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The Affliction: A Novel Audiobook, by Beth Gutcheon Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Beth Gutcheon Narrator: Hillary Huber Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Maggie Detweiler and Hope Babbin Series Release Date: March 2018 ISBN: 9780062445490
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The New York Times bestselling author of More Than You Know, Leeway Cottage, and Death at Breakfast delivers the second installment in her clever romp of a mystery series combining social comedy and dark-hearted murder—a novel set at a girls’ boarding school in a picturesque Hudson River town with more than its share of secrets.

Since retiring as head of a famous New York City private school, Maggie Detweiler is busier than ever. Chairing a team to evaluate the faltering Rye Manor School for girls, she will determine whether, in spite of its fabled past, the school has a future at all. With so much on the line for so many, tensions on campus are at an excruciating pitch, and Maggie expects to be as welcome as a case of Ebola virus.

At a reception for the faculty and trustees to "welcome" Maggie’s team, no one seems more keen for all to go well than Florence Meagher, a star teacher who is loved and respected in spite of her affliction—that she can never stop talking.

Florence is one of those dedicated teachers for whom the school is her life, and yet the next morning, when Maggie arrives to observe her teaching, Florence is missing. Florence’s husband, Ray, an auxiliary policeman in the village, seems more annoyed than alarmed at her disappearance. But Florence’s sister is distraught. There have been tensions in the marriage, and at their last visit, Florence had warned, "If anything happens to me, don’t assume it’s an accident."

Two days later, Florence’s body is found in the campus swimming pool.

Maggie is asked to stay on to coach the very young and inexperienced head of Rye Manor through the crisis. Maggie obviously knows schools, but she also knows something about investigating murder, having solved a mysterious death in Maine the previous year when the police went after the wrong suspect. She is soon joined by her madcap socialite friend Hope, who is jonesing for an excuse to ditch her book club anyway, before she has to actually read Silas Marner.

What on earth is going on in this idyllic town? Is this a run-of-the-mill marital murder? Or does it have something to do with the school board treasurer’s real estate schemes? And what is up with the vicious cyber-bullying that’s unsettled everyone, or with the disturbed teenaged boy whom Florence had made a pet of? And is it possible that someone killed Florence just so she’d finally shut up?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Narrator Hillary Huber…provides a pleasant narration of an atmospheric story replete with social climbers, business crooks, caring teachers, and teenagers of all sorts. Former prep schoolers will be particularly pleased.”

    AudioFile

  • “Humor and suspense in equal measure make for a delightful read.”

    Booklist

  • “This is about how very serious and adult problems can be cultivated in the most innocent of settings…A cozy grounded by realistic horrors.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Leveraging their curiosity and extensive social networks, the enterprising pair swiftly discover more suspects than Range Rovers in the wealthy hamlet…[With] a surprising and elegant denouement…fans of caviar cozies will find much to savor.”

    Publishers Weekly

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About the Author

Beth Gutcheon is the critically acclaimed author of the Maggie Detweiler and Hope Babbin mystery series, as well as several stand-alone novels. Ahe has also written film scripts, including for the feature film Without a Trace and the Academy Award–nominated documentary The Children of Theatre Street.

About the Narrator

Hillary Huber, a Los Angeles–based voice talent with hundreds of commercials and promos under her belt, was bitten by the audiobook bug in 2005. She now records books on a regular basis and has been nominated for several Audie Awards and won numerous Earphones Awards.