Layered, dark, and intricate; An excellent summer listen.
In this debut installment in Ring’s Urquhart & MacDonald Murder Mystery series featuring Inspector Jimmy Urquhart, a young veteran and rookie cop, Jimmy Urquhart gets entangled in a twisted murder investigation of a well-known city clerk. The small port city of Barrachois is not the best place to live but it’s safe for those who call it their home. When Cramish Wilmot, the City Clerk, polio survivor, photogenic favorite of press and public, is murdered, the city is rocked. Inspector Jimmy Urquhart has recently joined the force and is not very keen on taking a murder case, especially when the only people who saw the murder are two young children. But he has no option. He teams up with local reporter Alexandra MacDonald and begins to investigate the case. What seems like a straightforward murder inquiry soon becomes a tangled web of sinister conspiracy. As a narrator, Ring’s delivery is properly accented. His reading skillfully evokes the period atmosphere: bias based on gender, class, and physical disability, the way of living. The story seems straightforward initially: a man involved in shady business gets killed, but relentless twists unravel a hidden complexity. Ring’s characters are authentic if somewhat stereotypical, and he does an excellent job giving voice to all of them. He penetrates their psyche with incredible acuity. Alexandra’s resourcefulness is impressive, and she shows real ingenuity in getting folks to spill the tea. Readers will warm to self-conscious but smart Jimmy. But it’s Cramish Wilmot who shines through and through. Ring brings a fair amount of realism to his descriptions of the man’s life. Although there is plenty of darkness, such as dangerous secrets, rumors of infidelities, mob money, and violence to his persona, there’s also determination, drive, and resilience, a stubbornness to succeed, to get what he wants that makes him admirable despite his flaws. Readers experience varying incidents portrayed through Ring’s soothing voice. He also shows an awareness and appreciation of whodunit tropes, such as misjudged death, unassuming suspect, villainous victim, nosy reporter, twist ending among others that lead to a fun listening experience. Most impressive of all is his attention to the mystery of who killed Cramish Wilmot and why. Red herrings are implanted deftly in the suspense-filled narrative: even the veteran readers of golden-age whodunits should prepare to be taken aback. This is a winner.
Death of the Limping Man
An Urquhart & MacDonald Murder Mystery
Pub date March 30, 2023
Listening length 7 hours and 29 minutes
Price $0.00 Audible subscrption