Eleanor, Megan's aunt, to have a hard time remembering to lock her doors and as she assumed the jewellery was fake and turned up a day before the murder it also isn't completely unrealistic for her to forget about it in the first shock Also just because her tendency to forget door-locks exists makes sense doesn't mean it's not frustrating to read about So, this book would already have been much better if it hadn't tried to tell me that a character was pure evil without showing me him doing anything evil but there is also the matter of the case itself.
I don't want to keep comparing two different series by the same author but here I can't help it: Daisy is a proper amateur sleuth. She isn't working for the police but thanks to her Scotland Yard-husband and circumstances that are certainly not realistic in the actual world but make enough sense in the cozy-crime universe she gets involved in various cases and then investigates them. She does sort of work together with her husband and Dunn does avoid most of the more annoying cozy-tropes but she remains a civilian who is investigating a crime.
In Manna from Hades there's Megan, who as said is a police sergeant and it's her job to investigate the murder. There's also her aunt who is sort of the little old lady investigates-type except that she doesn't do any investigating. She never takes an active interest in the case in the way Daisy does. Her contribution to it consists of falling over the body at the beginning and then conveniently falling over the solution at the end which the police managed to figure out almost simultaneously. I'm really not sure what was the point of that.
It seems the book is trying to appeal to the cozy reader-audience but it isn't a cozy, it's a regular detective novel with real policemen and women investigating. Except for that it spends far too much time with a little old lady who does exactly zero sleuthing. Wanda McCaddon's narration couldn't bring this tedious, dated story to life for me. Apr 09, Olga Godim rated it liked it Shelves: The story starts with the protagonist Eleanor, a senior in a small seaside village, discovering a corpse in her charity shop.
Or rather it starts even before, when she found a briefcase full of jewelry in her car, after she came home from collecting donations for her shop. And an inept witness: She forgets to lock her doors. She is a kind, absent-minded woman, but her character is vague, blurring around the edges: Not the best choice of a protagonist, in my opinion.
The lead investigator DI Scumble, on the other hand, is very well defined, the most colorful among the characters of the novel, although his role is less than secondary. The author tries to picture him as a rude, uncouth boor, but he comes out as competent policeman, perhaps a bit sarcastic and definitely overworked.
The exchanges between Scumble and Eleanor, as well as many other dialogs in the book are worth mentioning.
For example, after one of his infuriatingly uninformative interviews with his dreamy witness Eleanor, Scumble sighs. He was hit over the head with a nuclear disarmament sign by an Aldermaston marcher. Oct 06, writer Charity shop setting during s era along England's Cornish coast Mar 11, FangirlNation rated it really liked it. In Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn, set in s Cornwall, Eleanor Trewynn, a widow returned after a lifetime of adventures all over the world on behalf of LonStar London Save the Starving Council , comes downstairs one morning to discover the murdered body of a young man unknown to anyone in her area.
Eleanor had spent the previous day collecting donations for the thrift shop that raises money for LonStar. Upon unloading her car, she found a briefcase anonymously left in her car filled with je In Manna from Hades by Carola Dunn, set in s Cornwall, Eleanor Trewynn, a widow returned after a lifetime of adventures all over the world on behalf of LonStar London Save the Starving Council , comes downstairs one morning to discover the murdered body of a young man unknown to anyone in her area.
Upon unloading her car, she found a briefcase anonymously left in her car filled with jewelry that she assumes to be paste. Living above the LonStar shop, Eleanor finds the body amid the new donations piled up in the store room. With her absent-mindedness about locking her doors and using her keys, often forgetting them anywhere, including in the door or car, the young man could have easily entered the building.
But why anyone would have even wanted to get into a charity thrift shop confuses the police, which includes Eleanor's niece, Detective Sergeant Megan Pencarrow. Read the rest of this review, more reviews, and other wonderful, geeky articles on FangirlNation Oct 29, James rated it it was ok Shelves: Having read and enjoyed many of Carola Dunn's 'Daisy Dalrymple' series I was interested to try her new series, which is set in s - s Cornwall. The plot revolves around Eleanor Trewynn, a retired widow who lives in a Cornish village. One day she and the vicar's wife find the dead body of a longhaired, scruffy-looking youth hidden in the stockroom of their charity shop.
Then they discover that some donated jewellery thought to be fake is actually very real, very expensive, and the haul from Having read and enjoyed many of Carola Dunn's 'Daisy Dalrymple' series I was interested to try her new series, which is set in s - s Cornwall. Then they discover that some donated jewellery thought to be fake is actually very real, very expensive, and the haul from a violent robbery in London.
Manna from Hades: A Cornish Mystery
The 'blurb' says the story is a case of daring theft, double-cross, and a wily older woman confronted by a case of murder most foul, which led me to think that this would be similar to the Agatha Raisin series, but in reality, it's the local police who do the work. There's also little to really make it feel the story is set in the s - s. The story is easy to read but is lacks pace - at pages, it only really came to life in the last 50 pages. Jun 14, Kari rated it did not like it Shelves: Manna from Hades was a random pick from my library.
I have had some good luck with random picks, so I held out hope for this one. I love watching British shows like this on Netflix, so I was hoping for a good story set in a small English town in the 60s. Good old fashioned detective work without the technology of today is always fun to read about.
The problem that I ended up having with this book was it was so boring. There were multiple characters that is was hard to keep thing straight. Eleano Manna from Hades was a random pick from my library. Eleanor kept forgetting to tell the detectives things and would feed them information piecemeal as she remembered them. It got annoying and was clearly a device to push the plot along. Another problem may have been that I listened tot he audio version of the book. The narrator didn't do a great job of differentiating between characters with different voices.
