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Download Before the Poison: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Before the Poison: A Novel, by Peter Robinson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,411 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Robinson Narrator: Simon Prebble, Susan Lyons, Toby Lennet Moore Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Chris Lowndes built a comfortable career composing scores for films in Hollywood. But after twenty-five years abroad, and still quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, he decides to return to the Yorkshire dales of his youth. To ease the move, he buys Kilnsgate House, a rambling old mansion deep in the country.

Although Chris finds Kilnsgate charming, something about the house disturbs him, a vague sensation that the long-empty rooms have been waiting for him—feelings made ever stronger when he learns that the house was the scene of a murder more than fifty years before. The former owner, a prominent doctor named Ernest Arthur Fox, was supposedly poisoned by his beautiful and much younger wife, Grace. Arrested and brought to trial, Grace was found guilty and hanged for the crime.

His curiosity piqued, Chris talks to the locals and searches through archives for information about the case. But the more he discovers, the more convinced he becomes that Grace may have been innocent. Ignoring warnings to leave it alone, he sets out to discover what really happened over half a century ago—a quest that takes him deep into the past and into a web of secrets that lie all too close to the present.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Robinson outdoes Daphne du Maurier in creating the proper atmosphere for the imaginative fancies of a grief-stricken man.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An exciting quest culminating in a shocking climax, underpinned with big issues of evil, punishment, retribution, and self-sacrifice.”

    Oxford Times

  • “[A] haunting stand-alone…Robinson manages a melancholy tone without veering into the maudlin.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Compelling…Toby Moore and Susan Lyons are both vital to this presentation, which moves back and forth in time and point of view…Moore splendidly renders the modern Chris and…Lyons movingly captures Grace through her heartbreaking WWII diaries.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel
  • Winner of the 2013 Dilys Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jo Panke | 2/20/2014

    " Interesting story, weak ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by John | 2/11/2014

    " Enjoyable but more sporadically than I would have liked. A sideline that worked but wasn't outstanding by the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Shonna Froebel | 2/3/2014

    " This is a wonderful novel with a very interesting mystery. Chris Lowndes left England decades ago and has a successful American career writing music for films. Following his wife's recent death, he has decided to return to his home country and has bought a large house in rural Yorkshire. As he settles in, he learns that a previous owner of the house, Grace Fox, was tried and hanged for murdering her husband. The story intrigues him and he wants to know more. As he locates and reads a write-up of the trial, and follows leads to local people and those who have moved elsewhere, he is drawn to Grace as a person and believes she could not have committed such a crime. Along the way he is also making himself a new home in Yorkshire, finding new friends, meeting his neighbours and coming to terms with moving on in his own life. The story will take him back to his own childhood and beyond to World War II. It will take him beyond his new home in Yorkshire to France and South Africa. It will take him beyond his grief to a new way of living. The references to music, movies, and books are classic Peter Robinson and fit neatly into the story here. The emotional and nostalgic feelings of his characters are well drawn and make sense both in the story and with the characters. This is a story of past and present, motives and morals, that gripped me strongly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cindy | 1/21/2014

    " Totally different from the Inspector Banks books, but very good. I enjoyed this one a lot. "

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