Saturday 8 January 2022

BLOG TOUR: The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello (The Stonebridge Mysteries 1) - Chris McDonald

Wedding bells are chiming in the idyllic, coastal town of Stonebridge. For Sam and Emily, it should be the happiest day of their lives. But, on the morning of the ceremony, the best man is found dead. The police quickly write his death off as a tragic accident, but something doesn’t seem right to wedding guest and groomsman, Adam Whyte.

Armed with an encyclopaedic, but ultimately ridiculous knowledge of television detective shows and an unwarranted confidence in his own abilities, Adam and his best friend (and willing Watson) Colin, set out to uncover what actually happened to Daniel Costello.

What did I think?

I'm a huge fan of Chris McDonald's DI Erika Piper series so when I heard that he was writing a cosy crime series I couldn't wait to read it, or in this case listen to it.  The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello, narrated by Stephen Armstrong, is the first novella in the Stonebridge Mysteries series and it's a cracker!  It's quite a short audiobook at only 2 hours 56 minutes long so it's very easy to listen to it in one sitting, which is just as well as it's impossible to stop once you start anyway!

There's a wedding in Stonebridge but the groom and best man appear to be at loggerheads on the night before the wedding.  When best man Daniel doesn't turn up for breakfast the next day, groomsman Adam goes looking for him and is shocked to find Daniel dead in his bed.  The police are called and declare that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Daniel's premature demise, however, some things don't add up for Adam.  Being a fan of TV detective shows, Adam enlists his friend Colin to help him investigate Daniel's death.

A bit of a couch potato, Adam is such an unlikely amateur sleuth but when he dons his metaphorical deerstalker he proves that he really does know his stuff.  Although some things are different from TV in real life, Adam knows a suspicious death when he sees one.  Adam and Colin relish their roles as a modern day Holmes and Watson and I love how they are so meticulous in their search for evidence.  Having been friends since primary school, Adam and Colin are a great pairing and I love how well they work together.

The narration is fantastic, with Stephen Armstrong's dulcet tones and lyrical Northern Irish accent bringing the book to life.  What I found quite stunning about the narration is that the narrator doesn't attempt to do different voices for each character, it's simply read with such vivacity to entertain and enthrall the listener.  Another thing I loved was the quirky and often humourous chapter names that set the scene for the chapter ahead.  One in particular had me laughing out loud and I found myself looking forward to new chapters to see what ingenious title Chris McDonald would come up with next.

Hugely entertaining, The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello is a fun, addictive and riveting whodunnit that captivated me from start to finish.  Chris McDonald's stupendous writing and Stephen Armstrong's wonderfully entertaining narration make this audiobook another winner from Isis Audio.

Many thanks to Isis Audio for sending me the audiobook to review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello is narrated by Stephen Armstrong and is out on 1st January on Audible and other trade download platforms, on Isis Audio's digital library platform ulibrary, and on physical CD and MP3 both in libraries and from Isis Audio's website The Reading House.

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