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So it was easy to confuse who was speaking. I doubt I will continue with any more of this this series. Mar 15, Gail rated it really liked it Shelves: Eleanor Trewynn is a widow living in a small fishing village in Cornwall. Until her husband died, they had both traveled the world for a charity, easing political situations and helping locals to a better life. She now lives in a flat above a charity shop to benefit the organization she once traveled the globe for. After a day of collecting donations, she closes shop. The next morning as she's sorting through the donations, she discovers the body of a scruffy young man.
This brings in the police, Eleanor Trewynn is a widow living in a small fishing village in Cornwall. This brings in the police, the irascable Detective Inspector Scumble and his sargent, Megan, who happens to be Eleanor's niece. In a complex set of circumstances, half remembered and absent minded recollections, the case is solved by a delightful group of quirky villagers.
Dec 23, Mira rated it it was ok Shelves: This was the most gentle murder mystery that I have ever read. The plot moved at a snail's pace. The forgetfulness of the protagonist meant that discussing a simple plot point took a few days. I was about as frustrated as the grumpy, rude DI Scumble. We are told at the beginning of the tale that Eleanor Trewynn, our heroine, studied akido. This is a trick. The book is mostly about Eleanor losing her keys, forgetting things, Nick the artist's paintings, grumpy policemen and a plucky policewoman.
I This was the most gentle murder mystery that I have ever read. It's very slow paced. Aside from my grumbles it was a very relaxing, almost meditative read. Dec 16, girl writing rated it it was ok. Ugh…one of the slowest moving stories I've ever read. I was looking for a cozy British mystery. I can't even relate what the book was filled with if not the actual story. It was difficult for me to believe the main character, Aunt Nell, could be so forgetful and still be functional. As other reviewers noted, also hard to remember the time of the book is set in the 70s…only hints are many references to hippies and pot smoking and lack of today's technology.
Other then that there was really no sen Ugh…one of the slowest moving stories I've ever read. Other then that there was really no sense of time painted. The mystery itself was ok…just the telling was kind of painful. Dec 30, Gerda rated it it was ok.
Manna from Hades (Cornish Mystery, book 1) by Carola Dunn
I took me a little while to work out in which decade this book is set as the book I was reading was printed in and gave no other dates, but I worked out it was set in the 60s. Miniskirts are still frowned upon as are "dark eyeshadow and pale pink lipstick" I had visions of Dusty Springfield. The story is all a bit "stiff upper lip" for me. The characters are all Oh so British!! But it was somewhat entertaining especiall towards the end. A gentle read with no sex in it.
Why has nobody turne I took me a little while to work out in which decade this book is set as the book I was reading was printed in and gave no other dates, but I worked out it was set in the 60s. Why has nobody turned it into a Wycliffe episode? Wycliffe could have Scumble's part. Jun 10, Pam rated it it was amazing. This book has all the good things about a cozy. The small Cornish village and likable characters. Eleanor is always hazy about keys and whether she has locked up. She lives over the charity store she collects donations for.
Her niece is a detective sergeant with the Cornish police. Her boss is a cranky man who isn't quite sure there should be women police. When Eleanor puts the donations away after a collection trip, she finds a jewel case with jewelry inside. Who could have given her this case? And the enjoyable ramble begins. Feb 06, Deborah rated it liked it. This is the first time I've read this author. I typically enjoy the British mysteries more than the American ones. This one was enjoyable.
I would read this author again. If you're looking for an easy cozy type of read, this is a good choice. Nov 13, Holly Pascoe rated it liked it. I read this book because of its setting in Cornwall which is dear to me.
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It is definitely a "cozy" mystery which made it pleasant. It satisfied my Cornish yen but wasn't a thriller I couldn't put down. Apr 23, Rebecca rated it really liked it Shelves: Eleanor Trewynn has spent her life traveling the world with a hunger charity, and has now retired to a small town in Cornwall where she has started a thrift shop to benefit her charity.
When she finds a body in the stock room one morning, her life is turned upside down, especially since she's forgetful about things like keys and details and fails to notify the police that she found a lot of jewelry in her car--she thought it was a donation for the shop. Her niece Megan is a detective sergeant wo Eleanor Trewynn has spent her life traveling the world with a hunger charity, and has now retired to a small town in Cornwall where she has started a thrift shop to benefit her charity.
Her niece Megan is a detective sergeant working in the local constabulary with the very unpleasant Inspector Scumble, trying to solve the mystery with a little unwanted help from Scotland Yard. Eleanor, meanwhile, continues with her life as best she can, forgetting her keys, walking her dog, practicing her aikido, collecting for the shop, hanging out with her young artistic neighbor Nick, and infuriating the inspector at every turn.
Megan, meanwhile, is dealing with the Scotland Yard rep, whom she used to date, and then a homeless girl who might have some vital clues. This was completely delightful except for Scumble--I wished we hadn't had to spend so much time with him; raises my blood pressure. Eleanor is completely delightful, though, and if it's a little hard to believe Nick would be so helpful and accommodating, it's only a little hard--I'd love to spend time with Eleanor as well.
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Lots of great setting and characters, and it feels like the Cornwall I visited in the s; familiar and lovely. I would move to Port Mabyn! Jul 02, Janet McCord rated it it was ok Shelves: I wanted so badly to love this book since I love the Daisy Dalrymple series but I couldn't.
I kept double-checking the publication date because all through the book there were references to people, things, phrases and attitudes of the 's, although, nowhere in the book that I could see did the author give a clear time line. So I started out thinking this was contemporary but kept getting odd, disconcerting references that made me think I was mistaken. This wasn't the only thing that confuse I wanted so badly to love this book since I love the Daisy Dalrymple series but I couldn't.