The Late Mrs. Willoughby

Books on Tape. (Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mystery, Bk. 2). May 2023. 12:20 hrs. ISBN 9780593739365. $95. M
Billie Fulford-Brown returns to read the second in Gray’s historical mystery series (following The Murder of Mr. Wickham), set in the reimagined world of Jane Austen’s beloved novels. Visiting adjoining Devonshire estates, Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney are thrown together once again when the wife of Jonathan’s host suddenly suffers a public and violent death at a dinner party; the cause is quickly determined to be poison. Jonathan and Juliet team up to discover the woman’s murderer; there are several possible suspects, including a returning character from the first novel. Fulford-Brown’s extensive vocal skills are in the spotlight as she performs the plethora of personalities in Gray’s Austenian world, bringing each character to life. Easily switching between characters and their points of view, she keeps listeners’ interest. With a tone that captures the essence of the 1820s England setting and the gentry living within the tale, Fulford-Brown keeps the story flowing, aurally illustrating it and allowing listeners to feel as if they too are visiting the countryside.
VERDICT Listeners who enjoyed the Audie Award–nominated first book in Gray’s series will be charmed by Fulford-Brown’s delightful performance of this second whodunit.
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