cover image Death at the Alma Mater

Death at the Alma Mater

G. M. Malliet, read by Davina Porter. Dreamscape Media, unabridged, seven CDs, 8.25 hrs., $59.99 ISBN 978-1-62406-282-7

Davina Porter delivers a delightful reading of this old school style English mystery. St. Michael’s College, a venerable Cambridge institution of higher learning, has fallen on hard times and the school’s coffers are weak. In an effort to raise some badly needed funds, the college hosts a group of wealthy alumni for a fundraising weekend. But all plans are thrown into disarray when one of the guests is found strangled and it is up to Detective Chief Inspector St. Just and loyal assistant Sergeant Fear to sift through the eccentric group of suspects and apprehend the murderer. Porter brings an obvious enjoyment of the material to her reading of Malliet’s novel, keeping the story moving forward at good clip, her absorbing reading perfectly fitting the tone of the book. She is more than adept in her characterizations—whether portraying a very British college master or a boorish American, she gives each character a distinctive voice that fits them to a tee. Most successful is her portrayal of Detective St. Just. A droll, professional copper with a heart, Porter makes him shine every time he appears. For those who like their murder stories more genteel than gritty this is a perfect listen. A Midnight Ink paperback. (May)